Spotlight

TAFE cultivates a million smiles amidst COVID-19 pandemic

 

“Knowing there’s one thing I still haven’t told you: I now believe, by the way, that miracles can happen.”
― Nicholas Sparks

Amidst the lockdown in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the murmurs of sadness and hopelessness were echoing out of the most affected community in India, the farmers. Constituting more than half of the country’s population as a workforce, the farmers had to restrict themselves from going about with their agriculture operations due to the widespread impact of this deadly virus. The transportation system came to a grinding halt. With no way to harvest or sell their products, it was indeed a rude shock for the farmers who were preparing for a bounteous harvest after a long period of time.

Meanwhile, TAFE (Tractors and Farm Equipment Limited) came up with a scheme called “Free Tractor Rental Services” through their JFarm Services platform in the states of Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, and Tamil Nadu. It aimed to rescue the farming community from the economic implications of COVID-19, and mitigate the impact of the Coronavirus threat on farming operations of small and marginal farmers during the critical Rabi harvest and Kharif preparation season. Relieved farmers started praising the move all around these states, practically boasting their successful cultivation. Within 75 days, 1,60,000 acres of land had been cultivated!

Families were saved, lost smiles were found, self-doubt was smudged and a new and confident community of farmers came out and accepted the long-lost quote by Nicholas sparks. They might have not read it, but they believed for sure, that with companies like TAFE around, miracles can happen, and will keep happening!

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“Massey 4.0” – Maha Service Camps organized across India

Massey tractors for Life! With every purchase of a Massey, customers gain a companion for life in the form of MF’s reliable and prompt aftersales service. As a testament to this, TAFE, in collaboration with its dealer network, organized its Maha Service Camp – “Massey 4.0”, this February across all the states in India.

Some of the offerings in these camps include, free washing and greasing, discounts on labor charges, extended warranty registrations, discounts on parts and oil and free servicing on major service jobs. Additionally, dealers in few states offered test drives of latest MF tractors and servicing of the farm implements.

Apart from MF Tractors, this camp also gave an opportunity for the customers to get their other branded tractors serviced by TAFE’s technicians.

This unique and thoughtful initiative, which was highly appreciated by the customers, provides them with best-in-class service for their tractors, empowering them to be our partners in our journey of ‘Cultivating the World’.

JFarm Services App Launch
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TAFE’s free of cost tractor rental platform – ‘JFarm Services’ launched nationwide

TAFe launches JFarm Services App

 

● TAFE’s CSR initiative to support small and marginal farmers
● Farmer-to-Farmer model (F2F)
● Farmers can offer all brands of tractors and implements on rent
● Aids rural entrepreneurship and generates additional revenue for farmers
September 21, 2018: TAFE – Tractors and Farm Equipment Limited, India’s second largest tractor
manufacturer, has announced the national expansion of its CSR initiative – ‘JFarm Services’ and the ‘JFarm Services App’. With this pioneering platform, TAFE brings the benefits of the technology-enabled sharing economy to boost the income of Indian farmers. JFarm Services facilitates the hiring of tractors and modern farm machinery to farmers free of cost. Farmers looking to rent their existing tractors and farm equipment are linked directly to farmers seeking to hire them through the free of cost “Farmer-to-Farmer model” (F2F) of JFarm Services app which enables them to contact farmer entrepreneurs, negotiate rental prices and fulfill their respective requirements.
Despite nearly 65% Indians working in the farm sector, India’s agricultural yields trail global and emerging market averages. More than 20 crore Indian farmers have little or no access to mechanized tools. Any effort to bring about a paradigm shift in productivity and farm income has to be centered on the small farmers, who account for 86% of India’s farmland holding.
Farmers who own small parcels of land across India can now hire state-of-the-art farm equipment to increase their productivity and income significantly. The JFarm Services App and on ground Custom Hiring Centers which are operated by tractor and equipment owners will provide farmers with affordable farm mechanization services in a transparent manner. With JFarm Services’ tremendous early success, TAFE is collaborating with various state governments like Bihar, Odisha, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Assam to roll out the JFarm services platform.
JFarm Services initial pilot roll-out covers Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Gujarat and Uttar Pradesh, directly benefiting around 60,000 users resulting in over 100,000 orders, adding up to about 250,000 hours in hired farm machinery usage.
Ms. Mallika Srinivasan, Chairman & CEO – TAFE, said: “The nationwide launch of JFarm Services – farm
equipment rental platform as a CSR initiative is aligned to TAFE’s vision of Cultivating the World and our commitment to the economic well-being of Indian farmers. The JFarm Services platform leverages technology to provide free of cost access to rental of farm mechanization solutions and offers an opportunity to build a viable rural entrepreneurship model while augmenting farm productivity and income of small and marginal farmers. With this launch we aim to touch millions of farmers who have no access to farm mechanization and modern technology, while accelerating the progress towards the Prime Minister’s vision of doubling farm incomes by 2022.”
Mr. T R Kesavan, President & COO – TAFE, said: “TAFE’s JFarm Services offers a transparent farmer-to-farmer platform, free of any hidden charges or commissions, that enables farmer entrepreneurs to rent their existing tractors and implements of any brand to farmers who seek to hire modern feature rich products to boost their farm income. JFarm Services is also collaborating with various State Governments to offer customized solutions to increase farm mechanization amidst small and marginal farmers below the poverty line.”
Farmers can hire equipment via the JFarm Services android app, contacting the toll-free helpline 1800-4-200-100 or the local Custom Hiring Centres. The App can be used on low-cost Android phones and is designed to run on very little data. Farmers who don’t own smart or feature phones can use the toll-free helpline. The platform also provides periodic updates on local weather, market, agri-news and mandi prices without any fee.

Links: JFarmServices.in | JFarmServices Android App | JFarm Services Facebook Page

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TAFE wins 3 awards at Frost & Sullivan’s GMLA 2018

TAFE Tractors and Farm Equipment Limited, has won 3 awards in the “Frost & Sullivan Global Manufacturing Leadership Award” in the categories of Supply Chain Management, and Enterprise Integration and Technology, for the year 2018. The TAFE team received the awards at the Frost & Sullivan Manufacturing Leadership Awards at Huntington Beach in California, USA, on June 13, 2018.

Frost & Sullivan’s Manufacturing Leadership Awards, now in their 14th year, honor companies and individual leaders that are shaping the future of global manufacturing. Winning projects and individual manufacturing leaders have demonstrated achievement in clearly defined categories, and are chosen by a panel of expert judges for results that have delivered clear and compelling value, return on investment, and other tangible outcomes.

The awards are as follows:

  • Enterprise Integration and Technology Leadership Award for “TAFE Digital Quality Management System”
  • Supply Chain Leadership Award for “TAFE Supplier Risk Management Model”
  • Supply Chain Leadership Award for “TAFE Differential Engagement Model”

To quote Frost & Sullivan, “TAFE is now among an esteemed group of leaders who are shaping the future of global manufacturing.”

The TAFE team at HAU's Agri-EPI Centre
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TAFE and HAU collaborate to develop sustainable agriculture solutions

Tractors and Farm Equipment Limited TAFE has entered into a new international collaboration with UK based Harper Adams University (HAU) to develop advanced technological, agronomic and educational solutions for the delivery of sustainable food production around the world.

HAU is an agriculture university established in 1901 in the United Kingdom. HAU’s Agriculture Engineering Precision and Innovation – Agri-EPI Centre is one of the four national Centres for Agricultural Innovation created as part of the £17.7m UK government investment from UK’s Strategy for Agricultural Technologies to help provide engineering and precision agriculture solutions for the agri-food industry.

The collaboration with HAU’s Agri-EPI Centre will include joint research projects and programmes, joint publications and staff exchanges. The areas of research will focus on agriculture, engineering and technology development programmes on autonomous farming and energy efficient implements, Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) systems and sensor technologies, and the Hands free hectare project to be implemented at JFarm India – TAFE’s adaptive agriculture research centre.

TAFE President & COO – Mr. T R Kesavan said, “TAFE’s collaboration with Harper Adams – Agri-EPI Centre is a reaffirmation of TAFE’s commitment to its vision of ‘Cultivating the World’ as it aims to combine integrated farming techniques with precision agriculture and engineering to develop sustainable farming models that work for both marginal and large farms. This collaboration will provide opportunities for developing a range of advanced training skills, learning and the promotion of international technology transfer and exchange.”

Engineers from TAFE have moved into the new Agri-EPI Centre on the Harper Adams University campus to work on the centre’s first major research and development project. On the team’s arrival, Harper Adams University engineering lecturer, Kit Franklin said, “We at Harper Adams have been building contacts with TAFE for the last 18 months. It’s great to now have this young and enthusiastic team of engineers from TAFE’s Centre of Excellence here in the UK where we’re about to start our first collaborative engineering project. Along with the completion of the project, I hope the team will get a flavour of British agriculture, helping them to return with fresh new ideas.”

Welcoming them to the Agri-EPI Centre, Lee Williams – Newport Centre Hub Manager said, “We’re extremely excited about the first major R&D project coming into the centre, but even more so as it’s a large global tractor manufacturer that’s working in collaboration with Harper Adams.”

TAFE ‘Cultivating The World’ with learning
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TAFE ‘Cultivating The World’ with learning

At Tractors and Farm Equipment Limited (TAFE), learning is an integral part of its ethos. As a learning organization, TAFE pioneered the development of its employees and channel partners through various training modules at the ‘Product Training Centre’ way back in the 1960’s, which was the first of its kind in the tractor industry. Over the years, TAFE’s commitment to learning has expanded and evolved, leveraging the latest technology to support and encourage its employees to constantly develop and upgrade themselves.

As part of this journey, TAFE was honoured at the 2018 India Innovation Awards by Skillsoft and SumTotal for ‘Creating an Impact in Leadership Development’ amidst HR, L&D industry stalwarts at its India Perspectives 2018 conference. This award honours an organization that develops and implements best-in-class integrated learning and/ or talent programs that demonstrate strong results. Programs feature innovation to overcome challenges and realize success.

Spearheaded by TAFE E-University and the Business Excellence team, the leadership development program -internally branded as LA CAFÉ, is offered as part of the Joy of Execution Excellence (JoEE) initiative. Considering the great need to develop CSF project leaders in the organization who are hard-pressed for time to attend a complete classroom based learning, TAFE partnered with Skillsoft to offer world class online programs, designed and delivered to meet various business needs in a blended learning mode.

The program focused on boosting the success rate of strategic projects by improving the competency levels of Critical Success Factor (CSF) project leaders within the organization. It aimed to develop the project management skills of CSF project leaders in the identified skill gap areas. The skill gaps were consolidated by in-person conversations with business leaders and surveys. The six modules from Skillsoft Leadership Advantage (SLA) to address the critical areas which were contributing to project success were: – Leading Effective Meetings, Problem Solving and Decision Making, Project Management, Managing Conflict, Influence and Persuasion, and Managing Upward Relationships.

The program followed a blended learning approach that provided the right mix of, self-paced learning for leaders to learn anytime anywhere, online webinars to value-add to the online content and motivate learners, café type workshops to encourage collaborative and social learning, business whatsapp conversations to engage and discuss key concepts, senior leader perspectives to align the learning with TAFE’s context, LA CAFÉ buddy for peer motivation to learn, and gamification to make learning fun and engaging. The program’s framework of ‘Learn – Apply – Share – Institutionalize’, supported learners to apply their learning to the projects they are leading, and also transfer best practices to organizational projects by means of horizontal deployment.

The recognition validates TAFE’s constant endeavour to build a continuous learning culture and encourage knowledge sharing. TAFE e-University and Business Excellence team are at an important juncture in the transformation journey, aligning business needs to learning and knowledge sharing, and thereby impacting the business’s bottom-line.

Congratulations to the TAFE E-University and Business Excellence team on this accolade and for ‘Cultivating The World’ with learning.

A product demo in progress at TAFE Madurai for customers
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TAFE’s MF Experience Centres redefine customer delight

TAFE as an organization has always strived to help the farming community through its products and services. For more than five decades, it has listened to its customers and their needs by providing superior products that are relevant to the times. TAFE has helped transform the lives of millions of farmers around the world, by powering farms in more than 100 countries.

In line with this, TAFE inaugurated MF Experience Centres at its Madurai and Doddaballapur facilities. It intends to provide TAFE customers with a unique brand experience through visits to the factory and the MF Tech Zone; multimedia presentations on brand heritage and Massey 4.0; and providing in-depth understanding of the technologies used through working prototype models of Massey Ferguson tractors.

The MF Experience Centre at TAFE Madurai has seen a steady flow of customers including over 1000 farmers visiting during the Pongal season. The MF Experience Centre at TAFE Doddaballapur was inaugurated recently, and has been visited by around 500 farmers. The farmers reviewed the tractors specific to Karnataka like, MF 7250 and MF 6028, among other heavy implements like the Hydraulic Reversible Mould Board Plough and an eight ft. Rotavator. These efforts resulted in several spot bookings. Additionally, the visitors were also given a health check-up and a portrait alongside the MF tractors as a souvenir of this experience.

TAFE in its journey of ‘Cultivating the World’ goes the extra mile to create a lasting relationship with its customers beyond the sale of products.

TAFE recognized for its 'Be a #FarmDost' initiative
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TAFE’s ‘Be a #FarmDost’ digital movement recognized for highlighting the importance of farmers and the farming

The Tractors and Farm Equipment Limited (TAFE) – ‘Be a #FarmDost‘ – initiative has been at the forefront of highlighting the importance of farmers and, helping the urban society appreciate the hard work of farmers through various digital media communications and on-ground activities which has brought farmers and the urban population together. These efforts were validated with the ‘Be a #FarmDost’ initiative winning awards at the IAA Olive Crown Awards, PRCI’s Corporate Collaterals Award, ACEF’s 7th Global Customer Engagement Awards, the Rural Marketing Forum & Awards and, the Making of Developed India Awards.

TAFE was bestowed the Chanakya Award in the category ‘Communication Idea of the Year’ for its ‘Be a #FarmDost’ initiative by the Public Relations Council of India (PRCI) during the 12th Global Communication Conclave held in Pune. The TAFE group was among the top winners, winning 15 awards across different categories.

At the prestigious IAA Olive Crown Awards 2018 hosted by International Advertising Association (IAA) India Chapter in Mumbai, TAFE was awarded the Silver Olive Crown in the Events category for its ‘Be a #FarmDost’ initiative’s, ‘National Farmers’ Day’ event for ‘Creative Excellence in Communicating Sustainability’. And at the Asia Pacific Customer Engagement Forum’s (ACEF) ‘7th Global Customer Engagement Awards’, TAFE’s ‘Be a #FarmDost’ initiative won two gold awards. One for its ‘National Farmers’ Day’ event for the ‘Successful use of CSR Activity’ in the Events & Promotions category, and one for its #ThankYouTohBol TV commercial for ‘Creativity’ in the Television category.

The ‘Be a #FarmDost’ initiative by TAFE was also recognized as the ‘Social Development Campaign of the Year’ by the Rural Marketing Forum & Awards. The award recognizes development and integrated marketing concepts which aim to bring about social change for the greater good. TAFE’s ‘Be a #FarmDost’ initiative was also awarded at the Making of Developed India Awards, in the ‘Best Marketing Campaign of the Year (Agriculture)’ category. The award recognizes the efforts of an organization/team to increase awareness for a particular product or service.

About the ‘Be a #FarmDost’ initiative:

Tractors and Farm Equipment Limited (TAFE), the world’s third largest tractor manufacturer, launched the ‘Be a #FarmDost’ initiative with the aim to help the urban and semi-urban population understand the importance of a farmer in their lives. The initiative wants to raise empathy by encouraging people to step into the farmer’s shoes, even if for a small while. The idea stems from the thought that if people realize the effort it takes to cultivate a single crop, they would truly realize what the average farmer has to go through, day in and day out.

The ‘Be a #FarmDost’ initiative is simple, to show gratitude to the farmers who are responsible for sustaining and nourishing us. Launched in April 2015, the initiative is spearheaded by the Corporate Communications team of TAFE. In its first phase, TAFE encouraged the urban population to become farmers in a small way using the #FarmDost seed kit to cultivate crops at home, thereby realizing the effort that goes into the food they eat every day. People were also challenged to meet farmers and thank them for their hard work that nourishes and sustains the world. To support this mission, activities have been carried out throughout the country apart from the daily activity on all its online communities.

The ‘National Farmers’ Day’ by TAFE – Be a #FarmDost was held in December 2017 bringing together the urban residents of Bengaluru, and farmers from nearby regions, on a farm to live the farm life and celebrate ‘Farmers’ Day’ with the farmers. The event got urban residents to become farmers for a day, engage with them, and realize the effort and hard work put in by the farmer to cultivate the food that sustains and nourishes the world. The participants got the experience of, cultivating in a farm (teak, pomegranate or sandalwood sapling); tending to a farm by, harvesting red chilies and radish, and de-weeding the farm; making organic fertilizer; taking a tractor ride; and creating a mock farm in teams with the farmers, during the ‘Build-a-Farm’ challenge. The event channeled all the participants’ inner farmer by the activities, which they enjoyed – discovering the joys of farming.

The ‘Be a #FarmDost’ initiative is primarily driven online, building a global community of #FarmDosts, reaching out to them across media and platforms. The aim is to communicate with and bring like-minded people together who relate to the cause and bring the farmer back into social consciousness. Within a short span, the #FarmDost community grew to become 1 million strong on Facebook and is steadily growing. It also has a notable presence on other platforms like Linkedin, YouTube, Google Plus, Pinterest, and Instagram.

The ‘Be a #FarmDost’ initiative’s simple yet powerful message of gratitude and appreciation for the farmers and the profession of farming has resonated with society and is inspiring people to realize the true value of the invisible hero – the farmer.

TAFE acquires IMT brand of tractors
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TAFE successfully acquires iconic IMT tractor brand

Tractors and Farm Equipment Limited – TAFE, the world’s third largest tractor manufacturer by volume, successfully acquired the renowned Serbian tractor and agriculture equipment brand IMT – Industrija Masinai Traktora.

TAFE’s has had a long association with IMT spanning many decades through business cooperation that involved the supply of components, aggregates and technical support. TAFE will support its local partner with supply of components and aggregates for the rollout of IMT tractors in Serbia and allied markets.

Ms. Mallika Srinivasan – Chairman & CEO, TAFE, speaking on this recent acquisition said, “TAFE and IMT have shared a long mutually beneficial cooperation. This acquisition will play a key role in TAFE’s strategic and growth plans for the future.”

Through this acquisition TAFE acquires the right to use the Brand and Intellectual Property Rights, including the Designs, Trademarks and Copyright (IPR) of IMT.

IMT, an iconic tractor brand is a pioneer in farm mechanization and tractor technology with a wide range of implements and tractors suitable for cultivating agricultural land, vineyards and orchards and infrastructure applications. The implements range includes ploughs, trailers, maize planters, seed drills, cultivators and loader forklifts.

Well known for its indigenous R&D, IMT produced a range of tractors between 35 hp and 220 hp and is a popular tractor brand in Eastern Europe, Northern Africa and the Balkans.

Mallika Srinivasan recognized as ‘Outstanding Woman Entrepreneur’ at The ET Family Business Awards
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Ms. Mallika Srinivasan recognized as ‘Outstanding Woman Entrepreneur’ by ET

TAFE Chairman & CEO, Ms. Mallika Srinivasan was awarded in the ‘Outstanding Woman Entrepreneur’ category at the maiden edition of The Economic Times Family Business Awards.

Mallika Srinivasan is a thought leader and a strategist, recognized for entrepreneurship, commitment to excellence and contribution to Indian agriculture machinery business and academia. TAFE is today, the third largest tractor manufacturer in the world and the second largest in India by volumes, with an annual sale of over 150,000 tractors and presence in over 100 countries, including developed countries in Europe and the Americas. It is one of the leading exporters of tractors from India.

In a span of 25 years, Ms. Mallika Srinivasan has established TAFE as a quality mass manufacturer of tractors, a lean and resilient organization that can effectively weather the cyclicality of the tractor business. With her special emphasis on product and process development, she has ensured significant expansion of TAFE’s product range. She enhanced and leveraged the engineering strengths at TAFE to design, develop and manufacture a range of products for international markets. Besides tractors and farm machinery, TAFE manufactures diesel engines, silent gensets, batteries, hydraulic pumps and cylinders, engineering plasticsgears and transmission components, and has business interest in vehicle franchises and plantations.

“Only businesses with more than ₹250 crore in consolidated revenue in the financial year 2016-17 were considered. Apart from revenue and profit growth, the jury considered key factors such as sustainability of the business model, governance – including outlined family constitution and ownership policies – succession planning framework, strategic partnerships, product and service innovation, strength of the leadership team, innovation in organisational and family structuring, global business growth and strategic tie-ups among other things.” – ET Family Business Awards 2018.