Katuri Vijay Kiran of Plow tells us how they export agricultural commodities.
Tell us about you, your career, and how you founded Plow.
Katuri Vijay Kiran: I turned 37 this year. I did my bachelor’s in Electrical Engineering in 2006, then worked as a Graduate Engineer Trainee in a Power Plant construction company. I resigned and went to the UK in 2008 to pursue my master’s but dropped out and came back to India and started a business. In 2010 I started an automotive accessories business, which was unsuccessful, then worked as a business development consultant for an online tutoring firm from 2013 to 2016. I started an Agri products export firm in 2015, and my colleague Nalajala Sateesh Kumar named it Plow Exports & Imports Private Limited.
My co-founder Nalajala Sateesh Kumar is 39 years old and did his bachelor’s in Electrical Engineering in 2006 worked as Deputy Manager in a Power Plant construction company for 9 years before co-founding Plow Exports & Imports Private Limited in 2015.
Do you have small habits that made a meaningful impact on your life and business?
Katuri Vijay Kiran: Yes, habits of walking, reading, and praying made me have focus, patience, persistence, and the ability to face and solve problems/issues in business.
How does Plow market its product/services online?
Katuri Vijay Kiran: We target business-to-business portals, SEO, and advertising in online trade fairs.
What specific tools, software, and management skills are you using to manage your online marketing?
Katuri Vijay Kiran: Most of our online marketing depends on the management between different business portals and SEO
What is your hiring policy/process, and how do you retain your employees?
Katuri Vijay Kiran: Our hiring policy is purely based on the ability and confidence of the employee to handle and tackle problems/issues. It’s not only about their educational background or job experience apart from that, flexibility and adaptation to the latest technology.
How are you funding your growth?
Katuri Vijay Kiran: Persistence, focus, flexibility, believing in customer delight, adaptation to change, and update.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Katuri Vijay Kiran: Our fellow exporters, learning from them, and most importantly, we believe in customer service, satisfaction, and delight.
Taking up challenging tasks based on customer’s requirements as we deal with different countries, each country has its own rules, certificates, documentation, payment, quality, and packing requirements.
Tell us a customer success story of yours.
Katuri Vijay Kiran: Right now, we are exporting agricultural commodities, namely dry red chilies, Basmati/non-Basmati Rice, and Sugar, to 9 countries across the world.
Before COVID-19, our clients visited us and placed the orders, but during and after Covid, it’s different. It’s totally online.
They find us on the internet and inquire about quality and prices. The critical part is the payment, so we work on all safe payment types for both parties.
In 2020 one of our buyers from Brazil placed an order by sending us some advance payment without visiting us. We made sure to be available most of the time, reply immediately to their queries, and update them on the progress of each step by email or chat apps so that they feel secure about the payment. We loaded the goods onto the vessel on time, but unfortunately, the delivery got delayed due to the congestion at the ports. But we got very good feedback from the buyer that the goods were very good and sold out very quickly.
Your final thoughts.
Katuri Vijay Kiran: Many thoughts, for now, persistence focus and adaptation to change.