“Empowering the Farm & Farmers”

by Akankshya Mahapatra

Prachi Works Pvt Ltd

Understanding, trust and effective communication are the three vital factors not just for a cordial marital life but also to sustain business for a long run. More so, when these factors exist between a husband-wife duo who are running a business together, then you are bound to make wonders in life. Santanu Pradhan and Manjubala Panda provide ample testimony to this. The husband-wife duo has been contributing to the agricultural growth of the state by providing innovative implements to farmers at the most affordable prices for over three decades now through their venture, Prachi Works Pvt. Ltd.

The company has accomplished a highly coveted industrial journey to become a reputed and recognized brand, manufacturing high quality farming implements at par with international standards. The duo has not only shown how innovation can be a game-changer for agricultural-based businesses, but has also demonstrated that by retaining the core values and correct ethics, you can steer a company to enviable heights.

“We have been together for over 30 years and covered a long way together. This has given us the power to understand each other better, both professionally and personally. Being in a business with your spouse means you are working with a loyal and trustworthy partner whose interests are similar to yours, which is fundamental to running a business,” said Panda.

Prachi Works Pvt. Ltd was born out of humble beginnings at Mancheswar Industrial Estate in 1988 by first manufacturing wick-stoves (or batti-chullah) for efficient burning of wood fuel. Though the initial phase for Prachi was filled with hardships and criticism, the strong determination and hard work of Pradhan and his team helped them counter all odds with ease. But the turning point came when Prachi manufactured multi-purpose stoves and community stoves that made the company a household name in the state.

Subsequently, Prachi shifted its focus on manufacturing agricultural machines and equipment. “We started our manufacturing activity from ‘Trench Hoe’ and different garden tools and other related equipment which were hugely accepted by the farmers. Since we were always on a lookout for innovative products and technologies, we soon manufactured low-cost, farmer-friendly and portable Low lift hand Pumps and Krusaka Bandhu Pumps that benefited the farming community a lot those days,” said Pradhan. More importantly, the husband-wife duo has always taken the lead by organizing several workshops and camps for farmers at the grassroots to make them aware of the products and their utilities.  

Prachi has truly lived up to its tagline that reads “Improving Agriculture, Improving Lives”. Years of toil, hard work and innovation of Prachi has culminated into many successful farming stories. At present, most of the farmers across the state are well-off and economically sound after using their products. “Farmers are our brand ambassadors. What Prachi is today is because of their unconditional support and faith in us. We have always stood by them and will continue to do so in the future. When we hear about their success stories, it gives us immense pleasure and satisfaction beyond words. We hope to continue to become a part and parcel of their success stories in the days to come,” he said.

Prachi was also the first company in the state to manufacture high-quality agricultural equipment like Power Plough, Rotavator, Hand winnower, Paddle Thresher and Power Thresher among others.

“Being a farmer-friendly company, our objective was to lower the burden of farmers by helping them provide the latest machineries and cutting-edge technology so that they can farm with ease. This motivated us to manufacture various agricultural machines especially for the farming community. We use the best quality of raw materials and sustainable engineering designs for manufacturing the implements of international standards. They are all designed and manufactured in compliance with the latest industry standards,” Panda said with a smile. The company is backed by a state-of-the-art production facility well-equipped with machine tools for manufacturing processes. It is further complemented by a dedicated team of highly trained and experienced workforce. The company is supported by a highly-skilled R&D team led by Pradhan and its continuous efforts to bring innovative products and solutions for the Agriculture Sector.

Today, they manufacture Axial Flow Paddy Thresher, tractor operated, power tiller operated and engine operated paddy thresher as well. Prachi holds the distinction of being the numero uno company in the state for Axial Flow Paddy Thresher. That apart, Prachi’s “Rotary Tiller” and the innovative “Mobile Rice Huller” are hugely popular among the farmers.

While only a handful of women have made their mark in the world of agri-business, Panda has broken the glass ceiling by using her past experience and expertise to lead the company. She has defied all odds and inspired others to take up agri-business at the grassroots. “Agriculture continues to be a male-dominated field but that does mean women cannot come forward and contribute in their own ways. Perseverance, hard work and a strong vision are all that are needed to succeed in the world of agriculture. Women can equally compete with men and complement their work in ways more than one,” said Panda who joined the company in 1991 and since then played a crucial role to help Prachi reach the nook and corner of the state.

Currently, the company’s sales network has a strong presence across the state although they plan to tap the Western Odisha market in the coming days. Previously, the company has sold products to neighbouring states like Tripura, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh and Chhattisgarh where Prachi has been rubbing shoulders with the local and national brands as well. “We have been constantly receiving orders from other parts of the country. But as of now, our focus is on strengthening the Odisha market as the demand for our products has been on the rise over the years. Maybe a few years down the line, we would plan a roadmap to expand our reach across the length and breadth of the country,” said Panda.

The company is mulling to scale up its production and focus on manufacturing more innovative farm implements in the future. “At Prachi, the quest for new innovation and products never stops. We aim to constantly bring new farming technologies to the state and contribute to the economic development of farmers,” Pradhan concluded.

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