Italy and India deliver successful cross-border mission
WIL Group members support Isagro SPA
Isagro SPA is an Italian company, which was established in 1992 and is
listed on the Stock Exchange in Milan.
Today, the company employs over 600 people and operates in the research,
development, production and distribution of agropharmaceuticals – products
for crop protection – and investing in the innovation and development of
new molecules with a low environmental impact. Isagro carries out its
manufacturing activities at five sites, four in Italy and one in India with
direct distribution in Brazil, Colombia, India, Spain and the United States.
It is also present in other countries, with legal entities holding local
For the last 10 years, the general manager of Isagro India has managed the
company as a separate entity, and whilst profitable there was little synergy
with the rest of the group. During a Board meeting, it was agreed to bring
in a new MD to help bring the Indian operation into line with the rest of
the organisation. Initially this was for a short-term contract, with a view
to then looking for a permanent MD.
The company turned to long-term resourcing partner, TIM Management in Italy.
Through the WIL Group association, X-PM in India could then be contacted for
X‐PM was quickly able to deploy an experienced senior executive, Mr K N
Chandrasekaran (KNC), with over 25 years’ experience in the pharmaceutical
and chemical industries. His previous roles included GSK and Novartis –
with a focus on the Asia market. Prior to starting his interim role as the
MD of Isagro in India, he ran his own consultancy – supporting companies
within healthcare management.
Commenting on the Isagro assignment, KNC said:
“The brief was of real interest to me, and I could see clear opportunities
for creating and effecting change.”
He started in April 2017 – covering four broad business areas, including:
- Culture – bringing in alignment, in order to create greater
collaboration and a “CAN DO” attitude.
- Business practices – to introduce simplification, and removing non
value-added processes and cleaning up legacy issues.
- People – introducing performance management systems, delayering of
number of management grades and encouraging support across the business,
with a management ‘open door’ policy.
- Relocating Isagro Asia to a new office where the whole team could
work from the same floor, creating greater integration. A move away from the
previous three floor company layout.
Internal surveys that have been conducted indicate that team members really
appreciate the changes that have been implemented since April 2017. Having
successfully completed phase one, the company is now firmly into the second
phase of its growth strategy with a view to new projects and possible market
acquisitions. KNC added:
” Transforming the Isagro business has provided real opportunity for
continued growth and success. These are exciting times for all of us in
“Communication has been vital throughout this whole process, across the
entire business. We have initiated work streams as well as a change
management committee. And at all times, we have encouraged teamwork.
“And I now feel confident that the global management team has achieved
greater visibility of the India operations.”
X-PM continues to work with Isagro in other countries including China and
Singapore providing talent resources. And KNC’s work continues.
Commenting on the concept of interim management in India, KNC said: “For
multi-national companies operating in India, this is proving to be an
“Interim management is a relatively new phenomena in India, and I believe
more needs to be done to promote its value across the country. Personally, I
think it is a great concept, enabling companies to benefit from the
knowledge and experience of executives – often coming from entirely
different backgrounds and sectors. It’s win-win for everyone.”