Bhupen Dubey: A Frontrunner In Innovation In The Food Industry
Bhupen Dubey is a successful leader and the Global CEO of Advanta Seeds, a UPL group company. His leadership is driven by a strong understanding of farmers’ needs and a passion for sustainable agriculture. Bhupen holds over 30 years of experience in agriculture, supply chain, and food production from companies including Hoechst, Aventis, and Bayer, and has played a vital role in managing and integrating companies within the UPL group, such as Advanta/UPL, Golden Seeds, and Unicorn. He has been driving essential integrations to bring profitable and sustainable growth for the UPL business. Under Bhupen’s leadership, Advanta Seeds was ranked #4 in South and South-east Asia and the #5 global seed company in the Access to Seeds Index in 2019 for contributing to UN SDGs and food security.
In an exclusive interview with CEO Insights, Bhupen talks about his professional journey and the global business operations of Advanta Seeds.
Can you tell me about your educational and professional background, and how you got started in the industry?
I did both my Bachelor’s and Master’s in Agriculture, and I joined a German company in the R&D department early in my career. After a few years, I moved to the product management department, and also completed my diploma in marketing management. Working for this company gave me a holistic experience of the industry and its operations with great cross-functional exposure.
With Advanta I have been able to lead and manage multiple business areas in different geographical locations, which helped me understand even the most subtle changes in the industry.
Can you elaborate on the current market landscape?
Advanta Seeds, as a part of UPL, one of the biggest agriculture companies in the world, is an essential player in contributing to food security. We believe in open agriculture, where collaboration and innovation can help farmers grow more food, even in tough times like this pandemic. The current food industry has challenges, and there is an increased global concern about food security. The seed industry is playing an important role in addressing this concern, and we do our best to help the farming community sustain itself.
The industry also needs to address climate change. The unpredictable weather and extreme climatic conditions are a big concern for the agriculture industry. We need to develop faster and better technologies to keep up with the changing scenarios.
Can you share how you are able to lead the organization towards sustained success?
Leading a global organization requires a specific skill set and understanding of the market to make the right business decisions at the right time. Teamwork and collaboration are crucial to becoming successful on the global stage. Working together with your team, sharing ideas, and letting your team be part of decision-making allows you to make better business decisions. The successful leader, while taking decisions, always keeps the future and sustainable growth of the organization in focus.
What are the challenges that customers face in the industry? Also, how are you helping your customers to meet their expectations?
Many farmers do not have access to quality seeds. It is important to work with channel partners to provide access to quality products to all farmers. By providing access to high quality seeds, we increase food production and farmers prosperity. We are collaborating with many research organizations, NGOs, and food value chain partners to develop new products and provide access to market for farmers. More importantly, we listen to farmers’ feedback and try to provide them with solutions that meet their expectations.
What are your thoughts on organic and sustainable farming?
Organic farming is important, and it is a growing sector across the world. But it can be costly for farmers and consumers, potentially turning into a niche market in the future. Sustainable agriculture is a way forward. It starts with quality seeds and good farming practices to produce high yielding crops. At Advanta Seeds and UPL, we make a great effort to promote sustainable agriculture. Our goal is to positively impact our planet, people and prosperity, and good health for all.
Bhupen Dubey, Global CEO, Advanta Seeds
Bhupen is well known for his industry expertise and is an active member of many professional affiliations. He participated in the multi-stakeholder project for the World Economic Forum, Transformational Leadership, Agricultural Development. He is on the NVA Business Council India and Asia, and is the Chairman of SIG at the Asia and Pacific Seed Association. He has been a speaker and an expert panelist for many agricultural conferences, including CABI Syngenta Foundation for Sustainable Agriculture.