Running a compact but hugely successful store, Prasad Anant Khadilkar founder, SP Enterprises, Valpoi is go-getter in business, finds out Abdulla Khan
In addition to extensive planning and research, Prasad Anant Khadilkar brought over 25 years of experience and a lifelong dream to realization when he started SP Enterprises’ in Valpoi. The store opened in September 1992 with an intention of to making life easier for farmers in remote villages of Sattari taluka.
SP Enterprises is better known in the community as the only outlet which provides you everything, right from labour to prominent contractor deals. The store does business not only in Sattari taluka but also across the border. “Our customers are also from Dodamarg, Kankubi and other parts of Maharashtra. We have a tie up with Osia Agro Automation which deals with laser sensing fencing, mobile app pumps etc.” said Khadilkar who is also assisted by his son Parag Khadilkar.
Bringing the trend of automation in farming activity, SP Enterprises is in forefront of assisting farmers in availing subsidies offered through various agriculture schemes like, power fencing, sprinklers installation etc. This one-stop shop, not only helps farmers but also provides all hardware materials right from small screw-nuts-bolts to pump-sprinklers, drip irrigation, GI barb wire fencing, power fencing, pesticide and weed-killer at one place to all customers.
“We opened the store just to facilitate farmers; I along with my friend Sanju Barve opened an outlet in partnership at Valpoi” said Khadilkar when asked the reason for starting the business. Over the past few years, his business has grown quickly due to the emphasis on excellent customer service. “At SP Enterprises, there is no business without customers”, he says, explaining that staff, go above and beyond what is expected from them the minute a customer enters the doors.”
The store comprises 100sqm of retail space and 200 square metre of storage space offering a complete selection of hardware and agro-mechanism. It also specializes in landscaping work of hotels and bungalows. A road side outlet, it is completely stocked with every conceivable kind of hardware goods. The racks are stocked daily and goods are clearly labeled. The store has electrical, plumbing, cabinets, tools, hardware items like nuts, bolts, screws, house wares, paints, etc. “We have team of 20 people including myself. Sometime I personally go to fields while installation of machineries. This increases the trust of my customers,” he notes.
Acknowledging the support of the Goa State Cooperative Bank Ltd in the initial years, Khadilkar said “We would not have had enough funds to operate and were using advance from farmers for business expansion. Later it was due to the support of GSCB that we could rotate funds and get working capital for purchasing materials.”
Expressing his happiness on the growth of his business Khadilkar says, “I am very pleased with the steady growth and I am very positive about our future growth. Speaking further, he adds, that he is presently thinking of bringing vermin-composting concept to farmers. “I make, develop my business plan and do research on the market demographics before sourcing the products for expanding my business,” he says.
Khadilkar explains that, his store is an authorised dealer and registered with the government. Over the years nearly 3000 farmers has benefitted from the outlet.
SP Enterprises considers community service to be very important to a small business owner’s success, particularly in a small town. “Hard work, quality service and patience are first in any kind of business. You should not get depressed if the business does not work initially,” he says. .
“New customers come in with a referral from friends,” Khadilkar said when asked how he survives amidst the stiff competition. “My competitors are told that if anyone can help fix it or find it, go to SP Enterprises.” His advice to others going into business is, “Do your homework, know your market, and really take the time to educate yourself about the business. There is no reason to reinvent the wheel but rather use the resources available.”