Farmkart offers world-class agricultural products and services to rural farmers via its technology solutions. Products offered by the company are delivered to rural and remotest parts of central India, in around 1,200 locations, within 24-36 hours. Even during lockdown the company delivered 6,000 agri-packages to 350 locations in Madhya Pradesh.
Recently, Prime Minister Narendra Modi appreciated Farmkart’s tech-solutions and lockdown initiatives in his 70th edition of Mann ki Baat.
Founder and CEO Atul Patidar said that the company is working with a long-term goal of helping every farmer in India go online.
In an interview, He spoke about the company’s mission, vision, and future plans. He also shared interesting information about the company’s technology solutions and uniqueness.
How is Farmkart e-commerce platform different from others?
Farmkart e-commerce platform is India’s first comprehensive platform for agricultural needs. It can be called a tailor-made platform designed to fulfil all agricultural needs of Indian farmers.
The company was started with the vision of achieving sustainable growth in India’s agricultural industry by simplifying the everyday lives of farmers. Our mission is to design technology-driven solutions that make agricultural inputs more affordable and accessible for Indian farmers. Our tech-solutions are based on the needs and requirements of rural and non-tech savvy farmers. So, agri-shopping from our platform is just a matter of a few taps on a mobile phone or a few clicks on a computer. Once the order is placed, products are delivered within 24-36 hours to farmers. Our services include agri-consultancy and equipment on rent.
The achievements in the last 3 years are results of the time we invested in research before starting the actual operations. Our team focused on first-hand research in the rural areas of Madhya Pradesh. We covered a large sample size during the survey and spent time with thousands of farmers. This was never done before in this country.
Above all, we are moving ahead with a long-term goal of helping every farmer go online.
Are rural farmers ready for Farmkart’s technology solutions? Is it easy for them to adopt this new way of shopping and farming?
The first thing we focused on was understanding what keeps farmers away from adopting the latest technologies. The reason was lack of technical knowhow which extends to difficulty in learning the new ways. Let us take the example of e-commerce here. On other platforms, the ordering process is generally complex and the farmers are not comfortable in making online payments. Our technology solution UIC solves these problems. Today, farmers from more than a thousand rural and remote locations in Madhya Pradesh are ordering our products online. In addition to this, we have also tried to solve the last-mile delivery problem with another tech-solution U2U delivery.
Many times a question is posed to us that farmers do not prefer to spend cash or the rural economy is credit based. The answer is simple. When they were introduced to Farmkart, they found the prices attractive in terms of costs and discounts. Additionally, they had better and more options. Rural farmers are ready for any change that makes their lives better and easier.
Throw some light on Farmkart’s upcoming expansion plan in terms of products, reach, and job creation?
We plan a nationwide expansion by reaching 100,000 locations by the end of 2021. The number of products via strategic tie ups will also go up to 5,000. This will include organic products and some categories which are new to the Indian agri-market such as biostimulants. In terms of employment, in the first phase of operations we offered jobs to many educated professionals in Barwani and the nearby rural areas. Youth from these localities generally go to nearby cities in search of jobs. Farmkart gave them the opportunity and exposure to a modern workplace with global standards.
In the next phase, we plan to invite urban youth to explore rural job opportunities. We are taking part in placement processes of institutes such as IIM and Symbiosis for the same. Through your magazine, I also want to give the job seekers a message ‘Jobs in rural India offer greater opportunities for both personal and professional development’.
What is the future of Farmkart’s technology solutions?
After the success of UIC and U2U Delivery, we are upbeat about Agri-Nidan and Rent4Farm. We have realised that to accomplish our mission a proper ecosystem is needed. Rent4Farm and Agri-Nidan have the potential to fill the existing gaps. We plan to float separate apps for these two services in the coming days.
In fact, successful implementation of these services can do wonders. These can open doors to the most modern agriculture practices in India and in turn boost productivity.