BharatAgri Ruling The AgriTech World With An Advisory Platform

BharatAgri Ruling The AgriTech World With An Advisory Platform

BharatAgri was a startup by two college students – Siddhartha Dialani and Sai Gole. Their aim was to create an advisory platform for the farmers that will benefit them in better understanding of all legal issues concerning them. 

About BharatAgri

BharatAgri is a startup that was launched in 2017 to entitle more than 140 million farmers across India. Later they launched their application in 2019 that focused on providing best farming practices to the farmers, satellite imaging, and details of marketplaces regarding crop input. Along with that, it provided all information to the farmers regarding farming in India. 

BharatAgri’s partnership with WebEngage allowed the startup to expand more by increasing its retention rate by 10% and brought uninstalls down by 30 – 35%. 

In 2015 two college students came together to formulate an advisory platform for the farmers of India in the form of an application. Their aim was to provide advisory solutions to the farmers. 

“We are the one stop solutions for the farmers when it comes to advisory platforms. We provide advisory solutions on agriculture, suggest to farmers weather insurance or other related insurance schemes, connect them with the best input, equipment, and implementation service providers, and also inform them about banking services,” says Dialani, co-founder and CEO of BharatAgri.

BharatAgri Advisory Platform: How It All Started?

When the two college students came together their aim was to work on the increasing technological adaptation on the farms and organizing the unorganized sphere of the agricultural world by creating an advisory platform. After formulating the idea, the duo approached a project to the International Crop Research Institute for the Semi-arid Tropics (ICRISAT), Hyderabad to understand the sector better. 

This project helped Dialani and Gole to prove their hypothesis on the subject that the farms in India need a parametric approach provided that there are too many variables that work on that. At that time they started to experiment that with actual market users. This is when BharatAgri came up, focusing on providing an advisory platform for all farmers. 

This startup is well equipped with technical experts that focus on the platform’s UI/UX, thus ensuring a smooth run and boost in retention of the application. Currently, BharatAgri is working with nearly 7 lakh farmers. 

“As everything is digitized, we have been able to provide quality services to the farmers associated with us. In the farming community, word of mouth due to better service has helped us retain that majority of the existing users and onboard new ones,” Dialani further added. 

For a long time, the agricultural sector has been facing severe crises in terms of technological developments, high interest rates on Agri loans, and more. These gaps have been identified by the Indian Agritech startups. However, only 20% of the existing problems were addressed that are plaguing the farming sector. 

A recent study has stated that “the market potential for agritech startups in India is estimated to reach $24.1 billion by 2025. The Agritech space has also seen more than $467 million of funding between 2014 to 2020.” “Digitisation and precision farming are new trends in agriculture. In 2017 we started as an offline model, but in 2019, we introduced the BharatAgri application to interact with farmers. We have been able to scale it the most during the pandemic. It was easier for us to adopt as our farmers were already familiar with the technology,” - Sai Gole, Co founder, BharatAgri. 

“Digitisation and precision farming are new trends in agriculture. In 2017 we started as an offline model, but in 2019, we introduced the BharatAgri application to interact with farmers. We have been able to scale it the most during the pandemic. It was easier for us to adopt as our farmers were already familiar with the technology,” - Sai Gole, Co founder, BharatAgri. 

With the advent of digitization, like in other sectors, a good amount of growth was seen in the AgriTech space. 

“We had to go all digital during pandemic lockdowns. Agri input shops were closed at the time; they were not operational. Therefore, we made video calls and used the chat feature in the app so that they (farmers) could get the required solutions without traveling,” Gole added. 

This application focuses on personalizing experiences for farmers that helped in adopting these solutions. In an interview, Gole admitted that their dynamic crop calendar and real time satellite mapping are the features that set them apart from their competitors. 

Though due to the pandemic, many sectors had to shift to remote but BharatAgri made up a team of 30 people who are experts in their field. Each team member is given special training based on customer feedback. 

“People have their agendas to fulfill their tasks and duties, and at weekly engagement sessions like team meetings, we used to unwind,” Gole added.

Fact Sheet About BharatAgri

Parameters
Details
Name
BharatAgri
Founder
Siddharth Dialani and Sai Gole
Founded in
2017
Sector
AgriTech
App Launch
2019
Investors
021 Capital, India Quotient, Sachin Oswal, Ajay Prabhu, Farid Ahsan and more.
Funding
$2.5 millions
Team
30 people
Geographical Presence
Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh
Major Revenue Generating State
Maharashtra
Based In
Pune, Maharashtra

Reach Expansion Through Market Automation

The time when the business finds it difficult to reach out and influence new users is when customer retention comes into action, especially for existing companies that want to expand their territory. Many reports and experts have proved the importance of retention. 

An analysis by Adobe showed that around 8% of repeat customers of the total customer base account for 40% of the sales. On the other hand, Bain and Company and Harvard Business School disclosed that a 5% increase in retention can increase a company’s profit by 55%. The martech platform acts as a boon for businesses in this respect as it provides easy ways to boost retention. 

“Time and effort are two factors while marketing automation helps. Our purpose was to provide the personalization that our users deserve, and WebEngage helped with that seamlessly. We understood our users' behavior towards specific campaigns and also know that in-app notifications performed better when we wanted users to take action after a particular event,” Dialani added.

The company needed marketing automation early in their startup. “We had acquired the initial set of users. The next step was to engage and retain them, and marketing automation was essential to keep users engaged. The ‘Journeys’ feature in WebEngage helped us retain existing users by providing the right nudge to them,” Dialani also added.

According to him, this is an extremely important feature in a startup as he further adds-

“Because once a farmer is onboarded and comes on the platform, we have to guide him through the next steps. ‘Journeys’ help us create the right content for management at every step.”

On the other side, another feature on WebEngage called “Relay” is important, activating activities based on some backend events of the startup.

“Uninstalls made it harder for us to have funnels for our activities. Through WebEngage’s Journey feature, we were able to reduce it by 30-35%.” Dialani said. 

BharatAgri Advisory Platform's Massive Increase Due To Covid-19 And Digitization

Parameters
Details
Number of Farmers on the Platform
7 Lakh+
MoM Growth (Pre Covid)
10%
MoM Growth (Post Covid)
25%
Impact on User Retention: With WebEngage
10%
Users Retained (Post Covid)
70%
Users Acquired (Post Covid)
50K+

Future Challenges

“We have expanded on Madhya Pradesh and are going to expand to five more states by the first half of 2021. We are expecting more tie ups with companies and will increase our team size and onboard new partners,” Gole said on their company expansion. 

"When asked about challenges they faced and will continue to face in the future Gole replied, “It was a huge roadblock because personalized advisory platforms had to be processed multiple times every single day, leaving us with no breathing space.”

Conclusion

BharatAgri’s journey was not smooth. Since they started as being a personalized advisory platform, there were no particular categories under the broad sector. But with the pandemic and digitization, there was a sudden spurt in their business. More startups in this sector are required for the future. There have to be more such advisory platforms for the farming sector of the nation. 

Niccolo Romano

Niccolo Romano is an Italian writer who holds expertise in business, and startup related articles. He has a love for business news and is best in his niche.

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