Farm to Market mobility

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Agrowave is a startup that is building sustainable agri-tech supply chain through network of pickup stations at farm-gates using technology. Besides connecting farmers, traders and business on single tech platform, it has It has helped to optimize logistics through a network of pickup stations developed with technology.

Agrowave Founder Anu Meena talks to Dr Vanita Srivastava from the Communication Cell about her startup, the challenges and her future plans.

Edited excerpts:

What does your startup deal with ?

AGROWAVE is building Farm 2 Market mobility supply chain through network of smart route mapped mobile pickup stations (MPS) at farm-gates. We buy fruits & vegetables directly from farmers and sell to businesses.

How and when did you get the idea for this startup?

I was working in an American startup in logistics so while working there my mind took a flashback to my childhood where I used to see my grandfather (who is a farmer) facing difficulties to sell his products into market such as arranging logistics, finding buyers and most of the time getting good returns. So I started AGROWAVE in June 2017 to work on this problem and create sustainable solutions for Indian farmers through technology.

What were the main challenges that you faced? How did you address them?

Some of the main challenges were:

  • Building team: Since I am a solo founder so it was hard to find people who could relate with the idea with the same passion as me. I raised funding based on the idea and my potential and then built the team.
  • Managing the ups and down: There are several ups and downs while running a venture. You might have hired bad people, you might run out of cash, you might have raised funds from inappropriate investors etc. Everyone makes mistakes but the point is how quickly you can identify and fix them up. I read books to manage the stress.
  • Setting up right priorities: It is important that you set the priorities in the right direction. It can change the whole scene of the venture. For example if you only focus on fundraising and operations are not efficient, it might be very difficult to fix. On the other hand if you have very good operations but you don't have funds to scale then what's the point of having good operations? Initially I struggled to balance and set the priorities but I have learnt over the period of time on how to balance things within the venture.
  • Building trust with farmers: Gaining farmers trust is very important to work with them. It is difficult to build trust with them. So we hire people from local areas as micro entrepreneurs as the farmers trust local people more.
  • Mapping the quality of the produce with the price: There is no standardization in the fruits and vegetables industry and that s why it’s difficult to map the price. You can buy potatoes at different prices as per quality. We have made standardization for our organization where we have different grades (A, B, and C) of the produce.

What are your future plans?

We are building technology which is mostly for data intelligence to build scalable and sustainable supply chain of fruits & vegetables.

Building the following tech

  • Building team: Since I am a solo founder so it was hard to find people who could relate with the idea with the same passion as me. I raised funding based on the idea and my potential and then built the team.
  • Smart route mapping: We are building smart route mapping for network for MPS (s). This mapping is based on multiple variables such as traffic, commodity, volume, selling and procurement locations etc
  • Price prediction engine: We are building AL/ML based price prediction engine. We believe that the MPS model can not be scalable without a price system. If we don’t have a price prediction engine we just keep negotiating with every farmer.
  • Supply-demand intelligence mapping: We are building data based supply demand mapping to reduce the cost and make the supply chain more efficient. If you look from an ecosystem perspective there is no technology in the agriculture supply chain in the current system.
  • We plan to build 1000+ MPS in UP, Haryana, Punjab, MP and Rajasthan in next 1 year

Team members

Anu Meena: Founder
Kunal Munjal: Core Team Member
Yogesh Arya: FarmSide Expert
Rahul Kamboj: Commodity supply chain expert
Sanoj: Khandsa Mandi Manager
Vikram: Farmside Micro Entrepreneur