Agrocom…technology in farming

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Agrocom is the startup by the alumni of the IIT-Bombay and incubated at SINE IIT-Bombay The company is in the business of developing digital products that keep its agri-customers informed wherever they are.

Farmers today realize that the world is rapidly changing around them and the decades of protection that they sought from the government will soon run out and they will have to fend for themselves. Market forces are forcing them to seek new kinds of information to stay competitive. Agrocom fills this need by developing content relevant to millions of farmers.

Good Agri-input companies find it difficult to compete in a market with several similar offerings including adulterated products. Agrocom products help these companies differentiate their products – thus increasing marketshare across millions of farmers.

Extension efforts in Agriculture are stunted with limited budgets and under-trained, under-serviced farmers. As a Food & Agricultural Organization study shows, Agrocom digital products offer a low-cost solution for extension centres to aggregate their resources and – with a PC, phone and aAQUA – offer training services to millions of farmers.

There are several entry barriers to this business:
(a) Rural Reach – physical, ICT – web, mobile, landline
(b) Higher marketing and sales costs than urban
(c) Costs to use agri-experts in multiple areas of expertise, multiple languages
(d) Costs of precise localized data feeds such as village names, population data, weather (6L villages), markets (7000 markets), demographics (6L Villages) etc.
(e) Costs of a continuously improving repository of consultancy/advisory relevant to a random farmer in the population – across crops/animals, locations, languages, agro-climatic zones,seasons, land-holding sizes, credit limits, education levels (or Socio-Economic Classification).
(f) Costs of following trends in demand-supply shifts, rainfall distribution, pest and disease attack, access to transportation and warehouses and crop insurance cover – each of which impact a farmer’s Net income.
(g) Costs of maintaining a valid database of farmer contact information – with users changing/discontinuing their mobile numbers and email addresses.
(h) Costs of maintaining a high page rank and appearing at the top of online search results for relevant agri-keywords
(i) Costs of providing excellent customer service and brand promotion to a large base
(j) Costs of distributing content – over ISPs & telecom operators
and last but not the least
(k) Costs of hiring the best people to ensure superior products, affordable pricing, customer satisfaction and meaningful partnerships.

The name Agrocom reflects our focus on developing Digital Products for the people who work in Agri and Allied areas in India and the world; the acronym stands for AGRO COMmunities.

Agrocom’s approach is to achieve its mission by focusing on farmer as the customer thus aligning the goals of servicing the farmer with that of shareholders by building a profitable business. The goal is to reach a scale that requires the coming together of the best PE Funds building on our early entry in the ‘Advanced Agricultural Information Inputs’ Space. The company expects that it would be valued based on the life-time value of each Online user and phone subscriber.

A feedback survey conducted in 2009-2010 from the online users of aAQUA on different aspects indicate that the Online Services of aAQUA are mostly accessed by farmers who (a)own 5-15 acres of landholding; (a)seek information on crops followed by animal sciences, KVK recommendations and farmers’ schemes; (c)the services are mostly accessed from homes rather than kiosks in the village; and (d) the modal feedback rating is ‘Excellent’ (5 on a 1-5 Scale) in catering the needs of users.

Contact Details:

Agrocom Software Technologies Private Limited,
Unit No.404, Fourth Floor, ‘A’ Wing,
No.2 Building, Kailas Industrial Complex
Veer Savarkar Marg,
Park Site,Vikhroli (West),
Mumbai – 400 079
India.

Phone : (022)-2518 4455

Email : info(at)agrocom.co.in

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Mohit Bansal(23) is B.Tech in Electronics and Communication Engineering from Indian School of Mines, Dhanbad, India. He has interest in business and entrepreneurship and has published couple of research articles. He is also associated with various NGOs. He is with Techaloo when it was just in concept stage. The Techaloo site was not existing even then. Currently Mohit is working with Mu Sigma as a Business Analyst Profile.

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