For what seems like years, we have heard about the problems of India’s agriculture workers. Farmers are committing suicide across the country. Punjabi farmers have increased smog in Delhi to bring notice of their plight. Farmers in Maharashtra are blocking highways and marching into Mumbai to do the same. Governments have promised loans and waivers for those loans – but there has to be a better solution?
This is where Ninjacart – a private startup focussed primarily on revenue – can act as a saviour. At least for those agricultural sectors that work with fresh produce, and who farmers are getting scammed on their way to the market.
According to Thirukumaran Nagarajan, co-founder and CEO of Ninjacart, the agriculture problem in the produce sector is a very fixable one – and with potential for profits. Currently, large swathes of farmers have to take multiple days off to travel from their farms to cities to sell their wares. The further your village is from a big town, the smaller your profit margins (if any!) are.
To help with this problem, in step middle men who promise to transport the fruits and vegetables to the bigger markets. The only issue with this solution? The middle men tend to rip off the farmers who have a lack of knowledge on prices in cities. Additionally, because these middlemen have such margins, they are not careful with the produce and tend to waste a lot. If you ever been to a vegetable market in India and see the copious amount of wasted product on the floor, now you know why.
To Nagarajan and his cofounders, this problem in India’s agriculture supply chain has a simple solution. Replace the middle men with an honest, well run, mass supply chain. And that is exactly what Ninjacart has done, hitting monthly revenues in the crores of rupees along the way! Meanwhile, the latest loan waiver from just one state has hit Rs. 53,000 crore.
You can also listen to the podcast of this interview here.