ET Startup Awards: How AgroStar is making a profit while making a difference
Monday, August 8, 2016
Pune-based brothers Shardul Sheth and Sitanshu Sheth quit their corporate jobs over five years ago to explore an opportunity within India’s agri-tech sector, specifically focusing upon how technology could improve the lives of farmers.
“We wanted to do something more meaningful with our professional lives. We wanted farmers to earn more, have better yields and experience information at their fingertips through bringing the convenience of mobile commerce to their homes,” said Sitansh Sheth.
AgroStar is a mobile-commerce platform through which farmers can procure raw material by giving a simple missed call or through the startup’s mobile application, which it launched in June. Already, at least 40,000 farmers in Maharashtra, Gujarat and Rajasthan are active on the app. For rural Indian farmers, the main hurdles are product unavailability, unfair pricing, substandard quality and a lack of real-time information, all of which AgroStar addresses.
The startup has partnered with more than 150 brands, including multinational companies such as Syngenta to provide raw materials, seeds, fertilisers and other agricultural inputs. Farmers purchase goods at market price and are assured of quality and doorstep delivery services. The company also provides realtime information and assistance through its app to help farmers increase yields.