Why we invested in BigHaat
We’ve been sitting at the ringside of digitally-led agri-input delivery. The space has evolved rapidly over the past decade. Technology is seeing rapid adoption by farmers, nurseries and small retailers across the country.
From Silputa village place in Assam to Pandavapura village in Karnataka, customers are rapidly coming on board and making repeated purchases, that too without incentives. Agri inputs ranging from seed, pesticides and fertilizers from leading domestic brands (like Namdhari) and international brands (like Corteva) are moving through the supply chain. They make their way down to the last farm with transparent pricing in a 3 to 5 day delivery timeline.
The problem: Legacy supply chain
Similar to other legacy distribution systems in India, agri chains are fraught with issues. These are compounds due to the critical nature of goods sold through these networks. Seeds and fertilizers are key for food production. If quality products are not available in a timely manner, the impact is massive. Moreover, Indian agriculture workers make last minute local decisions based on weather, prices and sentiment. This throws supply chains out of whack, enabling local sellers to demand sky high prices.
The solution: Farms of the future
When dealing with such fragmented systems, digital tools can smoothen the process and help to cost-effectively service the demand. Additionally, different players in the ecosystem are keenly interested in making the chain efficient.
Farmers gain a platform that provides the best choices of inputs, advice on growing, credit options and market linkages. Enabled with these tools, they can truly develop the farms of the future.
Manufacturers gain a channel that optimizes their distribution and allows them to engage with their end customer in a meaningful way.
Entrepreneurs can gain loyal customers for little spend. Rural farming communities are networked in such a manner that word spreads quickly or one person buys for many. Customers are happy to make referrals.
BigHaat: Building the farms of tomorrow
BigHaat is the de-facto platform for these players. It provides accessibility to high quality inputs and crop advisory. When we first invested in BigHaat, we envisioned driving efficiencies in the $40 billion chain for manufacturers and customers, and providing the ultimate visibility for various stakeholders.
Along the way we realized that the future in distribution lies in offering one’s customers a higher value add. The customer needed to do better than what they have been traditionally used to. Simply put, efficiency is nice but we needed to help the farmer run their business better.
Additionally, Covid has provided tailwinds to BigHaat’s adoption. Farmers are increasingly adapting to digital platforms. Internet penetration in rural India and recent developments have accelerated the pace of change. All was well pre-COVID. Post-Covid, everything we had seen hit new highs!
We are excited to come back to support the BigHaat team as they build their stack to serve farms and farming stakeholders across the country. We’ve watched them build through good and bad times. We would be hard pressed to find a better set of folks to change the future of farming. We look forward to working with the new investors on the journey forward!