Palash Dhawade, MD at RaamSetu Agrotech Private Limited
Great Companies: How did you get your idea or concept for the business?
Palash Dhawade: Indian agriculture market is unorganized. This affects agriculture sector’s growth compared to other sector. Farmer is not directly connected with food and agriculture businesses in India, despite being the original producer and supplier of raw material.
Post harvesting farmers face two major problems with their produce, firstly how to sell & second whom to sell.
Currently they have two common options to sell first to sell a middleman and second is MANDI. In both options farmer does not get best rate for his produce. Middleman purchases on very low rate and make profit after resell it. If he chooses to sell his produce in MANDI he still have to pay excess percentages to commission agents.
Due to lack of awareness and communication, farmers are not able to connect to their end consumers (i.e. food industries) and complete the documentation needed to sell their produce.
Great Companies: What are the various Services provided by RaamSetu Agrotech Private Limited?
Palash Dhawade: Raam Setu is a network-centric B2B trade platform, designed specifically for medium & large scale farmers in India. It brings farmers and buyers on to a single platform. Driven by technology, on time 24 x 7 active bidding systems allow farmers to trade their produce directly to food industries, across India.
Great Companies: What makes RaamSetu Agrotech Private Limited different from hundreds of other similar service providers?
We are the first private online platform who is auctioning the agro commodities to food industries. Our competitive bidding system with huge demands provides best cost to the farmer since their buyers are food industry.
Farmer can sell their product anywhere in the country from the comfort of his place and in his own language. Farmer does not need to bear transportation, labor and packaging charges to mandis as our platform procures it from buyer which results in farmer’s benefit.
Our android application is specially designed for farmers. Its user interface is as simple as it can get to understand and anyone can use it with ease.
24*7 online servers to keep the bidding system active, AI and call support to assist the farmer with their problems.
Great Companies: What are the struggles and challenges you face?
Palash Dhawade: It was difficult and time consuming task at the beginning to switch farmers to our system from their traditional trading system but eventually they started realizing the benefits of switching.
Apart from that we needed a large chunk of money in order to manage company’s cash flow as the payments from food industries takes 7-10 working days to process.
Great Companies: How do you plan to grow in the future? What does 5 years down the line look like for RaamSetu Agrotech Private Limited?
Palash Dhawade: We want to be the next Alibaba of India. A complete organized B2B marketplace for all the agriculture products and direct supply chain from farmers to food industries, eliminating all the middlemen and brokers of the current traditional trading systems followed in APMC mandi’s.
Great Companies: If you had one piece of advice to someone just starting out, what would it be?
Palash Dhawade: You will definitely fail. Success will not look like what you have in mind and is only achievable if you don’t give up as you will fail along the way. Be prepared to pivot, be comfortable with being wrong, and expect everything to fall short of your goals. Winning will come but only if you’re the deserving one.