Khetigaadi.com is a Pune based startup founded by Pravin Shinde and Vishnu Dhas.
Being a farmer’s son, I’ve witnessed the hardships faced by the agricultural community closely. Khetigaadi was founded with an aim to address one of the major challenges of our country. Our farmers and the farming community are significant contributors towards the ecosystem and yet are the most neglected ones, says Pravin.
We at Bangalore Insider had the opportunity to catch up with Pravin , the founder of Khetigaadi.com and to know more about the startup, read his inspiring story.
Give a brief info about your startup?
Khetigaadi.com is world’s first and only destination for tractors and farm mechanization. It facilitates farmers to buy, sell and rent tractors and agricultural implements at a click. It has been established to encourage farm mechanization and usage of technology and hi-tech products in agriculture to optimize yield in less man-hours. It is not just an online market place to source agricultural implements along with advice and insurance assistance but is also a knowledge based advisory platform for the farming community.
What made you start your startup and what problem does it solve?
Being a farmer’s son, I’ve witnessed the hardships faced by the agricultural community closely. Khetigaadi was founded with an aim to address one of the major challenges of our country. Our farmers and the farming community are significant contributors towards the ecosystem and yet are the most neglected ones. Our core objectives are to educate them with right knowledge of farm mechanization, to encourage them to deploy it and optimize yield and of course to empower them with latest farming technology. We are already witnessing a positive difference with our initiatives amongst the farming community.
Tell us about yourself, your previous jobs/ventures? What were you doing before this startup?
I’m a graduate in Economics and a diploma holder in Agriculture Technology. I began my professional career by joining our family owned business dealing in fertilizers, pesticides and chemicals. After gaining a bit of market experience, I joined SAR Agrochemicals & Fertilizers Pvt. Ltd., which was founded by my elder brother. Today the company is amongst the finest manufacturers, suppliers, traders, distributors and Importers of range of Organic & Inorganic Fertilizers and currently I’m also the Founding Director of this company.
Where is your startup based out of? Why do you think that is the best place for you?
Though we are headquartered in Pune, Maharashtra; for an IOT model, it really doesn’t matter. The start-up’s idea is to reach out to a maximum number of farmers with the help of technology. We’re here to help no matter where the farmer hails from. Since each and everything is online, we are in a sustainable position to optimize our reach.
As a startup founder, what are you paranoid about? What keeps you awake at night?
The very fact that our farmers are the most neglected ones gets me paranoid. They in fact are the most important ones – our ‘Annadata’. My quest is to empower them, improve their current situation and bring them into the mainstream. They deserve limelight and I want the populace to realize how important their part is in our lives. My conscious is continuously hunting for novel ideas to better their situation.
Who are your competitions and how are you better than them?
We have built our platform after grass-root analyzation of problems and challenges faced by our farmers. To be honest, the platform is like no other. It is available in 9 regional languages with user-friendly interface. Built on high-tech angular technology, it is as safe as an online banking portal. We have made it available as an App in 10 regional languages and our website can be viewed in 3 different languages. The concept is techno-savvy and compatible with IOS as well as Android. We don’t just offer buying, selling and renting of farm equipment but also guide them to boost their confidence in decision-making. There are similar platforms in terms of concept but the kind of technology, information and knowledge we offer; is second to none.
How hard is it to have a work life balance as a startup founder and how do you manage it?
It’s not easy. I’m passionate about my work and thinking about our farmers comes naturally to me. I’m constantly thinking about how else can I offer them with solutions that will take away manual labour from their routine and at the same time fetch them good yield. So, I’m constantly on the job so to say. However, when it comes to family occasions and reunions, I do make time for them and compensate for my absence on other days.
Have you raised funding? If yes, then we would like to know the details. If no then please tell us if you are looking to raise.
Until now we haven’t sourced any funds. Going further we will look out for funds but in a value-added manner. We don’t just want investors who are ready to influx funds but want to choose the ones who are as passionate as us when it comes to farmers and their challenges. We are also looking out for mentoring skills in our investors that’ll help us take this platform on another level.
What’s the biggest misconception people have about you? Why do they have that? What’s the reality?
That I am an introvert. The fact is that I easily gel with only like-minded people and build long-lasting friendships.
What gets you excited about this company?
Almost everything about my work and this company excites me. Farmers, their challenges, our villages, techno-innovation in bringing about a positive change in the agricultural sector – all of this is very close to my heart.
Tell us how a day in your life looks like? Your schedule for a day right from the time you get up till you hit the bed at night.
I wake-up by 5.30 am and after freshening up I immediately get on to my emails. After a bit of emails-exchange, I spend some time with my family along until breakfast and reach office by 9.00 am. The day begins by scheduling meetings, planning activities and supervising its execution in the entire day. Once I’m done with my day at 6.30 pm, I hit the gym at 7.00pm. After gym, I head back home where I spend time with my family over dinner. I’m a voracious reader and I love to read motivational stuff, biographies of successful people and agricultural literature.
Tell us about your team and how did you meet each other?
We’re a team of 16 and most of them have been hired directly from the market. I met our COO & Director, Mr. Vishnu Dhas at an event, our bandwidths matched and we hit it off instantly. We share the same passion for farmers, farming and are continuously thinking about their betterment. What also mattered is that we both are farmers’ sons and hence comprehend the nuances of their situation as is.
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