India is a country where 60 percent of our population depends on the agricultural sector and still the farmers of our country have to fight against hundreds of everyday problems. The government is yet to announce any major policy to improve their condition allowing loan waivers only in the direst situations. Our farmer brothers have to go through many challenges like lack of water, floods, better prices for the crops, the intervention of the middlemen, and dependence on the monsoon. Not only this, most of them are less educated and never get proper guidance which is the main reason for the losses they have to suffer.
In this scenario, it is the responsibility of the citizens to help these farmers in every possible way. But only a few people in our society really came forward to do something about it. Today, we are going to introduce you to such a person who understood this responsibility and started working for the betterment of these farmers after quitting his cushy corporate job. You will be surprised to know that more than 16,000 farmers are getting support from his campaign today.
We are talking about Shashank Kumar who is a cornerstone of an agricultural startup. He was born in a small town named Chhapra in Bihar but completed his early education at the prestigious Netarhat School. After this, he went to IIT Delhi and completed his BTech in Textile Engineering and passed out in 2008. He went ahead to get an MBA degree from IIT Delhi from its Management and Studies Department.
Well-equipped with a high-quality education, Shashank started his career as a management consultant. During his two-and-a-half-year corporate career, he worked in the area of the supply chain, retail, and FMCG. At that time, he worked for several leading FMCG companies and solved problems related to the secondary distribution network. Working with several well-known companies, he found many problems related to farmers. He noticed a huge disparity between what the customers paid and what the farmers got in return for their produce.
With the aim of maximizing the profit of the small and medium-scale farmers of India, Shashank, along with his friend Manish, started Farm and Farmers Foundation in 2011. He started this campaign from his hometown in Bihar. The foundation recruited an excellent team of people from the prestigious institutions of the country like IIT Kharagpur, IIM Ahmedabad, NIT Jamshedpur, ISM Dhanbad and won many awards for their unprecedented work around areas like micro-irrigation in Bihar.
While working through the Farm and Farmers Foundation, Shashank felt the need for technology to create a scalable working model to improve the efficiency and transparency in the agricultural value chain. In the year 2012, he co-founded a social entrepreneur firm Green Agrevolution and developed a technology-driven model Dehaat, which helped the farmers with queries related to seeds and markets. The Android version of Dehaat provides a stable interaction between the local micro-entrepreneurs, farmer groups, and Farmer Producer Organizations (FPOs) in a sustainable manner. The local farmers can use this service to access various services. So far, more than 10,000 farmers from more than 16 districts have associated with them and reaping the benefits of their organization.
Update As Of January 2021
As of January 2021, Shashank’s firm “Dehaat’ has raised $ 49.3 million (equivalent to more than 360 Crore INR). As of April 2020, the firm employed 242 people who looked after the operations of helping farmers with a loan and selling them sell their products to hundreds of bulk buyers. The company served a massive number of more than 210000 farmers through their regional hubs across Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, and Jharkhand. As of January 2021, the scale of operations is continuously growing.
Shashank had a very successful corporate career but still, he dared to come forward to help the needy farmers by leaving his secure job. Despite coming from the lower-middle-class family he quit his stable job to help the farmers. Youngsters like him truly have the strength to make India a super-power.
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