Agriculture is the backbone of the Indian economy, even then the latest technological advancements that other major sectors have benefited from, has largely not touched agriculture yet. DestaGlobal was founded with an objective to benefit the farming ecosystem by marrying technology with inherent strengths of the existing ecosystem.
Siddhartha Choudhary, one of the men behind this innovative venture, has previously served as the Chief Revenue Officer at a leading Agtech company and has spent years building seed businesses at an Agri MNC. Having successfully run the e-commerce product for 5 years Desta now has 100+ manufacturers and 2500 dealers as buyers on their platform. The enterprise built farmer and dealer mobile applications so as to be able to build in virality in the system and to make it easy for stakeholders to access e-commerce. With this, they plan to bring a large scale sustainable impact on the industry.
Ron the founding investor was to initially implement this idea in Africa. He had a chance meeting with Nishant, a gold medalist from ISB, and the idea was implemented in India. Siddhartha later joined the team of DestaGlobal as the CEO, and he is now also the co-founder of the company. Everyone in the DestaGlobal team has an agricultural background and has worked in the agriculture industry in some or the other way.
Desta ServicesDestaGlobal is an e-commerce B2B platform which brings together the Agricultural manufacturers and the dealers on one platform. This helps the farmers to get the choicest of the products easily,that too, at discounted rates. The farmer, the most important stakeholder, saves 15% more than any other channel using the app called Siddhi Kisan. DestaGlobal also has a mobile application for the dealers. This application allows the local dealers to promote their products and services to the nearby farmers and increase their customer base. The application has an easy user interface so that people who aren’t familiar with technology can also easily operate them. The app also helps the dealer understand the market by giving insights on consumer behavior. This helps them make the right business decisions. Today, 94,000+ farmers all over Maharashtra are using this app.
The applications are designed in such a way that the Dealer and the Farmer app work in sync with each other. So when a dealer uploads a new product with a discount, the farmers can see them on their app and book those products. It has taken the company years to form a strong platform, and evolution at each step happened because the organization works very closely with dealers, farmers, and manufacturers. Sharing a short story on how the reverse auction section was built on the apps. The team was conducting a farmer meeting at a village in Satara. It was early stage of app development, hence the app displayed limited products on discount. When the farmers started asking about the products they wanted, we noted them down along with quantity they needed and date they required those on their farm. We then approached the nearby dealers who met the requirements of the farmers. We knew that this exact process that we managed manually was very crucial for our success. That night during the meeting itself, we had decided to automate this process by bringing it on the app. We only took a week to build this feature! And now farmers post individual or bulk requirements on the app, which gets broadcasted to dealers near them, who in turn bid with their best rates.
“I have been known to think about the customer first. At a personal level, I strive to make my (and the organization’s) work meaningful. The higher purpose for us is that in our daily routine work, we are adding tremendous value to farmers and dealers. Our education degrees and work experience is a waste if we are not giving back to the society”, says Siddhartha, Co-Founder, DestaGlobal
DestaGlobal is a unique e-commerce platform, as it uses the strengths of the local ecosystem. While every other online player home delivers to farmers, Desta works in partnership with the dealers. The enterprise works with the community leaders to promote the app benefits and to share knowledge.
“I have stayed at farmers home to understand his life, his struggles, and his aspirations. I have spent years trying to solve the distribution, inventory, pricing and credit challenges the dealer faces”, Siddhartha Choudhary.
There is a lot of focus on Agriculture and hence many companies are focusing on this sector. In Siddhartha’s view though there is no such thing as competition in agriculture. There are many new challenges that the farming sector faces every season and to solve them all and add value to the growers is not a job for few companies. The sum of all the efforts will only improve this sector.
One of the major reasons of success in the industry are the two main strategies DestaGlobal is working on to take the enterprise further-
● A Decentralized System- The farmers and the dealers are trained on the ground utilizing local resources. The team also sends video tutorials in local languages regularly so that they can use the apps to the maximum benefit. The app connects the farmers and dealers after reading their geo-location. So the system is such that the local communities can come together and make it operational. They also work with village influencers, called Krishidoot, around 100 of them are working to spread the good word about DestaGlobal tech and have brought 1500 farmers to the platform.
● Self-Sustenance- dealers are incentivized to get their farmers on the app. Manufacturers and dealers are running amazing schemes for the farmers so now farmers have the best of brands available at great discounts which helps bring more farmers to their system.
The organization has ground presence in 5 districts while the farmer and dealer apps have been downloaded in 8-10 other districts. So in the districts with no ground support they are finding value from the system and also building network on their own. We believe that this is very powerful and soon we will see the platform spreading to entire Agriculture regions of India.
Only a strong passion to change the scenario in the agricultural industry has taken the Enterprise this far. It is not every day that people get an opportunity to make a difference in other peoples’ lives, and the fact that DestaGlobal is able to do so is a greater motivator to take it further to scale new heights.
“I am lucky to work with people who are equally passionate about what they do. Everyone works long hours as they think it is required at this stage and because they love what we are building together. So for us achievement is important. Everyone is very competitive and we do have healthy debates but we are all part of a small family and we stay together. We do not have an HR person yet and we still have weekly recognition, rewards and performance appraisals”, Siddhartha Choudhary says on the DestaGlobal family.
And their client-relationship mantra? As simple as it could be, “We don’t over-promise, we are truthful and we are committed to delivering results for them. That is the principals we live by.”
Today DestaGlobal has about 100+ manufacturers, more than 2000 verified dealers and over 5000 plus Agri products that range in 45+ different categories.
What makes DestaGlobal Unique?
- DestaGlobal helps makes available perfect product portfolio at the right time, and the best price.
- They use marketing logic and technology to keep the farmer in the loop.
- The objective, to work on the Agri. input distribution and make a wide portfolio of products available to the farmers.