Here’s the truth: how we came about is actually by chance, not by choice or intent.
Like many Indian families, our story begins with sturdy grandfathers who were excellent farmers; a second-generation of parents tied to stable government and private jobs; and a third-generation who were audacious enough to try and attempt farming, sort of overly optimistic of how they can change the world.
I decided to pursue farming with the same audacious optimism. It wasn’t a pretty sight to see rows of coconut trees with no canopy on top – flags of defeat that the second generation left behind. My grandfather’s farm had turned into a fossil and I had to revive it.
And I failed miserably.
I failed because I didn’t know what inputs to provide to the crop everyday. I was dependent on a neighbour who seemingly knew a lot about the crop, but the truth was he knew jackshit too. This is the plight of farmers in our country–they all depend on neighbours and uninformed decisions that, in turn, give them bad yields.
The other mistake–neither I nor any of the other farmers knew what was going on inside the soil. We never take any measurements nor do we have anyone to consult with the test results. How primitive can we get being in an age of sensors, data and connectivity; we had to science a solution.
As engineers, we were initially biased towards providing crop stress reports to farmers using images and drones through our startup. But what the farmer needed was not a partial solution, but a full-stack solution where we hand hold them from sowing to harvest. That’s how we turned into a data science, precision agriculture and a full-stack production management company.