Bangalore-based leading digital aggregator in agritech space, Ergos The Grain Bank, aims to further expand the footprint to 650 locations with revenue growth of upto Rs. 1,800-2,000 crores by 2023-24. Ergos The Grain Bank has scaled across 26 districts in Bihar, 10 districts in Karnataka and 17 districts in Maharashtra with over 145,000 farmers actively engaging on the technology-based platform. They are adding 400-450 new farmers every day on its tech platform. After a huge success in Bihar, the company aims to strengthen its presence in Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra and enter a few more agriculturally rich states in the country.
Underlining The Grain Bank platform, Kishor Jha, Founder & CEO, Ergos The Grain Bank said, “Ergos has proven its business model in Bihar and recently entered the other key markets. With the response from the farming community and food processors, we aim to grow 3X Y-o-Y comfortably with a targeted revenue of INR 1800-2000 crore by next year.”
Ergos The Grain Bank banks on grain digitisation, cutting-edge ‘mobile-first’ technology by an in-house full stack tech team headed by CTO Umesh Gowda. Speaking on the interventions being made by Ergos, he said, “Grain digitisation is building a scalable, mobile-first technical platform where Ergos intervenes in the entire life cycle of the farmer using technology. We are also gearing towards monitoring the crops through satellite images, provide soil-based crop and input advisory, and produce-market connect, everything in real-time, through smart-price-engine.”
Grain Bank enables farmers to convert their grains into tradable digital assets, avail credit like an overdraft facility against those assets through partner banks and NBFCs in a few minutes, and get better prices for their produce with a scope to optimise their income by 30-40 per cent in one season easily.
Highlighting the financial freedom being provided to the farmers, Ashutosh Sinha, Business Head, Ergos said, “Grains are farmers’ reservoir of wealth but access to liquid cash flow has been a challenge for small and marginal farmers in India. With technology being the key enabler, farmers can use Ergos’ Grain Bank mobile app platform as a live ATM to convert their grains into money transferred to their account any time, within seconds. The platform empowers them by giving them the power to negotiate, manage their working capital, cash flow for other household requirements and gives them a window to save money and optimise their income.”
“High adoption of Ergos’ Grain Bank app among farmers in Bihar boosted our confidence to replicate the model in UP, Karnataka and Maharashtra within six months of the launch with 50 per cent occupancy through farmer adoption. As we speak, close to 20-30 per cent of farmers are engaging through the app, creating a digital footprint for better understanding of farmers’ requirements and behaviour,” Kishor further added.
Focused to empower the small and marginal farmers by giving them access to liquid cash flow, the integrated platform addressed the entire ecosystem which surrounds them. This includes lenders and banks enabling loans as small as INR 70,000, local food processors and buyers who are using Grain Bank Buyers mobile app to procure grains directly from the farmers at any time in any quantity and get the physical delivery within an hour.
Nearly 50 per cent of the households in the vicinity of the Ergos Grain Bank location are connected through smartphones today, indicating how out of 140 million farmers in the country, close to 70 million farmers are already using smartphones and just need a bit of handholding and assistance for the first few transactions.
Aligned with the Government’s vision of Digital India and Bharat Connect which brings the rural landscape on the internet connectivity map, Ergos aims to empower each farmer and enable them to use Grain Bank mobile app to manage their finance, where they can sell, borrow, and preserve their grains.
Ergos is constantly building the tech capability of the Grain Bank app to execute 10,000-12,000 transactions initiated by farmers and buyers in ‘one second’ which is the speed required to service 12-13 million farmers in the next 3-4 years for executing secured transactions worth of INR 12,000-14,000 crore for one season crop yield on Grain Bank platform and to facilitate worth INR 4,000-5,000 crore small tickets short term farmer loan on this platform.
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