Published: 28th May 2021
Here's how this LPU grad's online marketplace for everything agriculture can change the game
Agrohub went live in January 2020 and already has more than 300 verified registered vendors across 100 cities, with over 850 products listed on the site
Born and brought up in Ludhiana, farms have always been very close to Nitika Bhatia's heart. So much so that after completing her BTech in Computer Science Engineering, (2012-16) from Lovely Professional University in 2016, she has been trying to bring the entire agricultural sector online. She may not have managed to achieve that yet, but what she has finally come up with is an online marketplace for farmers — Agrohub — which is like Flipkart for farmers across the country. She co-founded Agrohub with her brother Neeraj Rajput and Mandeep Grewal last year.
Even though she had job offers from multiple companies she stuck to her dream of becoming an entrepreneur, said Nitika. "LPU helped me open up to myself and realise my dream. My mentor Sumit Mitto encouraged me to participate in various competitions, including a 24-hour hackathon which helped me get the exposure that I needed," said Nitika.
By the time she graduated she knew what she wanted. And agriculture was the first thing that came to her mind. "Agrohub is a platform for agriculture and allied industries. We are connecting all kinds of producers dealing in agricultural goods with the buyers and the end consumers," she added. But more than 60 per cent of India does not have an internet connection and the urban folk do not engage in agriculture — so how will an online model work? "We have a call centre setup where the farmers can reach out to us and for this, you don't even need a smartphone. We help them connect with the concerned businesses and do away with the middleman. They can directly call the genuine distributor and get the machinery or equipment they need," she added.
It's not just about connecting the two parties though. Agrohub also verifies the businesses that connect with them. "Often, the farmers do not know which equipment is genuine or what the best fit for them is and they get duped in the market. We help them get genuine products for the right price. The reception from the businesses has been stupendous as well. When we went out to market research, they liked the idea so much that they took a paid subscription as well," added Nitika.
Agrohub went live in September 2020 and already has more than 300 verified registered vendors across 100 cities, with over 850 products listed on the site.