Gramophone, Dehaat and the Wave of Integrators

Plus! Update on an Upcoming Panel Discussion Event on 'Farm to Fork'

Dear Readers,

Welcome to the Sunday Digest Edition of Agribusiness Matters.

Last Friday, I sent out my first article of 2021 to subscribers. Dehaat, Gramophone and the Evolution of Retail in Agriculture.

I defined evolutionary stages of retail in agriculture and mapped Dehaat’s offerings across the spectrum of evolution. As it turns out, Dehaat has their pie in each and every stage of evolution. So is the case with Gramophone, save for the final stage, which they will eventually get into, if my reading is right.

When I earlier spelled out “The Wave of Integrators”, it came from watching several agritech players integrating agri-input and agri-output ends of supply chain at various levels of scale, across forward and backward linkages. This has great deal of consequences in the way we are thinking about “Farm to Fork”.

Here is the most easiest way to misinterpret what’s happening at “Farm to Fork” in an Indian context: Compare the price you are getting at the farm gate vis-a-vis the price you pay as an urban consumer, and start making wishful calculations about the kind of margins you can make as an app-based middle-man, instead of the traditional middle-man whom the farmers have been interacting with.

It’s only when the rubber hits the road one often stumbles upon this truth that not all costs between the farm and the fork can be absorbed through technology.

And so, when you want to talk sensibly about “Farm to Fork”, you have to go all the way back to the seed and the soil. Integrator business models are about bridging the seed and the soil with the vagaries of the market and ensuring that you are able to give farmers both an assured buyer and an assured price.

Talking of “Farm to Fork”, I have an upcoming panel discussion event happening tomorrow, under the auspices of Pusa Krishi, innovation hub to encourage and support agriculture-focused startups at ICAR-IARI, New Delhi.

To be honest, I am feeling a little nervous about sharing the dais with industry luminaries like Sagar Kaushik, Dr. Ramesh Chand and of course, my mentor, Jagadeesh Sunkad.

Do tune in here, if you are keen on attending the event. Would love to see you there.

Enjoy Your Sunday,