The Disruptors: How this app for farmers and growers is streamlining food production
PUBLISHED: 11:36 04 March 2020 | UPDATED: 11:50 04 March 2020
Founded in 2013, KisanHub is smoothing communication between every aspect of the food supply chain. The latest in The Disruptors video series, co-founder and COO Giles Barker explains how it has modernised the agricultural industry.
Tell us about Kisanhub.
The Kisanhub online platform and app connects everyone in the food supply chain - from the farmer to the packaging and transport operators getting food into markets. Our technology allows companies to analyse their growers' data all in one place - like satellite crop images and weather data - so they can make better data-driven decisions, including when to plant, harvest, and how to manage crop storage. With a growing customer base in both the UK and globally, we support the management of over £60million worth of food.
What was the opportunity you identified that led to the launching the business?
Myself and co-founder Dr Sachin Shende come from agricultural backgrounds so we understand the challenges facing the industry. We're passionate about making growing food easier and ensuring food security for the next generations, and we saw that there was a clear gap in the market for software that allowed the food production industry to connect, collect data and discover new solutions together.
Through supporting the farming community and supplier groups and improving communication we believe we can make the process easier for everyone.
How did you use invention and innovation to disrupt the market?
Our knowledge of the food supply chain has helped us to build the digital tool that the industry had been asking for. The platform gives growers a level of accuracy and prediction never seen before, including satellite imagery data, weather forecasting, crop monitoring, pest and disease predictions, quality tracking with market suitability and yield models. KisanHub has been designed to be easily and quickly integrated with other farm management systems and logistics systems.
What were the challenges you faced along the way and how did you learn from them?
To begin with we didn't spend enough time with customers, which had ramifications for our product development. Now we have a regular Customer Advisory Board meeting, which ensures regular contact with them, and a chance to hear the issues they're encountering.
What's been your proudest moment so far?
Hearing from customers how the platform has changed their lives for the better and winning several prestigious awards. Last year we also raised £3.4million in Series A funding from three venture capital investors - this enables us to build upon signing deals with two of the five largest global food and beverage companies in the world.
If you were starting from the beginning again, what would you do differently?
Spend more time with our prospective customers at the initial stages of KisanHub. You should always make time to meet with your current and future customers - it helps you to understand their daily challenges as well as their long term vision for their business.
What would be your advice to someone launching a disruptive startup?
Be bold and be the change you want to see in the world. Having clarity of purpose is vital, you need to know why you're disrupting as opposed to simply 'upsetting' the industry.
What are your plans for the future?
To revolutionise the way supply chains move food, from the field to fork. We want to be the online solution that connects every fresh produce supply chain in order to streamline the different stages our food goes through and iron out the inefficiencies.
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