Gramophone: Leveraging Technology to Eliminate Information Asymmetry amongst Farmers

Tauseef Khan, Nishant Vats, Harshit Gupta & Ashish Singh,Co-foundersWith 65 percent of the Indian economy dependent on agriculture, farmers are without doubt the backbone of the Indian economy. Though India is no longer an "agricultural economy", about 70 percent of its rural households are still dependent on agriculture for their livelihood. However, despite a major section of the society employed in the agricultural industry, there are still a number of grey areas which require immediate attention. Primarily, lack of education or sources, and limited access to information can directly translate the efforts into low efficiency, low-productivity crops, trapping many farmers in a vicious cycle of poverty. However, higher quality or accurate data delivered through expert advisory channel at every stage of production can potentially help the farmers to make better decisions in choosing high yield variety seeds, higher quality crop protection medicines and other agriculture inputs. Understanding the need for an efficient advisory partner to enlighten the Indian farmers, Indore based Gramophone is one such firm which strives to create a difference in farming sector by driving timely information, technology and supplying right kind of inputs to the farmers in order to
achieve better yields.

Gramophone is a one-stop solution for farmers which ensures the supply of better quality agriculture inputs and increases RoI in each production by integrating both the advisory and sale of inputs under a single digital roof

Set up in 2016, Gramophone is a one-stop solution for farmers which ensure the supply of better quality agriculture inputs and increases RoI in each production by integrating both the advisory and sale of inputs under a single digital roof. Enabling one-of-its kind automated crop advisory mechanism, Nishant Vats, Co-Founder of Gramophone, says, “We've blended our agricultural knowledge with our good team of agronomists and via technology we have made this available to hundreds and thousands of farmers today. With our unique application, we have enabled the farmers to recognize the problems, and with just one click of a button they have the best solutions. Very few farmers understand the technical aspect of farming like scientific name of a particular disease; what they are concerned about the medicines and the dosage that should be taken i.e. actionable information. Our platform provides information in a way that solves his problem which, he can understand.” In addition to crop advisory, the firm also owns an e-commerce platform that brings in transparency across the Indian agriculture network through selling of high-standard and
premium quality agriculture inputs ranging from seeds to heavy hardware.

Established in 2016 as a call centre model of business, Gramophone has already grown 10 folds further by 2017, hence, emerging as a promising Agriculture Intelligence system empowering thousands of farmers across MP. Gramophone has received several recognitions which include the Indian Council of Food and Agriculture award for Best AgriTechnology Startup from Union Minister Suresh Prabhu. Working hand-in-hand with 60,000 – 70,000 farmers, Gramophone is effortlessly receiving almost 30-40 percent increase in their productivity per acre. “At Gramophone, we know that technology plays an important role in solving problems at scale, hence we have digitized cropping practices and will make them available to masses in a localized format. We believe that – ‘Understanding the customer well and building the right team are important’, and this is what gives us an edge over our competitors,” shares Ashish.

With the vision to become a platform connected to ‘one million farmers’, Gramophone team is aligning its future roadmap with the evolving market and technological trends. The company has opened a technology centre in Bangalore. Looking ahead, Gramophone is trying to introduce more advanced technological tools on its application with the help of Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence. The skilled team is constantly working on latest technologies that are bound to enable more regional languages and automated options for crop advisory and more advanced measurements for soil mapping and pest and disease diagnosis.