Superstores, e-commerce platforms & AGRI-TECH are all the same

Why do we have multi-cuisine restaurants, super-stores having aisles after aisles, hospitals having pharmacy, online stores having categories after categories. I thinks it’s because everyone wants convenience of a one-stop-solution. It’s a win-win situation. Business gets better & efficient, while customers get convenience & needed benefits.

Let’s take this to agriculture & specifically to agritech in India. Farmers (consumers) need interventions throughout the crop life cycle starting from planning, quality inputs, advisory, mechanization, output linkage and credit. A perfect recipe for creating a one-stop-shop or what we call full-stack platform.

But it’s a common theme in agritech startups, where motivated founders are trying to solve, 1 or maybe 2/3 legs of this problem, leaving the farmers in dilemma & confusion for (h)is/er complete needs, side effects of which for businesses is higher CAC, lower retention & establishing trust.

I think “Full Stack Hybrid Platforms” is the need of hour to overcome these challenges of farmers as well as build a valuable business, which are sticky, has better GM & ROI.

Case can also be made for a platform approach if we look at demographics & challenges for agritech businesses. A startup spends resources, $$$’s & effort to reach rural ecosystems, build trust & drive sales. If there are different startups working on different legs of agri problems, total $$ spent in reaching the same farmer, in worst case could be 4X-5X of what it could have been.

As with any technology stack, there could be three ways you could rest these layers.

  1. Vertically – Specialized platforms solving all the problems for a specific-similar set of farmers.
  2. Horizontal – Platforms that provide solution to one problem, but across diverse set of farmers.
  3. Hybrid – Platforms that solve all problems of a specific leg of supply chain, but cross-breeds horizontally to drive value across the ecosystem.

Alternatively,  there will always be misc categories of platforms like open source platforms for integrators, collaboration platforms etc, which eventually act as power-generators for more holistic full-stack platforms.

We at ReshaMandi believe, a full-stack hybrid model is the way forward to not only organize agri-businesses, but to also cross-cut into the supply chain. In our case it is SILK.

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