Rajasthan based startup opens an online Mandi for farmers

Apna Godam, the first notified online mandi of Rajasthan, strives to bring mandi to the farmer’s doorstep. The sole motive is to help the farmers to sell their commodities to the best buyer across the country. Spare a few minutes to know more about the initiative.

Grew up in a business-class (Arhatiya) Family

The founder and the CEO of Apna Godam, Mr. Sanjay Agarwal, was born and raised in Jaipur. After graduation, he qualified for CA and CS in 2003. He was employed at HDFC bank for the next 11 years. In 2015, he started his company ‘Apna Godam,’ which provides warehousing and finance facilities for the farmer’s produce. In 2019, after securing the license from the government of Rajasthan, Apna Godam became the first notified online mandi of Rajasthan.

Nudge behind the venture

Since childhood, he has closely watched the working of APMC, where his father works as a registered Arhatiya. APMC follows an auction-based transaction method. During the process, big farmers with large produce get benefitted. In contrast, small and marginalized farmers have less bargaining power as their produce is relatively small, and eventually, these farmers suffer for selling their crops at low prices. Mr. Sanjay Agarwal narrates, “This encounter becomes the driving force for me to become an entrepreneur.”

Warehousing Facility

All the warehouses were established near the consumption areas (APMCs); Apna Godam brought an alternative to the same by opening warehouses near production areas, i.e., farms, and makes it convenient for farmers as it saves their transportation and other costs. It charges a nominal fee of 10/- per quintal per month, including insurance and preservation. Conventional Warehouses have a fixed stack size of 150 MT, but Apna Godam launched a MIX Stacking Method in which the farmer or small traders can deposit small quantities. Process of Stock deposit /withdraw/ Sell is digital and REAL time settlement through Wallet.

Finance Facility

The depositor can avail of digital commodity finance with the help of mobile applications in just one click from the Banks / NBFCs available on the Shelf. The best part is that the farmer/ aggregator does not need to close the loan before selling the commodity. He/she can sell it online, and the loan will be automatically (in Real Time) adjusted from the sales proceeds.

Spot Trade-Anaj ki Ola Uber

This pilot project was commenced to bring the best price and commodity buyer to the farmer per se. It works on a Phygital concept. In this process, when the farmer wants to sell the specified amount of commodity, the online platform runs the algorithm through AI and shows the list of the best possible buyers across the country. Then, the nearest agent does all quality checks, packing, loading, and transportation. The moment the commodity leaves the farm, the farmer gets the payment directly in the account. This is how you place the commodity physically but sells it digitally. “It is easier to explain the users saying Anaj ki Ola Uber.”, said Sanjay Agarwal.

Future plans

Presently, for procurement Apna Godam has its presence in 5 districts and 9 villages in Rajasthan. It desires to reach out to every district of Rajasthan within two years. It also wants to expand its distribution centres (currently in six states) to all states throughout India.
The company has applied for an online Mandi license in Madhya Pradesh and Direct Marketing License in Uttar Pradesh and will very soon start procurement at all distribution centers.

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