New Delhi: One of the features of a digital marketplace is that it simplifies the unorganized sector with benefits like transparency in pricing, capacity, production planning for stakeholders, and digital payments through KYC to name a few. However, it isn’t always easy to convince the users, especially in agriculture, to adopt such platforms.
“During the early days, it was difficult to convince the stakeholders of the benefits of using our platform. Having been used to the traditional methods it took a bit of persuasion to get them on board. However, when they witnessed the advantages of incorporating technology, all our stakeholders became our biggest supporters, says Mayank Tiwari, Founder & CEO of ReshaMandi, India’s first and largest farm-to-fashion digital ecosystem for the natural fibre supply chain.
An industry-first initiative, the Bengaluru based startup is a unique grassroots-level technology enabler that works with over 100,000+ farmers, 10,000+ reelers, 17,500+ weavers, and 18500+ retailers to digitize the entire supply chain. It allows them to buy the best products at a fair price, speeding up the time to market, and ensuring they have access to the best raw materials and testing tools. The platform aims to simplify the activities in the textile industry with the help of technology, with a primary goal to streamline the process and increase productivity and profits for all stakeholders.
“With the help of our technology interventions and people-first approach, we have helped farmers improve their productivity by 20% and boosted incomes by nearly 30% enabling them to afford better quality raw materials, higher quality labour, fertilizers, and other essential inputs, which in turn are pushing yields even higher. With the help of AI and IoT technologies, a farmer who was struggling with six crops is now producing 18 crops a year by crop rotation,” mentions Mayank.
Addressing the supply-chain & quality issues
The motivation behind digitizing the natural fibre supply chain was simply the gaps in the unorganized sector. Some of the problems affecting the sector included a lack of industry standardization, poor database administration, and a wide range of methods causing changes in output and quality, gaps in the supply chain including infrastructure constraints, credit constraints, and disparity in pricing. This led ReshaMandi to undertake a number of technological interventions which have assisted in removing the challenges that stakeholders in the industry were experiencing.
With help of ReshaMandi, farmers have been able to avail benefits like good farming practices, avoid long-distance travel, and also are able to sell cocoons at the nearest centers. Reelers can place bids for and buy cocoons in a hassle-free manner and have access to scientifically graded high-quality cocoons, facilitating quicker clearance of inventory and online payments. Weavers can get quality-assured yarn, better control of pricing via yarn grading, catalogue creation on the app, and market analysis & guidance to understand market trends.
“We have understood the needs that have to be addressed and we are working with several silk and cotton stakeholders and creating a positive impact on their livelihoods. With tech-enabled solutions, we have been successful in mitigating the problems faced by them, offering them convenience, helping them save time, and reap better profits,” informs Mayank.
The Foundation Story
The idea of ReshaMandi was the result of Mayank’s education and experiences at NIFT. The knowledge he acquired about the handlooms and handicrafts sector prepared him to explore a venture in the natural fibre industry. With a keen interest in fabrics, he identified significant issues in the supply chain that resulted in most stakeholders losing money and consumers having to pay a higher price for the end products. Finally, the idea of ReshaMandi became a reality in early 2020 when Mayank wrote to his childhood friend and co-founder of ReshaMandi, Saurabh Agarwal who was in the United States and at the peak of his career. Saurabh Agarwal is currently the CTO at Reshamandi.
“I sent Saurabh a one-slide presentation of my vision of ReshaMandi and convinced him for the same. That is how two buddies came together and embarked on this entrepreneurial journey,” says a nostalgic Mayank who used to answer every call from farmers and even drive to the farmland to meet them.
“With help of ReshaMandi, farmers have been able to avail benefits like good farming practices, avoid long-distance travel, and also are able to sell cocoons at the nearest centers”
Mayank Tiwari, Founder & CEO, ReshaMandi