Special Startup Series: Digital marketplace for natural fibre

Bengaluru based ReshaMandi is a never before tried farm-to-fashion digital ecosystem for the natural fibre supply chain

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

Mayank’s foray into fashion was unexpected as he was initially preparing to get into IITs. But it was during a conversation with a counsellor in his school days at Air Force Vidya Bharati School in Gwalior, he got motivated to pursue a career in either fashion or aerospace. Ultimately, he chose to study fashion at NIFT,  where he got the opportunity to interact with a lot of stakeholders from the industry and understand the gaps that were present in the supply chain.
Mayank credits his wife for her significant support throughout the journey so far. “She and my one-year-old son would come down with me to meet with the farmers because the goal was to forge relationships and and my family supported me tremendously to make that happen,”
Marching on with 20X growth
Financially, ReshaMandi has made tremendous strides. In a short span of two years, the company clocked a 1909% growth climbing from Rs. 20 crore in FY20-21 to Rs. 413.8 crore in FY 21-22 and recently crossing Rs 1248.3 crore in revenue for  FY 22-23 (till December 2022). The 20x growth it experienced in FY22 provided much required impetus to the company. Continuing to experience significant growth this year too, it hit EBITDA profitability in Q3 of FY23 and is on track to become net profit positive in the coming two quarters.
“We have already expanded our operations overseas in the Middle East, and South East Asia and are now looking at expanding in the US and Europe. Besides this, our team is also looking at expanding our current range of silk, cotton, viscose, and linen, and experimenting with new categories like sisal and banana, while opening up new segments in wool, jute, and blends,” says Mayank Tiwari while sharing his future plans.
“We are open to collaborating with the right set of people and organizations who share our desire to make a difference. We undoubtedly have ambitions to improve our tech infrastructure and draw in the kind of expertise that will aid in our business expansion. For now, we are focusing on scaling our profits so that we are not solely reliant on external capital for our operations.” he adds.
Way forward
As per IBEF the Indian textile industry is currently ~USD 138 Bn market and is projected to reach ~USD 195 Bn by 2025. In this context, ReshaMandi has the opportunity to cater to ~USD 18.5 Bn worth of natural fibre market in India.
The company sees itself becoming one of the largest platforms in the world for mapping the supply, demand, merchandising, automation, and capital needs in the natural fibre supply chain.  The full-stack digital ecosystem provided by the company has significantly impacted farmers, weavers, reelers, retailers, and other associated stakeholders by generating profits and increasing operational efficiencies.
Mayank believes that by incorporating automation and digitization, the sector can maximize scalability, efficiency, and profitability. “Government officials and industry stakeholders alike should focus on enhancing the ecosystem’s supporting infrastructure to aid in building the industry,” he opines.
“As we continue to scale the business we aim to be the one-stop sourcing solution not just in India but also across the globe,” Mayank signs off.