This analytics company focused on agtech is using space technology and Machine Learning to develop a system of risk management that helps farmers mitigate risks before, during, and after harvesting of crops. They are promoting climate resilient smart agriculture practices and providing market linkages, from farm to fork.
The world of agriculture is complex and uncertain. It’s a fact that farmers are mostly the worst hit in the face of uncertainties and natural calamities. There is a need to address the pressing challenges with an approach that is lucid but capable of deciphering the multi dimensionality aspect of the agriculture ecosystem.
Leads Connect, an analytics company, is developing a system of risk management that helps farmers mitigate risks before, during, and after harvesting of crops, promoting climate resilient smart agriculture practices and providing market linkages, from farm to fork.
The Tech Panda spoke to Navneet Ravikar, Founder and Chairman and Managing Director of Leads Connect Services about the work they do.
We develop solutions with an aim to end the misery of all stakeholders of agriculture. And this intention pushed us to break the boundaries of conventional approach and of any kind of dogma
“These (farm to work) solutions will be provided to them in such a manner where ease of using the solution and understanding the significance of solution will not be a challenge for them. Instead, they should be delighted in adopting and implementing the solution due to the user-friendly nature of products or solutions and on ground presence of our support staff,” he says.
“Such solutions will certainly help in upscaling and will further be instrumental in strengthening the entire ecosystem of agriculture,” he adds.
The Leads Connect’s product is comprehensive in its scope and in the spectrum of solutions it covers.
“We develop solutions with an aim to end the misery of all stakeholders of agriculture. And this intention pushed us to break the boundaries of conventional approach and of any kind of dogma,” he recalls.
“So, we are compelled to adopt the principle of system sciences, where we, very cautiously, identify all dots or pressing challenges of the agri system, and then each challenge is addressed with appropriate technological intervention and field supervision,” he explains.
“Once this is done, these dots are studied in sync to decipher the interrelationship of these aspects using advanced technological frameworks. This helps in generating real time predictive insights that can be used for alerts and advisory services and yield prediction. In addition, this helps in creating a linkage between the farmer produce and market,” he adds.
What They Do
Ravikar explains that the comprehensive solution that Leads Connect aims to provide to farmers can be encapsulated in three keywords: accuracy, efficacy, and linkage.
“Our products and services aim to identify the real time pattern in farms with accuracy and precision using advanced technologies. This helps in identifying problems if there are any in the field. And if we observe any aberration that may affect the agricultural productivity, we provide timely alerts and corresponding pertinent advisory to mitigate the risks,” he says.
Leads Connect is clear in its vision and efforts that its solutions will bridge the gap between ‘farms’ and ‘optimal markets’ to bring the actual solution to the doors of farmers
“Finally, it’s always important to link the produce with the optimal market, otherwise, the overall essence of agricultural sustainability would be disturbed. So, Leads Connect is clear in its vision and efforts that its solutions will bridge the gap between ‘farms’ and ‘optimal markets’ to bring the actual solution to the doors of farmers,” he adds.
Space Technology, Analytics, & Machine Learning
The entire products and services ecosystem of Leads Connect is completely backed by technology. The company has a dedicated research and development cell named ‘Leads Research Lab’ and a dedicated Technology Division.
This clarifies their intention regarding the push in terms of research and technology intervention and implementation. The research lab has been engaged in different research activities and is making its presence in different scientific platforms.
Recently, the company conducted a national seminar on climate resilient agriculture and disaster management in which eminent experts from academia, research, industry, and social domains were associated.
“Our technology division is aggressively engaged into the development of products backed by cutting edge technologies,” says Ravikar.
In the past, the research team has also delivered services using technology to the nodal agencies of government. The services range from crop health assessment, claims and risk analytics, and yield estimation using space technology and Machine Learning algorithms.
In addition, the primarily field dependent services are monitored by a central team that makes use of space technology and analytics to assess accuracy and precision to avoid any aberration.
The Leads Connect USP
Leads Connect’s solutions are hybrid in nature and supported by system science principles to provide a one stop solution to all stakeholders. The company has a comprehensive pan India field presence, strongly supported by a back-end research and technology team. Any solutions developed by this team is rigorously tested by the field team in real time.
Besides a no compromise motto on accuracy, they also take care of the feasibility of implementation of the solutions, so that the developed solutions actually help farmers.
“We believe that solutions should not be confined to only discussions. The real success is in implementation without any hassle and inconsistencies,” says Ravikar.
Our aim and vision are aligned to solve the real issues of agtech ecosystem rather than having any edge over anybody. So, I would prefer to highlight the core strength of our solutions, which are promising and capable of hitting the right areas with finesse
When quizzed about competition in the market, Ravikar wishes everyone luck in their endevours.
“Our aim and vision are aligned to solve the real issues of agtech ecosystem rather than having any edge over anybody. So, I would prefer to highlight the core strength of our solutions, which are promising and capable of hitting the right areas with finesse,” he says proudly.
“It’s important to understand and acknowledge that everyone is trying their bit to contribute to address the humungous challenge of human civilization that is, ensuring agricultural sustainability. So, I wish all of them the very best of luck and my good wishes will always be with them,” he adds.
Origin & Inspiration
Ravikar began his career in 2007 from IFFCO Tokio General Insurance Company with a Bachelor’s degree in Electronics and Communication Engineering from MS Ramaiah Institute of Technology, Visvesvaraya Technological University, Karnataka and an MBA in Marketing from IBS Hyderabad.
In 2009, after quitting his job as a Manager in IFFCO Tokio, he founded Leads Connect Services Private Limited, an agtech and farm risk management company, and soon after a month, ventured into insurance brokerage, named, Leads Insurance Brokers Pvt. Ltd.
I began with zilch but had the drive and intention to contribute my bit very honestly to bring the lost smile of farmers. I still think in the same way
He became an entrepreneur because something within him pushed to address the issues of farmers. Farmers’ problems made him restless enough to quit his corporate job and embark on a journey with the only aim of solving the woes and plight of farmers.
“I began with zilch but had the drive and intention to contribute my bit very honestly to bring the lost smile of farmers. I still think in the same way. My focus is on the ‘issue’, and whenever any discussion hovers around me related to competition, I choose to focus only on ‘issues’ and my every bit of energy will always be towards solving the problem,” he says with passion.
“I believe, falling into the trap of ‘competition’ may end up only in ‘compartments’, but working passionately towards finding a solution for real ‘issues’ may open ‘infinite possibilities’,” he adds.
When Leads Connect started its journey in 2009, they developed a philosophy for solving the menaces of agriculture.
“With surgical efforts, we worked on the areas which need to be addressed aggressively to solve the plight of farmers,” he says.
The Leads Connect team has been working on appropriate interventions in terms of research and technology for developing solutions for farmers. The company is a pan India organisation with a presence spanning from Northeast, Northern, Central to Southern India. They are currently working in more than 100 districts of the country and have directly connected with thousands of farmers.
They have delivered services to the nodal agencies of governments and other organisations related to crop health analytics, claims and risk management analytics, crop cutting experiments, crop yield estimation and projects related to Remote Sensing/GIS as well.
In addition, they are currently engaged with a World Bank funded project in Assam and are also working in a project in Odisha funded by a foreign organisation.
In the future, the company has plans to become even more aggressive in their R&D and technology endeavours. In addition, says Ravikar, they will be putting more precise efforts in the direction of developing and implementing climate resilient frameworks across India along with disaster risk reduction frameworks.
Since the moment I decided to begin this journey, I have only one plan which has always been oriented towards developing solutions and products for bringing smiles in the world of farmers
“Since the moment I decided to begin this journey, I have only one plan which has always been oriented towards developing solutions and products for bringing smiles in the world of farmers. And so, the Leads Connect team shall keep working towards that tirelessly,” he says.