13 Things They Don't Tell You About Traceability in Agribusiness

As per Data Bridge Market Research, "Food Traceability market is expected to rise to an estimated value of USD 24.49 billion by 2026". Agribusinesses worldwide are not investing on Traceability for altruistic reasons. Agribusiness leaders understand that Traceability can be used as a competitive weapon, as a mechanism of changing the market environment they currently exist in.
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Snakes and Ladders of Traceability

All games have morals; and the game of Snakes and Ladders captures, as no other activity can hope to do, the eternal truth that for every ladder you hope to climb, a snake is waiting just around the corner, and for every snake, a ladder will compensate." - Salman Rushdie, Midnight's Children I will be turning 34 in few days and my mood has been thankfully sombre. I have enough hair and reasons to think about my grey hair. And if that weren't enough, eyeing an additional margin, my amazing barber has been reminding me of it every single time we meet. No thanks mate! I prefer to sprinkle my life with some salt and pepper please!
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Seven Steps to Design, Build and Scale Traceability for Agri-Input Firms

During the recent International Seed Testing Association Congress 2019 held in Hyderabad, Sanjay Agarwal, Union Agriculture Secretary promised that the Indian Government will introduce the seed traceability software by June 2020. And much earlier, Telangana State Seed and Organic Certification Authority (TSSOCA) announced that they have decided to use bar coding and quick response (QR) coding on the tags of certification during the ongoing Kharif season.
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Two Brief Lessons for Agri-Input Retailing from Amazon Prime

Can Agri-Input Retailing learn a lesson or two from Amazon Prime? What would it take to design an Amazon prime-equivalent channel relationship program for Agri-Input Retailers? Would it help build deeper relationship with the customers of Agri-Input Retailers?
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Does Your Agrochemical Product Have a Website?

No, I am not kidding. I am serious. I'll give you a moment to think about it. Does your Agrochemical Product have a website? Now say, you remove the word "Agrochemical" from the question above. Unless you've been living in a cave, the question can only meet one response: "Duh!!!". Obviously, any product, digital or otherwise, for it to be discovered needs a website. Why is it that this question becomes not so obvious when we talk about an agrochemical product in an emerging market context?
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How to Train Your Channel Loyalty Dragon?

Can the understanding of Loyalty programs across various industries teach us something about the unique challenges we face when we are designing Loyalty programs in agribusiness for trade channel partners such as distributors and more importantly, retailers, who remain the truest face of the brand? To address this important question, let us ask an everyday question: How does air line industry reward flyers with loyalty program miles?
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The Channel Loyalty Conundrum

Loyalty, by design, is a strategic, long-term game, and yet, most of our tactical decisions driving Loyalty are driven by short-term market cycles and ever-volatile demand cycles. Why do reward programs designed to build long-term relationship often end up doing a poor job of retaining the channel partners- agri-input retailers and dealers- in the long run? Why do reward programs, in the worst cases, instead of creating loyal channel partners, end up creating detractors who go out on a limb to spread malice about the brand among channel partners and more importantly, farmers? Addressing these questions lie at the heart of understanding this Channel Loyalty conundrum.
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The Politics of Channel Management

Channel, at the end of the day, is about stakeholders vying to control the distribution. The fundamental reason why you should study the channel and its structures of distribution (Tier-1, Tier-2) deeply is not to simply get "organized" or "efficient" upto the last mile for its own sake, but to gain political control over the channel. Otherwise, you risk someone else taking control. Allow me to spell the obvious truth. There is no such thing as a "disorganized" channel. Every state of "organization" of channel is a means of control for somebody. And If you don't know who that is, it probably isn't you. As we build platforms which manage the channel through machine intelligence, it becomes all the more critical to understand who benefits from a particular structure of distribution. That's why I want to talk today about the politics of Channel Management. Shall we dive in?
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Channel and the Truth About Agri-Input Marketing

The other day, Pran Arora, Deputy Managing Director at Sumitomo Chemical India Pvt.Ltd, wrote a post in LinkedIn which made me pause and think. Provocative perhaps? At first blush, one wonders, "Of course, Indian agri-input sector has seen phenomenal marketing work succeed at a ground level."Haven't we seen Indian farmers adopt Bt. Cotton faster than most farmers in other parts of the world?" But, is that the complete picture? The question, perhaps, to ponder is: What influences the buying behaviour of Indian farmers, when it comes to agri-inputs? Is it the power of the channel or the power of the last-mile activity led field marketing?
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Finding the Promised #Agtech Neverland

When Vani Kola, Managing Director, Kalaari Capital, and the host of the recently concluded one-day conference in Bangalore, titled "The Promise of Agritech: Food for 1.32 billion and beyond..” welcomed me and the guests, a motley bunch of Agripreneurs, Agri-investors, Agritech professionals and Agri-startup hopefuls, she was honest to admit that she saw the reading on the Indian Agtech wall late in the game. Going by her candid remarks, it was clear that the tone of the day was set with a strong case for pragmatic optimism.

How rigorous is this case for Indian #Agtech?

If you are one of those who prefer orgasm by numbers, I can peddle many. Here is the most important one from the sunny side.

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Should agri-input manufacturers outsource e-commerce to startups?

Now, when we work with this question, depending on where the stress is placed, it contains many questions - all of which are real questions - asked again and again when you think deeply about bringing digital transformation to agriculture. Here are few possible versions:

1) Should agri-input manufacturers outsource e-commerce to startups?

2) Should agri-input manufacturers outsource e-commerce to startups?

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Big Ag Vs Small Ag: Who wins?

On one end, Big Ag is becoming huge. Really huge. Here is the icing on the Big Ag cake, when UPL bought Arysta for $4.2 Bn cash deal, earning itself a spot in the Top 5 Agrochemicals by combined revenue. By the time dust settled in, Excel Crop Care Board approved its merger with Japan’s Sumitomo Corp, with the combined entity valued at 9000 crores.

How does one make sense of these numbers? Frankly, to me, these numbers don't reveal anything beyond big gets bigger, until you get down to specifics. And when you do that, you start realizing the humungousness of the wave we are in. Take a look at this 2015 seed market data set, stitched together from the Competition Commission of India report about Bayer-Monsanto merger deal. It is fascinating.

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Meet neoInt, a better way to organize Agribusiness Intelligence for agri-input firms.

I am excited to announce here the launch of neoInt platform my team has been building over the last two years. Meet neoInt, a new Agribusiness Intelligence Platform for agrochemical and seed companies which offers a better way to organize crop, channel, market and field as one central source of truth.
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Defining the #Agritech Platform Stack

Almost five years have passed. Numerous books have been written. Innumerous blog posts have been And we are still not sure, if we mean the same thing when we say we are building a platform. And there is one more problem. We are not sure if we are building Platforms or Aggregators. They both sound the same, no? And lest you think, how does it matter, remember this. Many anti-trust battles worth billions have been fought over this "academic" distinction between Platforms and Aggregators.
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3 Dashboards Every Agri-Input Marketing Leader Needs

If you get down to fundamentals, the fundamental premise behind every dashboard is simple. When you "see" pictures containing statistical graphics, you "hope" that they trigger reasoning out the quantitative information encapsulated in it. And if you've spent a good amount of time in the Enterprise world, you would know how far we are from realizing this promise.
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3 Things Agri-Input Retailers Want from #AgTech

Data.Gov.In 2014 data from the Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers estimate around ~2Lakhs retailers and 22,000 wholesalers selling chemical fertilisers in India. My friend Sunny Narang often used to share this folk wisdom about India. "Har Barah Kos Khana aur Boli badalti hai" (Every 30-40 kms the food and dialect/language changes). Acknowledging this traditional Indian wisdom, can we start looking at broader generalizing patterns? What do Indian Agri-Input Retailers want from #Agtech?
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P&G Startup Challenge and the Beautiful Last Mile Problem

Data.Gov.In 2014 data from the Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers estimate around ~2Lakhs retailers and 22,000 wholesalers selling chemical fertilisers in India. My friend Sunny Narang often used to share this folk wisdom about India. "Har Barah Kos Khana aur Boli badalti hai" (Every 30-40 kms the food and dialect/language changes). Acknowledging this traditional Indian wisdom, can we start looking at broader generalizing patterns? What do Indian Agri-Input Retailers want from #Agtech?
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