Alumni Connect: My agriculture innovation can bring grassroot change, says Anil Laxman Lade

It was this dream that led him to create ‘Marketyard’, an innovative online application-based platform for the agricultural sector.

pune Updated: Dec 15, 2017 17:23 IST
Ananya Barua
Ananya Barua
Hindustan Times, Pune
Pune,Anil Laxman Lade,Symbiosis Institute of Telecom Management
Anil Laxman Lade. (HT PHOTO)

Anil Laxman Lade is an alumnus of Symbiosis Institute of Telecom Management, Pune, and graduated in 2016 in marketing and finance. Hailing from a family of farmers, despite his educational degree he has always been drawn towards contributing change to the sector. It was this dream that led him to create ‘Marketyard’, an innovative online application-based platform for the agricultural sector.

Tell us about your educational background? What kind of academic excellence did you achieve?

I pursued my Master's from the Symbiosis Institute of Telecom Management, Pune, in marketing and finance. In academics, I was an average student; but with a good track record in sports and extracurricular activities. I believe that only scoring good marks doesn't necessarily lead to a happy life, but chasing your dream and accomplishing it does. That is what I did and within a year of completing my education, I successfully launched my startup.

What happened after post-graduation?

After graduation, I got placed in a telecom infrastructure company as assistant manager. After working with organisation for six months, I realised this life wasn’t for me and decided to quit this nine-to-six job and build something on my own. Like most budding entrepreneurs, I had the dream to start-up, but to formulate an idea of innovation was the task. However, I was focused that my innovation will be in the agriculture sector which can bring grassroot-level change among farmers.

You now have a startup called Marketyard. Tell us about the journey?

I hail from an agriculture background and my family has been cultivating pomegranates for decades now. In these years of experience we have seen a recurrent trend at the grassroot level, where farmers, despite their yield, only fetch around 25 to 30 per cent of the price that customers eventually pay in the market. They lose out on what they deserve due to the existence of middlemen and commission agents. These are the people who control the market and transactions are mostly routed through them. I wanted to put an end to it, eliminate the middlemen and create a transparent platform where farmers could get their deserved price. Hence, Marketyard was born as a mobile platform to enable users to buy, sell and even rent almost “everything”, including agricultural produce, animal husbandry, farm equipment, and so on, without the interference of middlemen. Last year, we launched Marketyard and currently over 15,000 farmers are registered with us.

Has the career graph been steady?

So far, the journey with Marketyard has been interesting. We has received a good response from farmers and have seen a good adoption rate. So far, Marketyard have been recognised as the winner and runner-up at eight different startup events. We have a solution to one of the most pressing social challenges that farmers of India face today. In order to scale-up we are looking for support from the government and other related agencies. Unfortunately the government and investors are not very accessible nor are they very inclined towards the Ag-tech space currently.

What does the future look like?

Currently we have 15,000 registered members of which 80 per cent are farmers and 20 per cent are traders. In the next six months we wish to have at least pne lakh users from across Maharashtra. Also, at the beginning of 2018, we are planning to launch the Marketyard application, nationwide.

First Published: Dec 15, 2017 15:13 IST