Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in agriculture but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Anup Ganguly, Founder of Farmology, located in Kolkata, West Bengal, India.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
We provide crop advisory services through our app, like soil testing, crop health monitoring & instant problem resolution for small and medium farmers. We sell organic Agri-inputs (both in-house & 3rd party) for farmers, which helps them reduce the use of chemical-based fertilizers/pesticides delivered to their doorstep. We sell fresh produce directly from farms to E-grocery companies.
Tell us about yourself
I started working on this business after my father introduced me to a completely new industry in a new terrain where he was not well versed. So, I took it as a challenge to build something from scratch and take it to the next level. It has been 6 years since then, and I have worked very hard to understand and build a scalable business model. The only thing which motivates me to do what I do is one statement- "I haven't come all this way to stop and give up & I won't let my and my team's hard work go to waste." There is no safety net for me to fall back on, and I have to keep moving forward no matter what happens. Resilience and perseverance drive me.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
I have built many hypotheses after I understood the business to align with our vision. Almost all of these hypotheses have proven correct and fall perfectly in line with our vision which makes me really confident about the change I wish to bring into the Indian agriculture ecosystem, and I consider it my biggest accomplishment.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
Being the founder of an early-stage business/startup with a completely new perspective, it is very hard to convince and onboard good talent from the industry to work towards the same vision. Wearing different hats and handling almost all top-level responsibilities & decisions can be exhaustive & stressful to your mind.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Before starting any business, learn how that particular industry works by doing a variety of roles through internships/apprentices and find out what problems are still waiting to be solved yet.
- If you are lucky and get funded early in your startup, Get on board a tiny but efficient team that aligns perfectly with your vision. This might take time but give this process the time it deserves; you won't regret it. If you're not so lucky, then find your cofounders who resonate with your idea strongly & tell them to invest some money to hire that team.
- When all this is done, your main objective should be to get yourself out of most of the operational roles. Being the face of the company, no one can tell the story as well as you can, so start networking aggressively, whether it's investors, industry connections, mentors, advisors, trade expos, etc. It is your duty to pave the way for new business opportunities and take the business to new heights.
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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