65% of India is still under the rural sector which is yet to go through development and lacks in terms of livelihood and employment. With this new wave of startup culture in India and new innovative ideas flowing, a lot of startups have been focused towards contributing to rural development. These start-ups are working towards uplifting the rural economy and helping the lives of rural people by enabling technology. They have been providing easy solutions in Indian villages where not everything is available at the glance of a click. These developments are not limited to any one sector but are concentrated on improving the village lifestyle holistically, from health to retail.
Most of these startups are customer centric and are empowering them with entrepreneurship and income generation. Bridging the divide between the rural and urban India with the help of technology, the startups have gone deep into the Indian rural villages with their strong and intelligent strategy. They are successfully generating employment opportunities and encouraging quality life. Substantial and inclusive development is their key agenda of focus. These startups have set a benchmark in terms of their contribution for rural development and their efforts should not go unnoticed.
Frontier Markets– Is an assisted social commerce platform that provides rural India with high quality solutions. It gives the rural consumer an experience of a “phygital dukaan” which is an online and offline purchase experience where women play a key role as their model is gender driven. Their women work salesforce, called “Saheli” through their village networking have successfully created a niche for them in small villages across India. Saral Jeevan Saelis use the FM application “Meri Saheli” to showcase their products encouraging purchase of goods. FM has made internet consumption effortless in rural India with their 48 hours delivery and after sales service. They have successfully provided jobs to more than 10k women, building rural entrepreneurs. FM was initially established to ease the rural shopping experience providing relevant solutions that help them create financial assets, and clean energy and solar projects later in 2015 they adopted the gender module and now have increased their product line to all kinds of rural needs.
Hesa Global- Hesa, a social startup connecting Bharat phygitally is providing Last Mile Physical & Digital Connect to Rural India. One destination for all rural problems, Hesa is bridging the gap between the rural & urban India by leveraging technology & manpower. Hesa Global is enabling technology in rural India for both customers and the brands from buying,selling,promoting,delivering, all rolled into one platform. Founded in July 2019, Hesa Global so far has reached over 7.5 lac rural consumers in 11 districts (AP & Telangana). Hesa partners with any brand looking out to promote and/or sell their products or services (including banking and financial services) in rural markets and also connects rural entrepreneurs including farmers to sell their products in the market. Hesa has been successful at creating an impact in the rural sector with its social projects like Dodla Dairy, which allowed 60,000 dairy farms to strategize their supply and earn profit. Another tie up with the Govt of Telangana’s StreeNidhi credit cooperative Federations, Hesa is empowering women groups at the grassroots and providing them an avenue to earn a decent livelihood.
Gramophone- is an AgriTech startup that focuses on Intelligent Farming providing more than 60000 farmers with a platform for Agronomic Intelligence. Founded in 2016 by Nishant Vats and Tauseef Khan, Gramophone is a one-stop e-commerce platform for farmers delivering agricultural inputs in more than 10,000 villages. Gramophone provides end-to-end solutions and services to the farming community in India enabling them to increase their income by giving them the right advice to go to the right market to sell the right products. Their services range from Super Safe Program providing farmers assistance for their crops from the scratch till the end of the harvest such as information about the seeds, required pesticides and crop nutrition, to SamridhiKit, which is a natural kit containing all the microorganisms helping farmers with the nourishment of their soil. Gramophone has also set up Gram Uday centres in villages in order to support the disrupted rural supply chain. It has successfully impacted the lives of farmers in India with multiple projects and programs led by the company.
GoCoop- Is a Bangalore based and India’s only online social marketplace around artisans and weavers community for craft and handloom ,it also organises offline exhibitions and wholesale business.. It is a craft supply chain which supports wholesalers ,retailers and brands for an exchange of products without the hassle of a middleman and generating more profits.Their sellers on the platform including co-operatives, small master weavers, entrepreneurs and NGOs register online and offline, create their own page, upload a list of their products based on their pricing and can sell directly to customers in India and 14 countries. The startup claims to have raised series A funding with more than 30,000 products, 15,000 registered users, more than 250 sellers, and over 4,500 cooperatives. The platform is successfully giving the rich Indian crafts an opportunity in the Indian and international markets. It has most importantly made it easy for the village craftsmen and women, increasing their profits and supporting them.
Chikitsak- With the idea to bring easy and affordable healthcare solutions in rural India,Malind Naik founded Chikitsak. Chikitsak provides a screening kit which can easily be used by low skilled healthcare workers through technology and is portable. Within INR 200 it conducts screening for patients in their homes The startup largely focuses on non-communicable diseases. It conducts a 3 day training workshop for its workers before deploying them. The technologically driven startup in the healthcare sector prevents human error as the patient’s basic details, such as height, weight, pulse, blood pressure, blood sugar, and vision tests, are recorded directly without any manual intervention. The data is stored in the cloud for future references and can be accessed by its user easily on their phones.
Source : Business world disrupt March 24,2021