When IIT-Kharagpur alumni Tauseef Khan and Nishant Vats Mahatre started Gramophone in 2016, agritech was still a nascent sector in India. Agriculture was done in conventional ways, most farmers in India were deprived of connectivity, and a vast majority of farmlands in the country remained untouched by the modern agri trade.
Tauseef, who’d had stints at agri-focussed VC funds like Omnivore Partners and Aspada Investments, was well-versed with the issues plaguing the agriculture sector, which contributes 17-18 percent to India’s GDP. His co-founder Nishant, too, had experience in agri consulting and investing.
Tauseef and Nishant believed that technology could bring a change by eliminating information asymmetries in the agricultural system, and making farming more profitable, predictable, and productive. This became the founding philosophy of Indore-based Gramophone. They also roped in Harshit Gupta and Ashish Rajan Singh as co-founders.
Bringing tech-based agronomy to farmers Gramophone built an intelligent farming platform that provides farmers crop advisory, agronomy advice, dynamic weather and price updates, learnings on crop diseases, and recommendations on agri inputs and machinery to help them plan their sowing and harvesting cycle better.
The farmers just have to key in basic information like crop type, date of sowing, and the size of farmland for Gramophone to throw up actionable insights on crop and soil. The startup also provides guidance on what nutrients to add to a crop, what crop diseases to protect from, soil management techniques, best prices for agri inputs, etc.
Gramophone’s Krishi Mitra app serves as the point of access for farmers. Even those without smartphones can connect with agri experts and agronomists on Gramophone through a missed-call system.