Rural fintech giant SarvaGram plans to boost its distribution and mechanization services for underbanked rural and semi-urban market segments through the SarvaMitra franchise model. SarvaMitra Shopee is the one-stop-shop solution for underbanked rural markets for agricultural lending and implementation requirements and plays a pivotal role in promoting the distribution of credit and mechanization offerings by SarvaGram.
The SarvaMitra or the owner of the SarvaMitra franchisee is SarvaGram’s last mile partner that helps provide farm rental services. All types of advanced agricultural machinery like cultivators, rotavators, harvesters, threshers, transplanters, sprayers, drones, harvesters, tillers, weeders, etc. on a pay-per-use basis are provided by SarvaMitra Shopee.
The etymology of the word SarvaMitra comes from Sarva meaning Everyone and Mitra meaning Friend. It is a franchise based model where the owner is a resident of the area, who is trained and empowered by SarvaGram to facilitate access to credit and agricultural mechanization for farmers, MSMEs and agro entrepreneurs -aligned region.
The program taps into the familiarity, trust and deep understanding of gaps in community needs that SarvaMitra holds. These attributes play an important role in cultivating adoption in rural landscapes, making the experience for new borrowers and tech-savvy rural entrepreneurs smoother and more convenient.
SarvaGram’s technology platform executes service ordering in the industry’s best turnaround time offered in the rural landscape. The results are efficient use of equipment that benefits small, marginal farmers in terms of increased productivity, reduced costs and reduced reliance on manual labor. SarvaMitra’s presence in a region benefits other equipment manufacturers nearby since they can then become SarvaGram’s (SarvaMitra) partner by taking on the franchisee.
Besides agricultural tools, consumer durable loans, gold loans and agricultural loans are other SarvaGram products available through SarvaMitra. For FY’23, customers can also take advantage of insurance offers from their nearest SarvaMitra franchisee.
Commenting on this milestone, Utpal Isser, Co-Founder, Managing Director and CEO, SarvaGram, shared, “At SarvaGram, we understand that trust and relationships are key cogs in rural entrepreneurship and scale. SarvaMitra, as a unique rural franchisee program, aims to embed this into our distribution approach by empowering and partnering with local community leaders. After its launch in 2021, we have already seen the huge response and positive gratification received by our SarvaMitras across Maharashtra, Gujarat, Rajasthan and Karnataka. In FY23, we plan to increase the number of SarvaMitra franchises as well as expand our franchise network to other states. »
A good example of SarvaMitra’s effectiveness for its rural target audience is the story of Kanitlal Daundakar, an onion farmer from the village of Karnjwane in Maharashtra. Kanitlal used to hire labor for manual transplanting of onions in his field. The introduction and purchase of a new seed and fertilizer tool through the local SarvaMitra has made a big difference in the seeding method as the cost per acre has dropped significantly.
Previously, Kanitlal had to spend 7,000 to 8,000 per acre, often up to 10,000 per acre for agricultural activity. But after mechanization, he only had to spend 2000-2500 per acre for the same. It has also resulted in a reduction in reliance on labor with significant improvements in productivity.
Currently, 203 SarvaMitra franchises exist in the states of Maharashtra, Gujarat, Rajasthan and Karnataka. In line with the recorded business growth and expected trajectory, SarvaGram plans to increase its number of SarvaMitra franchises to 600, up to 3 times from the current number, and also plans to expand the number of states in which it is present.
SarvaGram’s revenue jointly includes crossing the 172 crore AUM mark since commencing operations in June 2019. The organization currently serves 20,000 households to date, with catering projections for 15,00,000 households over the next 5 years. In addition to this, SarvaGram has also recorded a significant increase in its Annual Recurring Revenue (ARR), bringing the number to over INR 55 crore for FY’22.
First published: Jun 09, 2022, 09:36 IST