Anand Babu and L. Shivaprakash, 37, 36
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Jayalaxmi has built a set of crop-specific apps that farmers can download by accessing the free Wi-Fi beamed by its flagship Agri Pole device, powered by Intel technology and typically installed in the local panchayat office. The apps give end-to-end information, including modules on disease control and fertiliser management, and treatment reminders. Much of the content is audiovisual, removing the literacy barrier. An analytics layer helps Jayalaxmi mine rich user data, which it can market to agro-product companies. Banks can also use Agri Pole to push information on specific solutions to farmers’ mobiles. Canara Bank has already placed an order. The cousins from Bellary, who love off-road drives, started the company with some Rs 50 lakh from their own savings. With a user base of 55,000 farmers, and one farmer downloading their apps every six minutes, they expect to break even by the end of this year. “If we can help farmers improve their productivity and revenue, we can reduce the country’s massive subsidy burden,” says Anand.