"Fear kills more dreams than failure ever will."
This belief brought Deepak Srinivasan a long way who now finds himself on the entrepreneurial path.
According to Deepak, “The industrialised farming methods based on fossil fuels are putting a huge amount of pressure on our planet. To come up with technically advanced systems that can enable farming in urban areas in a sustainable manner is the need of the hour. The food we eat is engineered to travel long distances and 50 percent of our food is wasted even before it reaches us. We need ways to produce healthy local food."
Deepak, with his co-founder Ashish Khan, started Crofters in March 2016, and they have come up with devices that will help people farm their fresh, healthy food in a sustainable manner. Crofters have developed India's first fully automatic indoor home farm.
They have built an intelligent, self-cleaning, indoor aquaponics ecosystem that helps grow completely organic food right inside a living room. It is for passionate gardeners living in crowded apartments without a backyard space or a terrace of their own.
A combo of nature and technology
They have built an intelligent WiFi-enabled mobile app and sensor unit which helps control and monitor all ecosystem parameters remotely. All this comes with zero maintenance. Users can use the system to grow vegetables, herbs, or small fruits. They are looking to gather data from its users to replicate the model on a large, commercial scale in the future.
How do they implement this?
They create hardware and software that enable people to grow their own fresh food. They have a series of products and solutions that will enable farming in places previously considered unsuitable for it. Their LED grow light technology will help in the indoor farming area to convert huge spaces in urban areas into farms. They claim that their technology will reduce water consumption by 80 percent and pave the way for vertical farming that will make more use of available space.
How did they choose the name of their company and what does it mean?
According to Ashish, “Crofter refers to someone who farms on a small piece of land, so we named our company Crofters as we are on a mission to make farming accessible to everyone on this planet."
They develop IoT-based indoor and outdoor farms based on the science of aquaponics.
They have an online-only model for selling their products with doorstep delivery and service. They are into consumables model with income from the sales of accessories to the users through the marketplace. They are working towards setting up experience centres for experiencing the Crofters ecosystem in Bengaluru and Chennai. They will work with ed tech companies on a partnership basis by licensing of their product with a curriculum.
They are bootstrapped and want to achieve some tangible traction before looking for funding.