Decoding Bijak’s journey of helping farmers by improving their income and livelihoods

The founders of agritech startup Bijak talk about their efforts of transforming India’s agri trade with technology, information, and data in their episode of ‘The Bold Ones - Innovating for the Next Half Billion’.
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“There is this huge gap between what a farmer is getting and what we are paying [for]. There must be something wrong in between [these two points] … If we want to improve the current situation of farmers, we all need to work as an ecosystem,” say Jitendra Bedwal and Nikhil Tripathi, Co-founders of Bijak, as they talk about their efforts of creating a meaningful life for the farmers through their technology platform that enables agricommodity trading by creating a trusted marketplace with digitised transactions.

Founded in 2019 by Mahesh Jakhotia, Daya Rai, Nukul Upadhye, Nikhil Tripathi, and Jitender Bedwal, Bijak is a B2B marketplace for agricultural commodities that connects millions of buyers, sellers, traders, wholesalers, food processors, retailers, and farmers.

Bijak’s co-founders are among the entrepreneurs whose stories are captured in Omidyar Network India’s newly launched video series titled ‘The Bold Ones - Innovating for the Next Half Billion’. A compilation of 11 short videos, the series captures power-packed stories of entrepreneurs who are building for the 500 million-plus Indians that are coming online for the first time via their mobile phones — a segment often referred to as the ‘Next Half Billion’ or NHB.

Reimagining agricultural trade

“Bijak is a one-stop agriculture marketplace where sellers and buyers can find trustworthy, reliable and transparent counter parties. We process transactions worth more than Rs 1.5 billion on a monthly basis,” says Mahesh Jakhotia, Co-founder, Bijak.

With its mission to improve transparency in pricing of agricultural commodities, foster trust and ensure accountability across the agriculture supply chain, Bijak aims to organise the agro procurement market by connecting buyers and sellers with a single platform.

While most agritech startups in India focus just on farmers, Bijak’s USP is that they focus on the entire value chain consisting of artiyas (commission agents), dalaals (brokers), loaders, middlemen, and other mandi participants. Bijak provides them with a first-of-its-kind product with an integrated solution for information, payments, and logistics that can help them overcome age-old challenges and modernise their operations.

“Are you able to connect a farmer with the end buyer? It’s not just about giving them a contact, but can you give him a trustworthy, reliable buyer?” says Mahesh. “We want to create trust among people, we want to make them accountable. And then, we want to increase the realised price for each of the stakeholders,” adds Nikhil.

Bijak’s huge pool of data of transactions and characteristics enables any kind of seller, be it a farmer or a trader or an aggregator, to find more information about the counterparty and then trade with them in a seamless way.

Digitise and organise to empower India

“We want to create more awareness about Bijak, and this cannot happen without the support of more people… more entrepreneurs should come forward to solve this [issues faced by this sector] so we could create a stronger agricultural backbone of our country… There is a socio-economic divide in our country. I want to eradicate that barrier. Maybe I won’t be able to solve this in my lifetime but I am sure the next generation will,” says Daya Rai, Co-founder, Bijak.

One of India’s largest digital trade platforms for agricultural commodities, Bijak has scaled in more than 600 regions across 28 states, and facilitated the trade of over 110 agri-commodities. The platform has hit an annualised GMV of Rs 300 million.

“It’s high time that youngsters in India became job creators rather than job seekers. India deserves this now,” adds Jitendra.

To know more about the personal and professional challenges and the success that Bijak’s co-founders experienced, watch the video here.

The 11-part series is live on theboldones.in. Additionally, the series is also available on Omidyar Network India’s YouTube channel and social media handles.


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