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AgriTech Challenge 2018: The Weather Company engages agri-community

Mumbai: In order to create a roadmap for a sustainable agri-tech economy, The Weather Company, an IBM Business, the leader in accurate weather forecasting and insights, hosted a first of its kind conference, ‘The Weather and I – AgriTech Challenge 2018’ on Wednesday (13th June) in Mumbai.

About 180 participants including agronomists, insurers, bankers, entrepreneurs, influencers, global investors and researchers participated in this event and deliberated on various issues and challenges affecting the agri-community including farmers in India. The event provided a unique platform for all stakeholders to crowd-produce solutions to address the farm distress in the country.

Some of the influential speakers and panelists included Ramesh Ramachandran, SVP- Strategy and Precision Farming, Mahindra & Mahindra’s Farm Equipment Business; Ajay Desai, Chief Operating Officer, Rubique ; Rajesh Kumar R , Group Head – Credit Policy, Portfolio Management and Risk Analytics , HDFC Bank; Arindom Datta, Asia Head, Sustainability Banking, Rabobank; S Venkatraman, Partner and Head of Mumbai office at Rabobank’s Food and Agribusiness focused Private Equity Fund in India; Sagar Kaushik, Chief Operating Officer, United Phosphorous Limited; Raul Rebello, Senior Vice President and Head, Rural Lending, Axis Bank; Sanjaya Kumar Saxena, IBM Champion and Consultant at Graype Systems (P) Ltd, Hemendra Mathur, Venture Partner with Bharat Innovations Fund, Chacko Jacob, Global Agribusiness Lead, Watson Content and IoT Platform and Hitesh Upadhyay, Asia-Pacific Leader, The Weather Company, an IBM Business.

“This is a humble attempt by The Weather Company, an IBM Business to engage agronomists, innovators and technologists to come together and find solutions to some of the challenges the agripreneurs and farmers are facing in India. We sincerely hope to contribute towards improving pre and post-harvest management system in the country. We see ourselves as facilitators providing hyper-local accurate weather insights to help farmers and entrepreneurs to make the best decisions for their business,” said Himanshu Goyal, Sales & Alliances Leader, The Weather Company.

Among the key speakers, Durjoy Mazumdar, Global Head of Enterprise Sales, IBM Watson Content & IoT, Sriram Raghavan, Vice President, IBM Research & CTO, IBM India spoke at length about the significance of weather data and predictability and the role of The Weather Company, an IBM Business in transforming the agriculture sector with new age technologies including AI and Blockchain.

The attendees were divided into four Tracks brainstorming over specific issues impacting everyone in this ecosystem- ‘Predicting evapotranspiration’, ‘Combating crop loss’, ‘Improving supply chain management’ and ‘Reducing risk with weather insights’. In one of-its-kind ideation JAM driven and moderated by highly experienced domain experts and stakeholders from within the Agronomist ecosystem. The solutions nominated by each track were then presented before a group of the elite and experienced panellists.

The format was well appreciated by senior leaders who in their own words said they found great value in strategizing on the same table as bankers, investors and farm equipment manufacturers, few groups who probably do not meet often but are critical drivers of the AgriTech economy.

This was indeed a unique format bringing together an eminent and rich congregation of stakeholders, truly driven by the community. The ideating team behind this campaign included Himanshu Goyal, India Business Leader, Pratibha Ryali, Product Marketing Leader, Asia Pacific, Anitha Kannan, Performance Marketing Leader, Asia Pacific from The Weather Company, Hemendra Mathur, Venture Partner at Bharat Innovations Fund, Sanjay Saxena, Rachna Chakraborthy from Graype.in, Ravishankar Mantha, Founder/CEO, Agrisk Data Analytics and Prateep Basu, COO, Satsure.