Manoj Suvarna: A Contemporary Agropreneur Revolutionizing Agriculture

Manoj Suvarna | Agribid Private Limited: A Contemporary Agropreneur | The Enterprise World

Business leadership has undergone a significant transformation over the past few years. The traditional top-down, command-and-control leadership styles are now being replaced by more collaborative and inclusive approaches. Alongside the typical skills like decision-making, team management, etc., contemporary leaders must have several other skills to successfully navigate the complex and dynamic business landscape. 

Talking about the skills required to excel in today’s business landscape,  Manoj Suvarna (Co-founder of Agribid Private Limited),  says, “In my view, some quintessential qualities of a contemporary leader include adaptability, empathy, innovation, transparency, and resilience.” With these and several other skills, Manoj Suvarna has been successfully driving the growth of Agribid Private Limited, a premier digital marketplace in the agriculture industry. 

An Illustrious Journey

Manoj Suvarna’s professional journey has been both challenging and exciting. He started his career in the financial markets, working with prominent organizations like MAN Financial, Anand Rathi, Reliance Commodities, and Inditrade. These experiences introduced him to the intricacies of financial markets and agricultural commodities, providing valuable insights into the industry’s dynamics.

The turning point in Manoj’s journey came when he realized the immense potential to leverage technology to transform the agricultural sector. “Agriculture is the backbone of our economy, and I saw an opportunity to bridge gaps, reduce inefficiencies, and empower farmers,” says Manoj Suvarna. This realization led to the establishment of Agribid Private Limited. 

Robust Mission and Vision

Agribid Private Limited was established in October 2020 with a clear mission and vision. Its mission is to simplify agricultural trade through technology, effortlessly connecting buyers and farmers while ensuring fair pricing and improved profits. At the time of establishment, the company aimed to revolutionize the way agriculture is conducted and create a future-proof global food supply chain. Agribid’s vision, on the other hand, is to empower farmers with digital tools for growth. 

Simplifying Agricultural Trade

Catering to its mission and vision, Agribid offers a comprehensive digital platform that simplifies agricultural trade. Its web and mobile platforms function as virtual wholesale markets, connecting farmers, aggregators, and buyers. Farmers can list their produce, adding details like quantity and quality, while buyers can source directly from them. 

The business landscape is continuously changing, and so are the customer requirements. Agribid’s services have evolved with time to cater to the changing needs of the agricultural sector. The company has enhanced the user interface, introduced real-time data analytics, and expanded its reach to connect more farmers, aggregators, and buyers. Additionally, it has introduced features like quality checks and certifications to further boost transparency and trust in transactions. 

Addressing the Gaps in Agriculture

When Agribid was established, there were a plethora of challenges and gaps in the agriculture industry that motivated the founders to find a solution. One of the primary challenges was the traditional mandi system, which often led to inefficiencies, lack of transparency, and fair pricing for farmers. The company aimed to address these issues by providing an alternative digital platform that would empower farmers and facilitate direct transactions with buyers. 

Moreover, there was a need to reduce the dependence on intermediaries, enhance the reach of farmers to wider markets, and ensure timely payments. “Agribid was conceived to bridge these gaps and create a more equitable and efficient ecosystem,” adds Manoj. 

A Multifaceted Visionary

Agribid’s visionary leadership consists of 3 co-founders Ashutosh Mishra, Manoj Suvarna, Chetan Suvarna. 

As one of the co-founders of Agribid, Manoj Suvarna plays a multifaceted role. He primarily shoulders the responsibilities of shaping the strategic direction of the company, overseeing its overall operations, and leading its efforts to innovate and expand. He works closely with Agribid’s talented team to ensure that its platform continues to meet the evolving customer demands. 

The key achievements throughout Manoj’s tenure include the successful onboarding of thousands of farmers, aggregators, and buyers onto Agribid’s platform. The company has witnessed significant growth in the quantity of agricultural commodities traded through Agribid, positively impacting the income of farmers. Furthermore, connecting more than 500 Farmer Producer Organizations (FPOs) has been a significant achievement for Manoj Suvarna as it has fostered a robust ecosystem. 

A peek into the bio of the three co-founders – 

Manoj Suvarna 

With an impressive educational background, Manoj Suvarna holds an SMP from IIM-C and an MBA from Welingkar. Over the span of two decades, his professional journey has seen him contribute significantly to global commodity exchanges, commodity financing, and commodity auctions. Mr. Manoj Suvarna brings extensive expertise gained through roles at Man Financials, Reliance Commodities, and Inditrade.

Managing a daily average turnover exceeding INR 1000 crores (USD 133 million) in commodity derivatives reflects his commitment to navigating the complexities of financial markets. Born and raised in Mumbai, Manoj is rooted in Mangalore, where he hails from a farming background. Exploring the diversities of rural India is a personal passion. During his free time, you can find him enjoying a long drive or immersing myself in the therapeutic embrace of music.

“Our goal is to create a platform that not only simplifies agricultural trade but also uplifts the lives of our farmers. Agribid is about fairness, efficiency, and ultimately, a better future for Indian agriculture.”

Ashutosh Mishra

Ahutosh Mishra has a BSc in Agriculture from BHU and an MBA in Marketing and International Business from the same institution. With 20 years of experience in the field, he has worked at CDSL, ICICI Direct, Reliance Capital, Reliance Commodities, and Tradelab Technologies. His expertise spans stocks, Demat, commodity derivatives, commodity financing, and physical commodity trading. He led a team overseeing a book value exceeding INR 15,000 crores (USD 2000 million). Born in Varanasi and now settled in Mumbai, Ashutosh is a passionate farmer with a commitment to social causes. During his free time, you’ll find him visiting temples and finding solace in prayer.

“Agriculture is the lifeblood of our nation, and it deserves the best technology can offer. Agribid is our commitment to providing a level playing field for farmers and buyers, reducing dependence on intermediaries.”

Chetan Suvarna

Chetan has an MBA and a B.Com from CSGM. With 15 years of experience, he has worked at Yes Bank, Reliance Commodities, Reliance Communication, Inditrade, and Digitx. Chetan’s expertise lies in Risk Management of commodity derivatives and physical commodity markets. He takes pride in his record in successfully managing risks and maintaining zero NPA in commodities trading. Born and raised in Mumbai, but with roots in Mangalore, Chetan enjoys spending time in fields, whether they’re farms or cricket fields. In his free time, you’ll find him playing cricket or checking out cars.

“We envision an agricultural landscape where every farmer has the power to connect with markets directly. Agribid is more than a platform; it’s a tool of empowerment for millions of hardworking individuals.”

The Distinguishing Factors

Here are the three factors that make Agribid’s approach unique.

1. Agriculture-centric Focus

Agribid’s unwavering commitment to agriculture sets it apart. The company is dedicated to the betterment of farmers and the agricultural sector, which is reflected in the mission, vision, and services it offers.

2. Tech-driven Innovation

Agribid strongly emphasizes leveraging technology to drive innovation. Its platform integrates real-time data, secure payments, and user-friendly interfaces to provide a seamless digital experience. 

3. Empowerment through Transparency

Agribid believes in fostering transparency and trust in agricultural transactions. Its commitment to transparency and fair pricing empowers farmers and creates a more equitable marketplace. 

Collaboration, Innovation, and Inclusivity

Agribid has a team of dynamic professionals who share a passion for transforming healthcare. “We have fostered a culture of collaboration, innovation, and inclusivity. Open communication is encouraged and every team member’s input is valued,” asserts Manoj Suvarna. 

To ensure productivity and motivation, Agribid provides a supportive work environment that recognizes and rewards contributions. The company also offers regular training and skill development opportunities to help team members grow both personally and professionally. Agribid believes that a motivated and empowered team is essential for its continued success. 

Staying Ahead of the Curve

Manoj Suvarna believes that staying updated with the market trends is essential to Agribid’s success. The company maintains close relationships with industry associations, participates in agricultural events and conferences, and engages with experts and thought leaders in the field. It closely monitors global and regional trends in agriculture and technology to anticipate the shifts and adapt its strategies accordingly. 

Agribid continuously assesses emerging technologies and trends that can enhance its services. The company collaborates with tech experts and partners to evaluate the feasibility and impact of new technologies. When implementing new technologies, it follows a structured approach that includes thorough testing, user feedback, and scalability assessments. Agribid’s goal is to ensure that any technological advancements it adopts align with its mission of simplifying agricultural trade and empowering farmers. 

What Next?

Talking about Agribid’s future plans, Manoj says, “In the future, we envision further enhancing our platform by introducing additional features and services.” These may include advanced analytics tools for farmers, expanded crop categories, and partnerships with financial institutions to facilitate access to credit for farmers. The company is also exploring opportunities for international expansion to connect Indian farmers with global markets. Furthermore, it is exploring financing opportunities and will soon announce tailor-made financial products at the farmgate. 

Looking back at the Journey!

Manoj Suvarna mentions several lessons that he learned throughout his journey. The importance of perseverance is one of the key lessons he has learned. He mentions that transforming an industry or creating change often comes with challenges and setbacks. In these circumstances, it is crucial to stay committed to your vision and adapt. 

The value of collaboration is another lesson. “Building strong partnerships and collaborating with experts can accelerate growth and innovation. Don’t hesitate to seek guidance and support from those with complementary expertise,” asserts Manoj. He further mentions always keeping the end-users in mind. Their well-being should be at the core of your mission and decisions. For Agribid, the end users are farmers. “If you can positively impact their lives, your journey will be incredibly rewarding,” he adds. 

Golden Words for the Aspiring

Manoj advises companies and business leaders in the agriculture industry to stay deeply connected to the needs and aspirations of farmers. “Agriculture is not just a business; it’s a way of life for millions. Embrace technology and innovation to empower farmers and create a more equitable and efficient agricultural ecosystem,” he concludes.  

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