Having packed fresh vegetables in your bag from the market is a great start for the day, right? A healthy salad for your breakfast! What if I told you now, that you are really lucky to have a part of the 53% of the agri-produce that our country produces? Do you know that though India is the second largest agri-producer, she faces wastage of the rest 47%? Have you ever wondered how difficult it must for our farmers to work in this scorching heat and not getting paid proportionally for their hard work?
Reasons for these wastages are many and a major reason for them is a lack of an efficient and organized cold chain. We, at Tan90 are working to bridge this gap and to spread your lucky charm to the majority of our citizens!
Starting off with a desire to provide potable water to the dry patches in the rural areas, we got to know a darker side that our farmers face. We were amazed to learn the difference between what they get for their produce and the price we pay at any retail store (approximately 2.5x up). Not being able to leverage on the cold chain of our country, is one of the reasons our farmers cannot hold on to their produce for the correct time.
We are slowly killing the future for our children with increasing climate changes, ultimately leading to an unsustainable environment for farming. The situation is aggravated with an increasing gap in the cold chain that forms an obstacle to our mission for doubling the income of our farmers by the year 2020.
Thus, we pivoted from our earlier project to work on a mission that is aligned to make our farmers feel great again!
What we do?
We are a team from the Indian Institute of Technology Madras, working on a mission to enable and democratize cold storage logistics. Pivoting from the conventional way of transporting perishables (via refrigerated trucks), we are trying to provide freedom to our farmers to transport their products by any means of transportation, without compromising on the quality. We are scaling down the concept of refrigerated trucks to small boxes that can hold the temperature inside for 10 hours, even with frequent opening!
Why a box? Because, now, you can carry them at the back of your cycle, or any two-wheeler or even your tri-cycle van!
Spreading the smile
We have been working on the prototype for the past 6 months and have been iterating continuously to make the product better. We have been working closely with farmers (agri-preneurs, as we call them) and dairy-preneurs to provide them the freedom to transport the perishables, by any logistics service, to their customers. With no moving parts, such boxes are robust and can be integrated with any vehicle within a couple of minutes. Apart from the value-addition, our solution provides a daily cost reduction by 20% on operational costs, as compared to ice-boxes!
Currently, we are working on a grant by the pre-incubation cell of IIT Madras, Nirmaan and Department of Science and Technology, Government of India, TATA Trusts and Lockheed Martin. A majority of the grant is channelized to RnD and product development.
2) Selected within 15 start-ups to present in World Food India.
3) One of the 7 teams selected for an extensive customer discovery program, conducted by the Gopalakrishna Deshpande Center for Innovation, IIT Madras.
4) National Finalist for Hult Prize, 2018.
6) First position in Hardtech Kochi, Kerala Start-Up Mission.
7) Third position in Bootcamp, E-Summit 2018, IIT Madras.
Who we are?
We are a team of three Ph.D. students (Soumalya Mukherjee, Rajanikant Rai, and Shiv Sharma) from IIT Madras who believe that magic happens, and is only short of waving a wand. Taking our product from the laboratory to the field, where the real impact is measured has been our driving force. I am an engineer by training (NIT Durgapur) and currently pursuing Ph.D. in the Department of Biotechnology after a brief stint at the Indian Institute of Science as a pre-doctoral researcher. Rajanikant is pursuing the same degree in the same department and overlooks the research and development of our products. Shiv is pursuing his doctoral studies in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and oversees the operations of our venture
How can you help us?
How many of the farmers would like to have their children follow in their footsteps? This is worrisome because we are losing out on the people who have our back when we get back to our home after a tiresome meeting. Reaching out to our farmers and aiding them to connect directly to the market is an effective way to ensure that they get the returns they deserve. The fact that farmer suicide is on the rise, we need to turn our focus on the rural areas.
Our team and our mentors believe that by standing on the shoulders of giants, we can impact the lives of the agri-preneurs at a brisk pace.
For, we believe in an adaptation from what Niel Armstrong said when he set his foot for the first time on the moon. A small step from all of us can be a great leap for our farmers.
We can all be the angels of their dreams!
Thank you for your time and support.