A few years ago, four former ICICI associates spent a month in each other’s homes to ensure that they shared the right philosophy about their business model. The result was StarAgri, a bridge between farmers and buyers of agri-commodities.
The Mumbai-based company operates in 183 locations across seven states and has seven lakh tonnes of storage. It holds commodities worth Rs 1,500 crore in 110 collateral management locations. It has also tied up with 26 banks that provide credit to farmers, with commodities in the warehouse acting as collateral.
While a bulk of its revenues—about 65 percent—inevitably comes from warehousing, StarAgri also provides post-harvest management services like procurement, collateral management, lab testing and logistics for various commodities. For the sake of efficiency, these five aspects of their business have been divided into different arms of the company.
The people Behind It
In commodity circles, StarAgri is referred to as the company promoted by one Suresh and three Amits. Amit Mundawala is responsible for operations and is considered a pioneer in creating rural finance networks. Amith Agarwal looks after finance and HR while Amit Khandelwal handles business development. Suresh Goyal is the chairman and managing director.
All of them were previously associates at ICICI Bank in Rajasthan. The bank would have regular meetings with its rural business franchises that financed farmers and the four often came across each other at these events.
By 2006, they started meeting other banks and were able to put together the initial concept for StarAgri. It was around this time that ICICI went through a rough patch in the derivatives business.
In 2011, Girish Nadkarni, a partner at IDFC Alternatives (Private Equity), came across the company and was impressed with the idea. Within a few months, the firm invested Rs 150 crore in StarAgri.
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(This story appears in the 06 September, 2013 issue of Forbes India. To visit our Archives, click here.)
sir its a good concept at least one company is there which is helping farmers and connecting them to the knowledge economy. sir will it be possible to expand its area of operation where electricity is not available.on Aug 30, 2013
The company is expanding its operations across interior regions of the country as well. Which is actually presents very useful services for the farmers and traders. About your concerns of electricity, it should not be a bottleneck as most of the warehouses are not provided with electricity connection, purposefully (Find out why?).on Oct 8, 2013
thanks for ur time and it is really good to know that electricity will not be able stop it. may i know how is it operational without electricity? if somebody wants to attach with this company to cater the needs of the farmers in extreme interior areas. how will it be?on Oct 12, 2013
Very good article about staragrion Apr 14, 2019
Its very great article. Thank you so much for sharing with us.on Apr 15, 2019
Happy with Staragri. Thank you so much for sharing working for the farmer\'s empowering.on Jun 10, 2019
I\'m very happy about Staragri. They are really doing a good job for the farmers.on Jun 10, 2019
Great Article about Staragri. Thank you so much for helping farmers.on Jul 10, 2019