Nearly 60% of India’s population relies on the agriculture industry. Even though there have been developments in agriculture India is still very dependent on the monsoon. Erratic rains in states like Maharashtra have led to poor harvests in the last few years. Farmers whose lives depend on the crops they sell have been committing suicide as they are no longer able to support themselves or their families. Today more than 11% of the suicides in India are by desperate famers.
To help these poor farmers an engineering student, Anil Bandawane, has set up a WhatsApp group called Baliraja. Though these farmers are living below the poverty line a majority of them have a phone.This WhatsApp group has begun to provide great support to these farmers by giving them agricultural advice and insights into new technology for farming as well as information on pesticides and fertilizers.
On the other hand, Flipkart which is India’s Amazon has an interesting model to combat India’s discomfort with sharing credit card details online by offering a cash on delivery model. However, Flipkart was struggling with their deliveries in Mumbai as roads are very poorly marked. They decided to go low tech and use the expertise of the ‘dabbawalas’, a group of mostly illiterate men who through their own system of coding have over the years developed a very successful model of delivering lunches to offices around Mumbai – not the usual solutions one would consider for these problems!