TractorGuru: Simplifying Mechanization

TractorGuru| Agriculture Solution Providers| farm machinery
Manik Mital | Founder & CEO | TractorGuru

Over the years, the agriculture sector has been registering steady progress. From using the traditional tools and equipment to using complex types of machinery for farming, farmers have moved ahead. The technological advancements have indeed helped the agriculture space change for good.

There have been many companies that have contributed towards this phenomenal transformation. However, TractorGuru is one emerging company delivering tractors according to the usage. Depending on the necessity, TractorGuru offers a range of tractors. From used tractors to brand new tractors, TractorGuru provides a variety of farming machinery products and services with tractors being the dominant product.

In this interview, Manik Mital, the Founder and CEO of TractorGuru takes us through an interesting journey with his company.

  1. What prompted you to start an Agriculture Solution provider? went live in August 2019. We are simplifying mechanization for Indian farmers. There are more than 118 million cultivators in India. Farm mechanization is a key driver of increased productivity and it also improves the quality of life for the farmers. From our experience, we realized that farmers did not have easy access to reliable information about the tractors and implements that are right for them. Increasing penetration of low-cost smartphones and cheap data plans enabled us to provide this information to them at their fingertips.

  1. Please share with us the initial struggle that worked as the strength behind the current success of the company.

The first version of our website was quite bad frankly. We had created features which were not needed by users and missed out on many features which were crucial. However, we learned from the experience. We spent many days in the field doing user research and then totally redesigned our website based on our insights. This led to higher average time spent on the site by each user to increase more than 50%. Also, our overall traffic shot up after we designed the site.

  1. Tell us about the services you provide through your venture.

TractorGuru provides a content-rich platform to access high-quality information about more than 300 Tractors models sold in India. Users can search, discover, compare, select and buy tractors on our website

In addition, we also provide classifieds services for sellers of pre-owned tractors. We have the only dedicated used tractor classifieds platform in India and we have served more than 2000 sellers out of which almost 500 sellers have sold their tractor through our services.

  1. What is the USP of your company that renders it different from its competitors?

The farm mechanization space in India is a $ 14 billion industry. It is large enough for many differentiated players. We are focused on our customers and intend to do better each day. We are the fastest growing and now the second-largest platform for farm mechanization in India.

We are hitting an annualized revenue of 50 lakh plus in the first year since the launch. Our site attracts more than 2 million visitors. Our best in class used tractors app has been downloaded more than 30,000 times in the last 6 months. While we are proud of our accomplishments, we are driving towards being the preferred platform for farm mechanization in India.

Even though we are a late entrant and have some catching up to do, we are confident that we will become the dominant marketplace in this Farm Mechanization space.

Our guiding principle is to connect the customers with the farm machinery that is right for them. We respect the privacy of our users and only capture customer information when the customers identify the products that they are interested in. We also minimize the number of intrusive phone calls to customers.

In addition, we have full confidence in our team. We have a very enthusiastic and capable team.

  1. Please share some success stories, awards and accolades that the company has received.

Since we are bootstrapped, our focus has been to build a sustainable business model. For us, it is the small moments which bring the most joy. I travel a lot to meet farmers and dealers. I feel very happy when farmers and dealers tell me about the impact our platform is creating. A tractor is a high-ticket purchase for farmers and we are building transparency and trust in the tractor buying process.

  1. How does the company intend to give back to society?

We are focused on connecting farmers in India with the farm machinery that is right for them. We exist to serve the farming community to save their money, increase their productivity, and reduce buying mistakes and downtime. Through our used tractor services, we are creating efficiency in the market and increasing access to mechanization.

  1. Share with us one latest development in agricultural technology that will play a major role in helping the Indian farmers and tackling the growing food demand.

We believe that the mobile internet has enabled farmers in India. Access to mobile internet reduces information asymmetries, thus reducing the divide between large and marginal farmers. Crucial information such as reliable weather information, suitability and price of inputs (including farm mechanization) and the prevailing price for their output is easily available to everyone. TractorGuru wants to be at the forefront of utilizing the mobile internet to create a positive impact on the lives of Indian farmers.

  1. Brief us about the future of the company or the goal it has set to mark its exceptionality in future.

We are now entering the financing category. Tractor financing is a big opportunity as more than 80% tractors sold in India are financed by banks and NBFCs. We want to assist in the activity and be the preferred platform for our customers to access tractor financing.

We want to increase our participation in the used tractor space. But it will be too early to share any specifics in this regard.  Watch this space !

  1. One piece of advice for the budding entrepreneurs who are trying to embark in the same field.

All we can say is ‘Keep Going’. There will be many moments of doubt on your entrepreneurial journey. Keep the focus on the customers and on solving the problem.

About the Leader

Manik Mital has over 15 years of diverse international experience in Consulting, Ag and Construction Equipment industries. Previously, he has worked for John Deere across Strategy, Manufacturing, Sales and Marketing roles. Manik was a key member of the project team to set up John Deere Dewas Works, a greenfield tractor manufacturing facility. He developed his marketing expertise as an ex-pat in John Deere Singapore where he worked as Marketing Planning Manager APAC and Africa. In his last role at John Deere, Manik was based in Singapore and was Sales Manager for Construction Equipment in Malaysia.

Manik moved back to India in 2016 in a high visibility assignment at Mahindra and Mahindra where he was EA to President for the 3.5 Bn+ Farm Equipment Sector (FES). He then led a Mahindra internal start-up called Tractorbaazi where he conceptualized and set up more than 35 multi-brand used tractor outlets in less than 6 months.

Manik began his career as an Analyst at KPMG Advisory Services. He earned a B.Com (H) from Shri Ram College of Commerce (SRCC) in Delhi and an MBA from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth, USA.

Manik has conceptualized TractorGuru and provides an overall vision to the company. Even though TractorGuru was a late entrant in the digital platform space, Manik’s insights and execution capabilities have made it the 2nd largest digital platform for Tractors in India within a span of a few months. Manik also leads the Business Development efforts and TractorGuru has now partnered with many leading Tractor brands in the country.

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