Agrostar is a company that works at making life simpler for farmers. They connect farmers directly to manufacturers, thereby eliminating the need for middlemen. Using their expertise in agronomy, data analytics and m-commerce, Agrostar delivers customised solutions for Indian farmers and helps them digitise their farms.
About 5 years ago, Shardul and Sitanshu Sheth discovered a massive gap between manufacturers of agricultural products and their end users – the farmers. Although farmers were able to procure agricultural products, they were charged exorbitant rates for them. Realising that the problem lay in the multiple hands the products went through before reaching the farmer, Shardul and Sitanshu decided to create a direct link. They decided to remove the middlemen which would result in cheaper products for farmers.
However, the one thing they now needed crack was the medium they needed to use to reach farmers.
The need for a phone system
Upon conducting a survey, Agrostar’s founders uncovered that the best way to reach farmers was, in fact, a simple mobile phone. The next step to find a way for farmers to reach them without spending a single penny. They also needed a phone system to ensure that the calls were tracked.
Using toll-free numbers to procure products
Shardul & Sitanshu began by advertising a toll-free number in the states (one in each state) they operated in. This was the number the farmers could call to order what they needed. The toll-free number was mapped to Exotel. So, when a farmer called on the number, they received an automated call back letting them know that an executive would call them soon. The executives who called the farmers back served as counselors as well. They helped solve the farmers’ problems by suggesting relevant products to them. The agents then help them place an order for those products which will be delivered to their doorstep.
Business built on phone calls
Agrostar has now been able to reach a large number of farmers at no additional cost to them. Farmers can get the products they require in an easy, cost-effective and quick way, right at their doorstep.
Marketing using Automated calls
Phone calls served as not just way to take orders but also reach out to more farmers and educate them about Agrostar. They are able to use calls to customise their messaging to make it most relevant for the farmers as well. For instance, during the cotton season, Agrostar identifies the farmers they want to reach out to and sets an automated call campaign giving them details about it. At the end of the call, they have an IVR menu asking farmers whether they are interested in procuring cotton related products. This information is then captured and a callback is given based on the farmer’s response
Farmers are now proactively able to procure products even before the season starts. They are well aware of the season and are therefore well-prepared.
Why Exotel gets a thumbs up
We love Exotel for mainly 2 reasons
1. The response is quick. Without Exotel, we cannot reach farmers. Therefore, you can only guess how important a prompt response is. Exotel helps our services run without any interruptions.
2. Exotel is super easy to understand. When I started out I thought it would take me a while before I started running campaigns. To my surprise, it was quite the contrary. was able to figure it out in no time!