Story of Ashok from Gramophone


What’s in a name? 

If you ask Shakespeare, not much.

Ask Ashok, who has been called “Aye”, “Chhotu” and other such monikers most of his life, and the name is a man’s worth. A native of Pipraundh, a village near Jabalpur, it was only after he became Village Representative (VR) for Gramophone that he was recognised by his name. 

Today, people call him Ashok from Gramophone.

Ashok is only one such story

There is Mukam Nouriya, an M.Sc. graduate, forced to stay in his village due to circumstances. With limited job opportunities, Mukam remained unemployed for years and struggled to support his family. It was becoming a VR for Gramophone that flipped the coin. He now not only earns enough to plan a better future for his children but has also gained the respect of his entire village. 

Then there is Bhagirath Kushwaha, whose father holds 3 acres of farming land and barely copes with household expenses and Bhagirath’s study fees. So, Bhagirath became a VR for Gramophone. He now funds his own education, dares to dream of having a better lifestyle and is his father’s pride all because people from nearby villages know Bhagirath by name.

VRs: The Catalyst of Trust Building in the Digital World

When people think of Gramophone as another start-up selling to farmers, these are the #TrueStories we narrate. We’re not selling. We’re creating real-world impact by planting roots with farmers.

               We are building a direct last-mile link with the farmers through village representatives like Ashok, Mukam, and Bhagirath.

Think of VRs as microentrepreneurs managing farmer relationships and driving commerce using our app, GramKonnect. VRs are the first point of contact for farmers and the channel through which we deliver the necessary advice, input, and support. Each VR covers about 40 villages and 1000 farmers in his network, allowing us to reach even the remotest farmlands. 

Thus, it minimises the CAC and fulfilment cost. We have been able to deliver goods at the last mile in less than 48 hours.      

How do you manage the operations?

Technology plays a big role in delivering quality services to the farmers. We have created an operations playbook with real-time dashboards to maintain the SLAs. VRs use GramKonnect application to maintain the relationship with the farmers. It provides the assisted farming knowledge, real-time connect with experts, catalogues for e-commerce and a fulfilment engine for last mile operations.

The numbers speak for themselves

To us, VRs are the on-the-ground, in-the-field links that bring in potent engagement that no other strategy can replicate. To these micro-entrepreneurs, it’s a way to earn a sustainable livelihood without any investment. 

And just in case you need the numbers to grasp the story, here are ours:

With 500+ village representatives, we’ve acquired farmers at 1/3rd the cost of other channels.

P.S.: Names have been changed to preserve privacy.

Agri-Innovation Stories