Ajit J Ingle
“The great aim of education is not knowledge but action,” echoes the English philosopher, Herbert Spencer. Be it education, knowledge or experience, it becomes a powerful tool when it is applied the right way. Ajit J Ingle, an agritech expert, is manifesting a strong testament to this fact through his entrepreneurial venture – Atuofert Agrimations Equipments Pvt Ltd, which offers high-tech solutions to monitor and automate irrigation & fertilization and increase productivity. A postgraduate in the field of Horticulture from University of Agricultural Sciences (Dharwad), Ajit kick started his industrial career with BioBee Eliyahu Sde Ltd in Israel. With the backup of international exposure coupled with the hands on experience with the high-tech farming and precise fertigation technologies, he incepted Atuofert Agrimations in 2018. In an exclusive interview with CIO Insider, Ajit walks us through his entrepreneurial journey.
In conversation with Ajit J Ingle, Managing Director, Atuofert Agrimations Equipments
Ajit, entrepreneurship today tags along multidimensional responsibilities. What inspired you to become a technology professional in the AgriTech domain and what drives you today?
Having worked with multinational companies in the field of agriculture with the specialization in fertigation technology, precise fertilizer application in high-tech farming and integrated pesticide management, it was not that hard to recognize the large vacuum prevailed in Indian farming system pertaining to the need of these technologies at an affordable cost. In other words, my inspiration was the farmers' requirement of the right technology for the right function, which is affordable and easy to use. The continuous support of my team, the kind of trust farmers have on our products, and finally the rise in production which brings a smile on the farmer’s face drive me today and further pumps us to develop more advanced products for them.
Cutting to the chase, what is Agrimations? Tell us about its
interventions in the agriculture market.
Agrimations is a word derived from two common terms Agriculture and Automations. The company stays true to its name by providing farmers with precise and automated irrigation and fertigation systems. Our solutions help farmers in multiple ways. For instance, the power availability in agriculture is poor with hours of load shedding; to say nothing of the frequent fluctuations. This makes irrigation a herculean task. But with our systems, the farmers can irrigate their crops at any time according to the availability of the power. They get real updates about the voltage and necessary parameters on their smartphone. They can also operate the entire activity through their smartphone from anywhere.
our technical support team remains always ready 24x7 to support farmers at all hours. Our team members even visit the customers in their remote farming locations
Tell us about the team that you have been able to build within your organization. How would you describe the team and their passion and inspiration?
Agrimations’ success would have never been possible without the support of the right people, thanks to my team members who are always motivated and passionate. Since farming is not a profession and it’s a lifestyle, we have to be ready for all kinds of technical support round the clock. Most of the time, electricity supply for agriculture purposes is done during the night. Hence, our technical support team remains always ready 24x7 to support farmers at all hours. Our team members even visit the customers in their remote farming locations. We have seven support engineers, two senior marketing managers, four production executives and three people for the back-end support. It’s a compact team of young experts who are always ready to learn
new things. Our team loves to accept new challenges and is always eager to under-stand the sophisticated farming requirements.
Tell us about the underlying technology frameworks behind your platform. What about the impact of them?
We have two major sections in our product range; Hydraulics parts and Software parts. While our in-house experts manufacture the hydraulic fertigation bench in our facility, our specialized technology partner facilitates the software and IoT support. This makes sure that we are at the bleeding edge. We also import from the reputed companies across the world, if and when required.
Our high-end systems enable farmers to optimize the resources, which results in maximum output. For instance, it helps them meet the irrigation requirement of a crop at the right time. Needless to say, quantified irrigation not only saves the water but also increases the yield. On the other hand, automated application of fertilizers not only saves time, labour and monitoring resources for the farmers, but also saves fertilizers and increases yield upto 30 percent. Most importantly, we have designed it to be the most suitable system for Indian conditions, since the inter-national products stand miles away from the ground realities in India. Our systems perform in adverse conditions like low voltage, frequent power failures, erratic power supply etc., despite the fact that they are highly affordable and easy to operate & maintain. In addition, we have designed the user interface keeping farmers in mind, making it easy to understand and picturesque as well.
You have close to a decade of professional experience. How has your journey been so far?
I started my professional career as a technical assistant in a Government University, which led me to learning the basic skills of operations, reporting, and expressing the knowledge easily. It proved to be a significant help when I joined BioBee Eliyahu Sde, the second largest company in the field of Integrated Pest Management, Natural Pollination, and Medfly Control. My first stint was in Israel and it provided me with hands-on experience with multiple technologies which are used in high-tech farming, including irrigation automation and precise fertigation. The experience also helped me learn the latest methodologies and techniques for increasing productivity and quality of agricultural crops. In 2013, I came back to India and established BioBee in India. After five years, I realized my dream of starting my own venture. It’s a thrilling journey that I am on, solving India-centric challenges when it comes to irrigation and fertigation. The feedback from farmers is a true inspiration to go forward.