With the emergence of nuclear families and urban migration, traditional farming has become increasingly unviable. However, many social enterprises and organizations are working to reverse the trend and promote sustainable farming and dairy practices. That includes Akshayakalpa.
Since its inception in 2010, Bengaluru-headquartered Akshayakalpa identifies, supports, and relocates farmers to bring them back to the agrarian economy. Today, Akshayakalpa works with 160 farmers around Tiptur in Karnataka. They have also built a successful business retailing organic milk and 30+ dairy products under the same brand name. In 2017-2018, the business touched a revenue of Rs 30 crores (approximately USD 4.4 million).
“Today, 63 percent of the price our customers pay for any of our products goes directly to our farmers’ pockets,” says founder Shashi Kumar. “As of October 2018, the average income of our farmers was Rs 65000 (approximately USD 950) per month. If you ask our growth plans, it would be to take this number to Rs 1,00,000 (approximately USD 1,500) per month.”
For Akshayakalpa, direct selling contributes about 80 to 90 percent of the business. And, it is here that it has found an enabler in the WhatsApp Business app.
Zakir Sunasara, Growth Marketing Manager, says, “Akshayakalpa addresses a range of queries, from status of orders to changing orders to generic queries via the WhatsApp chat button on the website. This has helped to service our customers with ease. WhatsApp Business app features like labels and quick replies help to solve customer queries faster.”
This has led to the WhatsApp Business app contributing 10 percent of the overall business, in just a few months since its adoption.
Akshayakalpa’s effort is a testament that you can make an impact if the heart and mind are in the right place, and if you also have tools like the WhatsApp Business app to help make it all possible.