For Vijay Bhaskar Reddy Dinnepu, the urge to give back to his roots was unrelenting. And that’s what led to the founding of his initiative KisanRajaFRESH, that delivers fresh fruit, procured directly from farmers, to homes and offices. This, he feels, will help both the cultivator of the fruit and its end consumer – the consumer will pay less than he presently does and despite this, the farmer will earn more.
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A chemical engineer with a post graduate degree in computer science from IIT Madras, Dinnepu embarked on this enterprise as a natural extension of his "KisanRaja" venture, started primarily with a vision "to make agriculture a farmer-friendly occupation, with an ultimate objective of bringing about food security".
Dinnepu, a native of Kadappah district, A.P., hails from an agricultural family and is familiar with what farmers experience in the fields, from tilling the fields right to getting their produce into the market for sale.
After completing his education, Dinnepu worked at Intel and Cisco for a few years before deciding to work to give back to his roots, agriculture. In 2010, he started Vinfinet Technologies Pvt. Ltd, with the objective of helping solve problems faced by his family and other farmers. "If technology cannot solve the problems of 72% of the population, of what use is it?" he asks.
Erratic water supply and erratic power supply were the two very visible problems that farmers faced – and these were related. Without power it was difficult to get water into the fields and without water the crops wouldn’t grow well, affecting productivity. Most often, farmers would need to go out into the fields at odd hours to switch on the motor pumps to get water into the fields.
After some research on available and possible solutions, Dinnepu and his team developed KisanRaja, a GSM-based mobile motor controller, which allows farmers to control the agricultural motor pumps using their mobiles or landlines from the comforts of their homes or anywhere else. It is an easy to use, economical communication device, which can be fitted to all the existing motor starters and operated using mobiles or landlines of any operator. By just dialing a number, the farmer can switch on his motor pump using the phone just as a remote!
KisanRaja has gone through a few iterations and variations to serve different farming needs. Depending on the model, the price varies between Rs 3,500 and Rs 7,500. With more than a hundred dealers and distributors in Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh, it has touched the lives of more than 1600 farmers in a positive way. Over the last couple of years it has been recognised as one of the most useful farming innovations to improve agricultural productivity in various socio-technological forums, the most recent ones being Mahindra’s Spark the Rise and Sankalp 2012.
Apart from the mobile motor controller, the company has been developing other agri-solutions, all towards fulfilling its mission to "shape the future of farming in economies using sustainable technologies and make agriculture a safe and profitable occupation". KisanRajaFRESH is just one of these. Just a phone call or an email to KisanRajaFRESH can get you fresh seasonal fruits at home, often at less than prevailing market rates.
Currently servicing the Marathahalli – Outer Ring Road area of Bangalore, Vijay hopes to expand to other parts of Bangalore soon.