How This IIM Kolkata Alumnus Helped Farmers Increase Yield By 12 Times And Begin An Agricultural Revolution

Gaurav Narang, an IIM Kolkata alumnus, founded CityGreens, a startup revolutionizing Indian agriculture by helping farmers adopt hydroponics, a method that can increase yield up to 12 times. The venture began after Mumbai farmer Siva Ramakrishnan faced challenges with hydroponics, leading him to CityGreens’ training program in Coimbatore in 2019. His success story, multiplying his farm’s harvest, is one of over 5,000 farmers CityGreens has aided.

What Happened? Narang, initially in the pharma sector, was struck by the correlation between poor-quality food and chronic diseases. He realized the need for fresh, safe, and healthy food production through low-cost technology. In 2017, he and his wife Shwaita, joined by Rahul Indorkar in 2020, launched CityGreens to tackle this issue.

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CityGreens’ process involves assessing crops, market viability, and climate patterns before integrating hydroponics technology into farms. Their automation technology minimizes human errors and boosts productivity. The startup operates farms in Ahmedabad and Bengaluru, supplying companies like BigBasket, and has set up numerous hydroponic farms across India.

CityGreens also caters to hobby growers with kits and nutrients and provides comprehensive support to commercial growers.

The way ahead: Despite initial scepticism, the founders’ commitment to sustainable farming has led to significant success, including a ₹65 lakh government grant and a ₹8 crore turnover in 2021, marking their contribution to healthier food production and farmer empowerment.

Read next: How This Class 12 Dropout Tripled Earnings For Tribal Women In A Village In Rajasthan

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