Interviews

An Exclusive Interview with Co-founder of Clover Ventures, Avinash B R

Clover Ventures launched in 2018 is a greenhouse agri-tech startup. Representing each leaf of the clover are its four founders - Avinash B RArvind MGururaj S Rao, and Santhosh Narasipura. Based out of Bangalore, the company is Series A funded. 

What is Clover venture and how you are managing it? 

Clover Venture is building an organized supply chain for fresh produce. Our solutions lie in a demand-backed supply chain for perishables that is focused on quality, consistency and traceability. We manage a network of peri-urban “dark farms” that cultivate this fresh produce in high quality, high-yield manner. The company is currently managing over 70 plus acres of farms by working with several smallholder farmers. Clover Ventures supplies its high-quality fresh produce to B2B clientele such as Internet Kitchens, fine-dining outlets, food processors and Modern Retail across Bangalore and Hyderabad. Our company is in the process of launching their farm to consumer brand of fresh produce and began its B2C journey in Bengaluru this year in April and the coming days will scale the B2C offering across both Bengaluru and Hyderabad.  

What is the Clover Ventures three-pronged strategy?  

They are:  

  • Demand-led cultivation - production for demand, on-demand

  • Managed farm network - build a network of farms for scale; technology-enabled farm management

  • Full-stack agronomy - drive standardization across quality, yields and productivity 

Clover recently announced that it is strengthening its technology stack across all its core functional areas. Can you highlight some inputs? 

We are currently running operations in Karnataka, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh and working with over 100 farmers, the company plans to expand further in the South and West as they grow operations to cover more of the Indian subcontinent. As the requirement for a clean, safe and hygienic source for F&V is becoming mainstream, we foresee an opportunity to grow more than 10X and are scaling up our supply chain, warehousing and farmer infra capabilities to meet this expectation. Technology plays a key role in helping us stay ahead of the curve in balanced interplay across demand, supply and operations. 

What is Farmer Technology, in Clover venture context?  

Farmer Technology, in our context, is a greenfield and needs reimagining of the world where possibilities are limitless. What we see today in farmer tech is just the tip of the iceberg. We believe that technology will play a transformational role. We are starting to see the change already as farmers see new prospects with technology starting to touch their daily operational lives. 

Will the Farm Bill 2020 benefit farmers, agritech startups and private players?  

Yes definitely, as now many companies already work with farmers, but it is based on relationships. Now, those relationships will get storified into contracts across crops, regions, etc. And we’ll have more private sector involvement. 

This interview was taken by Pritam Kashyap, Journalist, Krishi Jagran on September 16, 2020, via telephone. We look forward to more interactions and collaborations in the future as well. 

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