While most investors and startups are focussed on urban India, the potential of rural innovation has long gone untapped. According to IBEF, India is home to about 650K villages, which have a population of about 850 Mn consumers. These consumers make up for about 70% of the population and contribute to around half of the country’s GDP. Realising the vast potential in rural India, many stakeholders are slowly shifting their focus. Joining this league, Kerala Startup Mission (KSUM), is hosting Rural India Business Conclave—a roadmap for rural innovation—in Kasaragod from February 27 to March 3.
Thanks to the changing consumption trends and the potential of rural India for private companies, offering a large and attractive investment opportunity. But because of a lack of the right platforms for rural entrepreneurs, investors often miss out on seeing the innovation. In a bid to tackle these issues, KSUM’s Rural India Business Conclave includes a SITI (science, invention, technology and invention) exhibition for the investors in attendance.
“The target set by our government to make India a trillion-dollar digital economy by 2024 will be attained only if its focus includes strengthening the rural economies along with overall growth. The problem is that most innovation from the rural areas of the country are not recognised as widely as the urban ones are. Additionally, rural innovators often do not have enough experience or exposure to convert their innovations into viable commercial propositions. We aim to change that as much as we can,” said Sayyid Sawad, business development coordinator, KSUM.
To be held in ICAR-CPCRI, Kasaragod, the conclave aims to:
- Bring to light the innovations with use-cases in the rural sector
- Highlight investment opportunities in rural businesses
- Help startups reap opportunities in agri-allied sectors
The Key Sessions And Events
KSUM has planned several sessions to bring the rural sector startups to the attention of investors, not only the innovations from rural India but also the innovations that cater to rural consumers and businesses.
Dream Big – Kalpa
Dream-Big Kalpa has been organised at ICAR-CPCRI every year since 2015 with the aim of bringing scientists and industrialists together on to a single platform. The 2020 edition of Dream-Big Kalpa is being held along the lines of a technology-sourcing fair with the presence of scientists from other ICAR-research institutes and incubation centres.
This session will see entrepreneurs who have built startups to successfully solve problems in rural India. The entrepreneurs will share their experiences and journey to help aspiring and budding entrepreneurs learn and clear their concerns about building similar ventures focussed on rural markets.
The conclave is set to host panel discussions with founders, investors, policy-makers, academicians and other stakeholders of the ecosystem to discuss different aspects of the rural economy.
These sessions will help startups in the R&D phase. Not only will stalwarts from different research institutes discuss the approach for a startup in the phase, but startups will also get a view of the market gaps in various sectors.
Participating in the sessions are prominent names such as angel investor Nagaraja Prakasam, Malabar Angel Network’s P K Gopalakrishnan, FarmersFZ founder Pradeep Punarka, Saji Gopinath, CEO, Kerala Startup Mission and other luminaries.Apply Now
The hackathons at the conclave will showcase live examples of rural innovation. The hackathons are scheduled to be held between February 29 and March 1 to showcase ideas and propositions to the startup ecosystem stakeholders at the event. The topics for the hackathon include:
- Robotic-assisted grafting of plants
- Technology for identification of maturity of Coconut without human interference
- Virtual Santhai – Enable seamless marketing of rural India commodities and products
- Mobile app for linking waste to wealth creation
Among the major highlights of the conclave is the SITI exhibition, providing innovators and the technology talent with a platform to showcase their work and get their moment in the spotlight.
Who can exhibit?
The exhibition aims to be the ideal platform for growers, traders, and other stakeholders in the agriculture sector including livestock and fisheries. Apart from this, the exhibition will have a special pavilion for startups.
The Registration Process
To participate in the exhibition, interested candidates need to register on KSUM’s website. The applications are open for anyone related to the agriculture sector. The last date for applying to the exhibition is February 29.
The slots are filling up fast, so if you are an enthusiast or investor looking to help and boost India’s rural economy, sign up to attend the conclave and help those who are making a difference.Apply Now