If it hadn’t adopted new technology the way it did, Freshokartz, a Jaipur-based e-commerce marketplace for fruits & vegetables that directly procures produce from farms, would have counted itself among the many casualties of the overnight lockdown.
“Our company’s nature of work is to meet farmers in person and resolve their farming issues,” founder and CEO Rajendra Lora, adding how at the beginning of the lockdown it became almost impossible to reach out to the farmers because of the restrictions on inter-state travel.
While it had been using WhatsApp to keep in touch with its farmer community for a few months, Lora said it was only during the lockdown that the company started using the messaging platfom extensively. “It worked wonders,” Lora said over a phone call, adding: “Our farmers tell us that this is a far more effective means of communication.” While the farmers were happy, the new form of communication also helped save him money and time.
“Everything happens over the messaging platform now. We are effectively providing the required advice to all our farmers via WhatsApp. Our team also receives confirmation orders over WhatsApp,” he explained, adding he was keen to use WhatsApp as a “permanent solution” going forward with bots in languages to communicate with farmers.
WhatsApp’s India head Abhijit Bose acknowledges the “strong role” the messaging platform could play “in driving economic value for micro and small businesses across India”. In the email statement, he sad the “current lockdown has really magnified the critical need for businesses to