How often do people have a calling of destiny and they return back to their home country to take things in their hand? Maithili’s story is nothing less than an inspiration and a testimony to a wonderful homecoming journey to make things better for people. She shares today with us how she thought of creating an impact with the help of tech and infrastructure.
Check below what Maithili had to say about climate change, farmers, and the tech she is promoting with Avana Industries.
What triggered a thought to find solutions for farmers?
I was at Georgia Tech with my seniors doing some work to help rural India to improve mental health. That is when I realised, It is totally a different scenario of mental health and India has a very high suicide rate, additionally the farmers suicide rate is increasing.
It made me contemplate in my mind thinking why suicide rate is high here? Farmers are totally dependent on rain fall and the rainfall pattern has been changing from the last couple of years. Even Mumbai from the last couple of years back is at the receiving end of irregular rainfall. It is a small indicator of how rainfall patterns have been changing season by season.
On analysis we have figured out the number of rainfall days has been going down significantly. Also the groundwater is depleting, this gives limited access to farmers to grow multiple crops throughout the year.
The idea was community based, when we started we were not aware how cheap the solution would be, but with our tech it was 10x cheaper. We were grateful that we got 5 acres of land to establish the project. Not only that, we managed to help farmers increase their income by 98.7%. That is actually doubling their income.
Avana has been continuously upgrading the products for efficacy & efficiency, Tell us something about it.
The core idea is to make profits for our farmers. That is why we always work on the factors that will help us save money, and increase production. This is backed by expert knowledge and collaboration.
To add to it we focus on tech and innovation, we bring in materials that aid farmers in their production. At the end of the day it is not only tools, but giving them all the support services to use those tools effectively. Like I say a laptop with a charging unit, would not be helpful.
One advice you would like to give people who want to enter social entrepreneurship
I truly believe business is a wealth creator, NonProfits are a good way of wealth distribution. Both are necessary to bring in balance. Social Entrepreneurship is more about creating impact as the wealth is created.
Social Entrepreneurship is a powerful concept, if every entrepreneur is cautious and cognizant of their duties towards people and environment they will create a positive impact in the society. It is definitely difficult to practice social entrepreneurship, but it is definitely worth it.
Who were the game changers while building up Avana?
There are a lot of people who helped me, specifically my professor. He helped me with the technical part. There was a lot of initial planning. We had a subject on social entrepreneurship and I actually did some classes under my professor. That was a big game changer. I learned a lot from him and of course my parents were a support system for me.
What was your toughest decision? Or the toughest things that you have to go through
I was not really exposed to any challenges early in my life. I would say I was blessed. Toughest thing was the local language because I did my education in Ambani school then Georgia in the USA.
When I returned back the challenge was to settle to a rural environment, the language and the environment was a challenge. Again even though there were women workers, the decision-makers were Men. There was definitely a challenge as a 15-year old me tried communicating with a 55 Year old Decision Maker.
What are the new things coming up in the future?
We are exploring PAN India opportunities. Currently our focus is to deliver products that benefit our people. Avana is learning and working on bringing new tech and innovation to keep things economical and add value to our ecosystem.