StorySutra.in is an initiative to build a community of Entrepreneurs, Startups & Industry Stalwarts to celebrate success & to learn from shortfalls, and to Contribute, Inspire & Embellish Entrepreneurship by sharing their exciting Stories!
And as a part of our initiative, we invited yet another passionate Entrepreneur Mr. Harsh Agrawal for an interview with us to understand more about his entrepreneurial journey. He is the Founder At NEERx. Let’s learn more about his exciting journey, his background and his advice for our growing community! Dynamic, daring and a go-getter—these words are floating around the Man Himself.
Tell us a little bit about yourself and your journey, please;
I am Harsh Agrawal, I am the Co-Founder & CEO of NEERX TECHNOVATION PRIVATE LIMITED. I am responsible for overall execution, finance, strategy and product development. I usually derive my motivation from a lot of peer entrepreneurs to align the vision and mission for our startup. I am passionate to understand bottom of pyramid problems and develop solutions that are innovative and scalable. I, along with my Co-Founder Nikita Tiwari, started NEERX when we were in 2nd year of our different Engineering Colleges. I completed my Engineering from NIRMA University, Ahmedabad in the year 2019 and Nikita Completed her Engineering from National Institute of Technology Raipur(Chhattisgarh) in the year 2019 as well.
Please Provide a brief overview of your product & Services?
We are developing first of a kind made in India Microclimate Sensing Technology SHOOL: Smart sensor for hydrology and land application, it is validated by Indian Space research organisation (ISRO) and Indian Council for Agriculture Research (ICAR) and has 97% accuracy.
SHOOL has a potential to determine Increased salinity, Water-logging and water deficiency, appropriate fertilizer quantity, pest infestation, vegetation index, biomass scale, drought buffer, dew formation, germination rate which will help reduce agri-input cost and increase productivity.
At various stages of crop cycle, with the help of micro-climatic parameters such as soil moisture levels irrigation can scheduled efficiently(reducing water and electricity costs), fertigation helps maintaining nutrient level in the soil, integrated pest management can be implemented to save crops from pest, vegetation index helps determine growth of leaves and bearings, drought buffers can be used to prevent severe barren conditions on field and dew formation helps prevent degradation of leafy crops. SHOOL is installed on field depending on crop type, topology and acreage of land, all the microclimatic conditions are logged hourly and sent daily to central server for further analysis. Based on the data received such as soil moisture levels, soil temperature, salinity, wind speed/direction, air temperature/humidity, pressure and rain action insights are generated which could be implemented by farmers.
What inspired you to build the above Product & Service?
Inspiration has been derived through multiple field visits and farm field interaction as part of Sristi Summer School on Inclusive Innovation 2017. Our inspiration turned into passion when we interacted with Space Applications Centre, ISRO, Ahmedabad in 2018 as they were facing challenges in satellite data calibration and validation. Through continuous collaboration we were working out affordable, Made in India solution to their problem, therefore the idea of taking it ahead as startup emerged.
How did you find the industry / niche you are in?
Idea emerged while doing college level minor projects during June 2017 but it was then very crude, and took actual shape in due course of time.
What is Your life Mantra?
“Put your hearts into your work, be honest to yourself and work harder every day not just to achieve something for yourself but for greater benefits of mankind.
The most challenging part of your journey till date and how did you Overcome those challenges?
While working on the idea there were numerous challenges, be it personal or professional. Working our way out with 85% attendance criteria that we had in college was really difficult. Every spare time we had, we invested in our idea and we were always eager to find opportunities in terms of attending exhibitions, competitions and pitching sessions. To convert a frugal innovation to a fully commercial prototype and then a product was also difficult, as we didn’t have access to resources of that scale but somehow we managed a supply chain mechanism to bring down our production cost even while complying with industrial standards.
How are you managing your Life and work during Lockdown caused by COVID 19?
Since lockdown we are engaging with farmers through calls and social media to spread awareness. Initially we were in the thought: Work from home doesn’t make sense for a hardware (IOT) company but now we found this as a perfect time for implementing our backend process for advisory system.
What is your source of motivation for the day when you wake up?
My source of motivation is my mother and my work, every day I keep one thing in mind when I wake up is “Do something that has measurable impact on society and live up to the expectations of loved ones.”
Money or Emotions, what comes first for you?
Of course emotions come first for every situation of life but, money plays an important role to sustain in that life. Money can come or go but any damage cannot be acceptable in the case of emotions.
How do you Manage your stress?
Sometimes working more becomes actual guru mantra to get away from the stress and sometimes discussing with my co-founder becomes an easy solution for getting over by my stress. (Laughs)
What according to you are keys to success?
Have patience, manifest and trust the divine energy and everything will fall in place with good motives. Believe in what you are doing and give your 100% while you are in your present.
What Online Apps/tools do you use the most and Why?
Gmail, LinkedIn, News applications, these apps are in my routine. I don’t know how many times I check Gmail; through emails I list out my day to day work. Secondly I use LinkedIn and News App for getting timely updates of recent happenings.
What habit you think, makes you more productive?
Work before you get motivated or inspired
Your business Goals / plans for next 3 years?
We wish to make a great impact in agritech sector by solving a lot of problems associated with climate risks to our farmers. Taking this startup ahead with proper strategy and root level management we wish to build a great team, innovate continuously and deliver great products in the market that help increase productivity/profitability and reduce input cost.
Share a quote that inspires you the most.
Break the walls, look for perfections and seize the day.
Your advice for the Aspiring Entrepreneurs.
The most genuine advices that we have received and would like to bring forward is Put your hearts into your work, Be honest to yourself and work harder every day not just to achieve something for yourself but, for greater benefits of mankind. Have patience and trust the divine energy everything will fall in place with good motives.