Cash crop trading- Agri-tech ‘Poshn’ plans to expand its presence in the country
The top official of the Delhi-based agri-tech commodity B2B trading platform Poshn said that the company wants to expand to other parts of the country and trade by getting into the cash crop market.
‘Right now, we do business in the northern belt with things like sugar, oil, flour, and rice. We want to grow into other areas and get into the cash crop market,’ said Shashank Singh, who helped start the company.
Poshn is a business-to-business (B2B) platform that digitally connects aggregators and processors, who are mostly small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs), with wholesalers. On Poshn’s platform, suppliers like processors can list the goods they have for sale, and buyers or wholesalers can make requests to buy them.
Using artificial intelligence and machine learning, the company helps buyers and sellers find the best products, prices, and delivery times. It also helps buyers get working capital.
‘There are three things we offer to our sellers: First, we help them get to every corner of the world, just like big companies like HUL and Britannia. Our sellers, who are mostly processors, are small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) that don’t have the power of big companies to reach far-flung parts of the country. It is one of their biggest problems,’ Shashank and Bhuvanesh Gupta said in an online interview with the business line.
The second thing that Poshn does is make sure that payments due to sellers don’t get stuck. ‘This actually holds up their payment, so they can’t redeploy until the payment is made. This makes capacity use unpredictable.’It used to take 15 days to pay, but now it only takes a day. We quickly buy and give out the money. This directly affects sales, which have gone up. This will also make it so that people don’t have to take stock,’ Singh said.
This is how the digital platform works. The buyer writes down his needs on Poshn’s platform and asks for them to be met. This is auctioned off in the background, with prices and delivery times being matched. ‘We have become a key part of ensuring procurement. We are no longer just a platform for finding things out. The co-founders said, ‘It’s a high-priced one that we own up to in terms of prices and delivery dates.’
It took Poshn, whose name means ‘nutrition’ and refers to the business it is in, a while to get going after it was founded in 2020. ‘We thought of this plan in June of last year. In the beginning, we made ₹80 lakh. It was ₹49 crore last month. We think the income will be more than ₹140 crores by the end of this fiscal year,’ Singh said.
Poshn is planning on doing a few things to bring in even more money. One, it is likely to look into exporting sugar to a few international markets, mostly smaller ones like Bangladesh and Nepal. Two, it will try to send rice to China and West Asia, where it is used to make noodles. ‘We’ll be picky about what we export, and we’ll only do it when we’re in charge of the supply,’ he said.
The third way it can improve its future is by making deals with banks and non-banking financial companies (NBFCs). ‘This will help keep our customers loyal. We are also telling banks and NBFCs to go beyond the traditional structure of balance sheets or GST filing since we bring in 100 data points on the health of our suppliers and buyers,’ the co-founder of Posh said.
This year, Prime Ventures and Zephyr Peacock India led a seed round that raised ₹28.8 crores for Poshn. Soon, these financial partnerships will be open to help SMEs get direct access to working capital.
On the role of technology, he said that it gave the company the ability to grow without adding more people. ‘Technology makes the same number of people do more with the same amount of effort. ‘It’s not necessary to get orders every day because technology takes care of that and closes the trade without any human help,’ Singh said.
He said that the company bids on tenders put out by mills that are given sales quotas by the government and then blocks the amount that its buyers need.