Vimal Panjwani of AgriVijay Shares How Its Renewable Energy Solutions Empower Rural Communities

Vimal Panjwani of AgriVijay Shares How Its Renewable Energy Solutions Empower Rural Communities
Vimal Panjwani, Founder and CEO, AgriVijay

On the occasion of World Environment Day, StartupTalky connected with Vimal Panjwani, the Founder and CEO of AgriVijay for an insightful conversation. AgriVijay is India’s first marketplace of renewable energy products for farmers and rural households, promoting energy independence and sustainability.

In this exclusive conversation, learn about their groundbreaking initiatives in sustainable agriculture, and how it is revolutionising rural communities by empowering farmers and combating climate change through renewable energy solutions and AI-enabled platforms.

StartupTalky: Could you explain in simple terms what AgriVijay does? What are your main goals as a company?

Mr. Panjwani: AgriVijay is India's first curated Marketplace & Agtech Climate Action Social Enterprise of Renewable & Green Energy products for Farmers & Rural households helping them increase their savings and income along with fighting Climate Change by bringing all products in solar, biogas, thermal, wind & green energy - electric under one roof and with an Energy Advisory Recommendation approach where farmer's energy & agriculture needs are understood coupled with waste availability at their end before products are recommended, sold, financed and deployed as an 'End to End' solution provider for last mile.

With the help of a dedicated AI-enabled Whatsapp Chatbot, Website, Call Centre in the local languages, Field Sales/Technical Team & offline Franchise Business Model at the village level known as Renewable Energy Stores making Renewable & Green Energy products  - Accessible, Available & Affordable aligned with UN SDG's on rural grounds coupled with benefits such as Free Insurance, Long Term Warranty, Assured After Sales Service, EMI / Financing Facility at subsidised Interest Rate helping Farmers & Rural households Energy & Financially Independent with increased savings & income along with contributing to the Global Climate Action movement.

At AgriVijay, we are leading the largest climate action movement with a vision to onboard 1 million farmers and rural households as renewable and green energy producers and consumers, aiming to reduce 1 million tons of GHG/CO2 emissions by 2030.

AgriVijay Products
AgriVijay Products

StartupTalky: How does AgriVijay help farmers and rural households? Could you provide some examples of the products and services you offer?

Mr. Panjwani: Farmers suffer from post-harvest losses & most of them are also dependent on fossil fuels such as diesel to run their diesel gensets in order to run their electric water pumps, milking machines, etc. along with firewood for cooking by the rural women. They also have the availability of animal/food/agri waste which goes unharnessed in the form of energy but impacts Climate Change with GHG/CO2 emissions.

We are the 3rd GHG emitter as a nation. Also, if a farmer wants to switch to Renewable Energy to solve these problems there is no dedicated marketplace or store in the village where his energy needs are understood & product is recommended based on his pocket. There is no Knowledge insemination or education around various renewable energy products & their benefits in solar, biogas, thermal, wind, and other green energy products such as electricity. These products are neither available at the village level nor accessible hence becoming unaffordable for last-mile consumers.

AgriVijay brings 45+ companies that are esteemed partners with their 200+ innovations on the platform today in solar, biogas, and green energy - electric, agritech & organic coupled with their ‘End to End’ solution with their bundled package making them different from traditional dealer-distributor model for farmers & rural households.

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StartupTalky: How does AgriVijay contribute to fighting climate change? Can you share any specific impact metrics or success stories?

Mr. Panjwani: AgriVijay has impacted 6000+ farmers & rural households lives in its 4 years of existence with their 80+ Renewable Energy Stores having an outreach of 15,00,000 farmers in 350 villages having abated 10,000 tons of GHG/CO2 emissions along with mitigating 73,000 kgs of post-harvest losses mitigated with technologies like Solar Dryer & Solar Refrigeration.

AgriVijay also spearheaded the mission by treating 1,64,250 Kgs of animal waste replacing 59,000 kgs of firewood with clean cooking fuel such as Biogas producing 3.28 litres of lakhs of liquid organic digested bio-slurry replacing chemical fertilisers usage on fields by farmers. AgriVijay is becoming a leader in solar having 6.57 KWH lakhs of clean energy being produced while irrigating 500+ acres of farmlands with increased savings and income of INR 17.5 lakh.

Case Study Mr. Shahabuddin:

Mr. Shahbuddin is a small vegetable farmer in Ajmer, Rajasthan who has been investing INR 15,000 to 20,000 every month in diesel/electricity for irrigating his farms. He reached out to AgriVijay for a solution where our Team recommended & installed a 5 hp Solar Water Pump. Today after 2.5 years he has not only saved INR 15,000 to 20,000 every month but also has abated around 10 tons of CO2 emissions with his Solar Water Pump and has received an ROI in 12 months itself. He also enjoys Free Insurance against theft & Long-term warranty of 5 years on Pump & Controller which is an AgriVijay advantage.

Case Study MGNREGA Mr. Shailesh:

He is a small dairy farmer in the District Panchayat of Dadra & Nagar Haveli where his wife used to cook on firewood and with the help of MGNREGA & AgriVijay Team the firewood was replaced with a clean cooking digester producing Biogas where they cook for 2-3 hours every day by feeding 35-40 Kgs of cow dung mixed with water also getting 70 liters of rich organic liquid bio-slurry to be used in farms enriching soil organically. The Biogas digester which costs about INR 40,000 comes with a complete package of cookstove, pipeline, inlet, and outlet tanks and with AgriVijay advantage it comes with free delivery & installation. The digestor also mitigates 5 tons of GHG emissions annually with an ROI of 12 months replacing firewood & chemical fertilizer bringing monthly savings of INR 2500 to INR 3,000 for rural households.

Case Study Mr. Vitthal Ranjane:

Mr. Vitthal Ranjane With a 3HP Solar Water Pump
Mr. Vitthal Ranjane With a 3HP Solar Water Pump

Mr. Vitthal Ranjane - He is an active vegetable farmer in Varoshi Village in the Satara district of Maharashtra who was spending INR 15,000 every month on Diesel to run his genset in order to run an electric water pump for irrigation and replaced it with a 3 HP Solar Water Pump bringing immense savings along with reducing emissions from diesel. He also stated that he got better returns for his ginger in the market after using solar irrigation as earlier he used to get INR 13-14 per kg while now he gets INR 100 per kg with solar irrigated ginger on his farms bringing increased income.

Case Study Mr. Harshal Mali:

An active Onion Chiku farmer from Palghar village in Maharashtra was recommended a Solar Dryer with Electric Backup to minimize post-harvest losses and also generate income out of the wastage of the produce at his end.

Our happy customer Mr. Harshali Mali explains and quotes, “The quality and nutrient content of the produce is better than the conventional drying it is also affordable as compared to an electric dryer. It is very useful for seashore areas where humidity content is high. It controls humidity maintains moisture to the required extent and dries products perfectly. I use it for products like Sapota (Chiku) which usually takes 3 days to dry but it dries up in only 1 day using a solar dryer. I am now able to save INR 8,000-10,000 per month.”

He got his ROI in just 8 months and with AgriVijay's advantage, he got the dryer delivered and installed to his farm along with Free Insurance against theft and Natural Damage coupled with a long-term warranty assured after-sales service by AgriVijay.

Case Study Mr. Sunil Rawatale:

Mr. Sunil wanted to open an e-Mitra centre with the help of BAIF where he can become a facilitator to the common man, offering all payment methods such as cash, net banking, and credit/debit cards. Further, enabling the users by reducing the requirement of document upload with various application forms by verifying data online. AgriVijay Team installed a Solar Inverter with a Printer to help him become Independent due to the fluctuations and challenges in electricity due to the hilly areas of Nandurbar District near Toranmal village in Maharashtra and a tribal belt.

StartupTalky: What sets AgriVijay apart from other renewable energy providers in India? What makes your approach unique or innovative?

Mr. Panjwani: If you analyse AgriVijay is a kind of Amazon of Renewable & Green Energy Products for farmers and rural households that are also without an app and actively working online with a website, AI chatbots along with offline Renewable Energy Stores. Being an ‘End to End’ solution provider bundled with benefits like Free Insurance against theft & damage from Natural Calamities, EMI/Financing facility, Long Term Warranty & Assured After Sales Service makes AgriVijay unique in the value proposition.

The moat is however the expertise across sectors the AgriVijay team brings in where at one they are helping startups & companies reach the last mile with demand generation with their omnichannel touch points while at one end they just do not recommend the product/solution to the farmer and rural household but also do the delivery and installation makes it a one-stop shop for their energy & agriculture needs.

AgriVijay Renewable Energy Store
AgriVijay Renewable Energy Store

StartupTalky: Could you walk us through the process of how AgriVijay recommends, sells, finances, and deploys renewable energy solutions for farmers and rural households?

Mr. Panjwani: Whenever a farmer or rural households connect with us through our Omni-Channel touch points mainly AI-enabled WhatsApp Chatbot & Call Centre in local languages, Field Sales Team or our Renewable Energy Stores at village level we first understand the energy & agriculture needs recommend the solution if the farmer/rural households wants to buy in cash he pays 75% and remaining afterward when the product gets delivered & installed in 7-10 days of committed TAT. In the case of Loans/Financing facility Farmer/Rural households documents are submitted for CIBIL check with our NBFC partner Samunnati and post-approval within 48 hours Loan Documents are processed for order processing in the same committed TAT.

StartupTalky: How do you ensure that the renewable energy products you offer are easily accessible, available, and affordable to farmers and rural households, especially those in remote areas?

Mr. Panjwani: We have 80+ Renewable Energy Stores today along with a dedicated technical team for installation and after-sales service along with the help of AI-enabled WhatsApp chatbots, Call Center, Field Sales Team AgriVijay ensures that farmers & rural households' energy & agriculture needs are understood before the product is recommended. We understand the energy & agriculture needs from a Farmer before recommending the right renewable energy solution. With our Renewable Energy Stores, we make 45+ companies & their 200+ innovations accessible in solar, biogas, and green energy - electric, agritech & organic and available across India and affordable with our Financing Facility of 3/6/9/12 months EMI at subsidised interest rate aligned with UN SDG’s making farmers & rural households Energy & Financially Independent along with fighting Climate Change.

StartupTalky: Can you tell us more about your partnership with various organisations like Atal Innovation Mission, NITI Aayog, and Indigram Labs Foundation? How do these partnerships support AgriVijay's mission?

Mr. Panjwani: We have been an ANIC 2.0 (Atal New India Challenge) winner as a purely homegrown startup company backed & supported by Atal Innovation Mission (AIM) & NITI Aayog, Govt of India at AIC RMP, AIC ADT Baramati Foundation. Our presence in multiple states has been governed by incubation at  IRMA Iseed (Gujarat), AIIDE & SIIC - (IIT Kanpur Noida Extension) helping us scale our impact while we are invested by Indigram Labs Foundation under the Startup India Seed Fund Scheme (SISFS) supported by DPIIT, Govt of India .

We got our seed round investment support from AIC JKLU along with Miss Sanvali Kaushik, aIDEA ICAR NAARM (under NABARD CCF) & Institute of Rural Management Anand (IRMA) under LIC HFL Social Trailblazer program 2023 proudly having them as Investors & Advisors on our captable. We have also been a recipient of the DST NIDHI Seed Support Fund by ABI ICRISAT & HDFC Parivartan Grantee by Climate Collective in 2023 & RKVY RAFTAAR Grantee by IGKV Raipur supported by the Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare, Govt of India in 2024.

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StartupTalky: What impact do you hope to achieve with your B2B and B2G projects? Can you share any success stories from these projects?

Mr. Panjwani: AgriVijay as an ag-tech climate action social enterprise works to bring impact at scale. We have been rigorously working in B2B and B2G to diversify our impact with different technologies in solar, biogas & green energy - electric. We have showcased our prowess with multiple organisations in B2B like SELCO foundation across India as well in Bihar, Orissa, Rajasthan, and Maharashtra, TRIF in Uttar Pradesh, BAIF in Maharashtra along with experimenting with our business model with new technologies like Biogas Digester with MGNREGA in Dadra & Nagar Haveli & Gujarat.

A Few of Our Work in B2B & B2G:

Project 1: SELCO Foundation - AgriVijay AtmanirbharKisanParivar Project

AgriVijay - SELCO Foundation Impact Project

We implemented our last-mile livelihood business model of Renewable Energy stores at the village level for the rural communities impacted due to COVID under Catalyse Tech 2021.

We opened over 20 Renewable Energy Stores at the village level in the Jaipur and Ajmer regions of Rajasthan. We provided training on renewable energy products, conducted multiple awareness campaigns, and disseminated knowledge to the RE Store owners on the benefits of renewable energy products, including solar, biogas, and green energy such as electricity. Additionally, we distributed demo products to raise awareness. With the help of Renewable Energy Stores, we generated employment and trading opportunities to grow and stand again; mitigating COVID's impact on the livelihood of 60,000 Rural Youth of India.

Project 2: Arpan SevaSansthan - AgriVijay Clean Cooking for Rural Women with Biogas Digester Project

ARPAN Seva Sansthan - AgriVijay Clean Cooking for Rural Women with Biogas Digester Project

We replaced firewood and chemical fertilizer in 15 rural households with Clean Cooking Fuel - Biogas and Organic Fertilizer - Bioslurry using flexible biodigesters which are produced by treating animal waste. This initiative was implemented in the Reengus and Ajmer regions of Rajasthan. Rural women and their families now have access to healthy, smokeless cooking practices with clean fuel along with additional financial savings of about Rs 2000/ month per Family. It saves time spent on collecting and cooking using firewood which is now given to their children, household, or other economic activities.

Project 3: MGNREGA- Installation of Biogas - Digesters In Dadra and Nagar Haveli.

AgriVijay got an opportunity to work with the MGNREGA, District Panchayat, Dadra & Nagar Haveli, where we executed a pilot project of installing a biogas digester of 2 m³ at a rural household of a dairy farmer in Silvassa. A biogas digester can produce clean cooking fuel – biogas – which is sufficient for cooking purposes for a 3–4-member rural household (2–3 hours of daily cooking), reducing dependency on firewood and LPG.

It also produces 60–70 liters of organic bio-slurry, replacing chemical fertilizer and enriching soil health. The biogas digester, which costs about INR 40,000, comes with a complete package including a cookstove, pipeline, inlet, and outlet tanks, and with the AgriVijay advantage, it comes with free delivery and installation. The digester also mitigates 5 tons of GHG emissions annually, with an ROI of 12 months, replacing firewood and chemical fertilizer, bringing monthly savings of INR 2,500 to INR 3,000 for rural households.

StartupTalky: How does AgriVijay utilise technology, such as AI-enabled chatbots and e-commerce platforms, to reach and serve farmers and rural households?

Mr. Panjwani: AgriVijay has been leveraging technologies like IoT & AI for a while considering penetrating rural areas with the internet and increasing usage of WhatsApp we brought AI Chatbots in Hindi & English & soon will be launching the same in Marathi, Telugu & Gujarati to engage more with farmers  & rural households so that they become more knowledgeable about the renewable & green energy innovations along with their benefits and later connect with our team for better understanding and right recommendation before making a purchase decision.

We at AgriVijay are also educating them with our social media handles especially YouTube where we upload all our products whenever we list them on the platform along with our installations of various products with farmers and rural households sharing their experiences bringing better validation for our high-quality product and service.

StartupTalky: Finally, could you share about the importance of environmental sustainability in AgriVijay's business model? How do you ensure that your operations align with sustainable practices?

Mr. Panjwani: AgriVijay has been contributing to the global climate action movement since its inception having abated 10,000 tons of GHG/CO2 emissions recognizing the energy needs of farmers and rural households, we are dedicated to recommending, selling, financing, delivering, and deploying renewable energy solutions that cater to their specific requirements. Our commitment extends beyond transactions; we provide a comprehensive package including long-term warranties, guaranteed after-sales services, and solar insurance. Moreover, we facilitate accessibility through an EMI financing facility, ensuring that our products are not only available but also affordable for farmers and rural households.

In harmony with UN SDGs, encompassing Goals 1 (No Poverty), 3 (Good Health and Well-being), 5 (Gender Equality), 7 (Affordable and Clean Energy), 11 (Sustainable Cities and Communities), 13 (Climate Action), and 17 (Partnerships for the Goals), our initiatives strive to contribute to social well-being, economic empowerment, and environmental sustainability in rural areas. We also do our deliveries of the products with Green Energy transport & vehicles.

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