SRIDHAR EASWARANSridhar Easwaran is a career banker with over 35 remarkable years of experience in Banking Operations, Project Management, and Risk Management. He started his professional journey at PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) and later moved on to HDFC Bank, where he, along with his team, played a key role in launching Retail Banking Operations. He was the COO of Societe Generale before taking up his current role in Samunnati as one of its founding team members and the Senior Vice President for the FPO division. For Sridhar, his current role at Samunnati makes it possible to pursue both his career as a banker and his desire to contribute to the agriculture sector by designing customised and most effective solutions, products, services for the different players in the agri value chain. Started in 2014, Samunnati is steered by a unified vision ‘to make the market work for the smallholder farmers’ by making the value chains operate at a higher equilibrium. Samunnati has taken a value chain-based approach for all its agriculture solutions and has its presence in 19 states across the country.
Your extensive experience across diverse operations in the banking industry must have given you the opportunity to witness a remarkable transformation over time. What has been the role of technology in this transformation, particularly in the last five years?
Could you tell us a little more about your role in the capacity development of FPOs at Samunnati?
What is the AMLA framework and what are its advantages for the FPO?
Samunnati works with over 500+ FPOs and 330+ Agri Enterprises in 19 states across the country, which in turn benefits over 4 million farmers. Having had that kind of an impact, what makes an NBFC an essential element in the progress of smallholder farmers in India, provided that numerous banks also provide agri-credit to them?
Close to 70% of the Indian population depends on agriculture for a livelihood, and a significant number of farmers live in remote areas. How do you think the government and lending institutions can ensure these farmers have better access to credit and other services that can help improve their agricultural productivity?
Today, the use of technology for agricultural activities is enabling producers around the world to enhance farm operations, reduce crop loss, and ensure high-quality produce. Have you witnessed a major transformation in the way smallholder farmers approach agriculture after adopting digital farming solutions?
What do you believe are three important factors that ensure the growth and sustainability of FPOs?
In your opinion, how does technology strengthen the value chain for stakeholders in the agri-food ecosystem?
On a closing note, do you have any advice for the agroecosystem, particularly for the younger generation?