thaker: Iim-a Grad is building an agricultural credit score system | Ahmedabad News

Ahmedabad: Maharshi Thaker, 30, graduated from the Postgraduate Program in Food and Agribusiness Management (PGP-FABM) at the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad (IIM-A) on April 13, unlike to many of his classmates, did not have a job on April 18. He withdrew from the institute internships so he could work on his dream project: OneImpact Technologies.
The technology company aims to create a credit scoring system for agriculture and related sectors, such as dairy and fisheries, and to become a bridge between banks and non-bank financial companies (NBFCs) in on the one hand and the farmers on the other.
“I graduated from Anand Agricultural University (AAU) majoring in dairy technology. After a one-year stint at an advertising agency in Ahmedabad, I joined Bank of Baroda (then Dena Bank) and was assigned to a loan officer position. I worked extensively around Ahmedabad in places such as Sanand, Viramgam, Bavla for six years which gave me perspective on the microfinance sector,” said Thaker, whose parents were associated with the education in Gujarat before their retirement.
He said conventional credit scoring systems such as CIBIL do not translate well to the agricultural sector, which has less documentation and a different rating system. “So during my stint, I saw that those who deserved recognition were rejected because they did not meet the standards. My aim of returning to academics was to work on a system that can cover loans between Rs 5 000 and Rs 1 lakh,” he said.
At IIM-A, Thaker became a member of the IIMAverics initiative where he partnered with CIIE.CO for incubation. With the center, he raised an undisclosed amount of funding in a funding round and secured guidelines for further development. At the end of the process, he founded OneImpact where he assumed the role of CEO.
The company profile says it wants to “help farmers with improved lending mechanisms using digital technology, AI and ML capabilities for identification, risk profiling and diversification of credit portfolios “.
“Giving up investing was a big decision, but I was committed to my dream. The technology platform we are creating will open doors for microfinance in the agricultural sector. My dream is a hassle-free lending for agriculture through a mechanism where banks and NBFCs can easily assess risk profiles,” Thaker said.
The complexities of the sector have shifted most of its funding to public sector banks (PSBs) through the Kisan Credit Card (KCC) scheme. Thaker said the lack of scope in certain areas, assessment and credit risk are some of the problems facing lenders, which they intend to address.
“We also pool data available in the public domain to create farmer profiles that can even lead to pre-approved loans. The agricultural sector is a major contributor to the economy, but it still holds a relatively small share in the credit ecosystem. Money in the sector can help farmers and allied sector practitioners in expanding, modernizing and diversifying,” Thaker said, adding that several banks have agreed to be part of the pilot project.
Vipul Patel, a seed investment partner at CIIE.CO, said, “Around 60-70% of India’s estimated 75 million households engaged in dairy farming are small and marginal farmers. Much of the dairy production remains unorganized, so these households do not have access to affordable credit that could enable them to improve their productivity. »