Taking IT to fields and greenhouses

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Letcetra Agritech Pvt Ltd was started by Ajay Naik. Initially he was juggling between two jobs, working at Persistent and agriculture. Finally, he decided to quit his main job and turned agriculture into his life. Equipped with an IT background and a BE from Karnataka, Ajay worked in domains like artificial intelligence, healthcare, real-estate, mobile applications etc. He followed this up with 5 years of entrepreneurial experience. He is originally from Karwar but is now settled in Goa.

Ajay works with a novel concept, that he randomly stumbled upon. Hydroponics is a concept where one grows healthy food without using a lot of soil. This is usually done when there isn’t enough land, or farmers are cutting down on labour or water. After going through the concept and learning about it, Ajay decided to start India’s first hi-tech vertical hydroponics indoor farm. Their aim being to grow top quality pesticide free exotic vegetables.

“Entrepreneurs are passionate people, even with all the difficulties and hurdles they don’t stop, they don’t give up.”

Ajay always wanted to do more for the world. He calls himself a forward thinker, and has always been open to new ideas. Quitting his job was a no brainer since he realized that he could help more people with the new company that he was going to start. He initially worked on a spiritual app, which was how everything began. The positive reviews of their users made a big difference and allowed them to move forward. This app was later bought over by a German company, who continues developing it.

Being an entrepreneur in Goa was not the easiest thing since entrepreneurs do not receive the support needed. Funding is not easy to come by, Government schemes are few and internet is not as good as it should have been.

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Starting an agricultural IT company was definitely not easy to do, and procuring the machinery another challenge altogether. He spoke to people well versed in this area and got a few leads. Finally, a lot of the required materials were imported from China and New Zealand since they aren’t available in India. However, there were a lot of minor parts that could be acquired in India and they were. Most of the seeds needed were imported from other countries.

The current farm is 150 sq mts and completely indoor. The temperature is controlled through air conditioning. Further, they use LED lights to replace sunlight. To add to this, there are automated systems to control water temperature, pH and nutrient level and many other functions. There are a bunch of advantages to their products, but the most significant ones are, they are pesticide free, healthy and pollution free.

After their products are available, they are sold throughout the state at reputed super markets. Magsons, Oxford, and City Baazar are some of their patrons. Their customers are people interested in eating healthy and looking for pesticide free foods and vegetables. Unfortunately though, the market has slowed down, so they do not have a lot of buyers. However, people have started investing in eating healthy, the Government is also talking about no pesticide foods, which will give them a boost in the months to come.

The time has come that Goans do more in the IT space in terms of farming. Like Ajay has, we can use IT to handle most of the work and automate a lot of the process. This would lead the way to the future, since IT is usually risk free.


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