Devi Murthy (29), an electrical engineer from Drexel University (USA), uses technology to reduce the struggles of small farmers in India. With co-founding Kamal Kisan, Devi has set out to help Indian farmers through her cool, new startup ideas.
Kamal Kisan is a for-profit social enterprise that manufactures farming equipment using low-cost mechanisms. It was founded in November 2012 at the IIT Madras’ incubation cell that recognised Devi Murthy’s ideas as innovative and provided a seed fund of Rs 5 lakh.
India is world’s third largest manufacturer of tractors, yet 80 percent of Indian farmers don’t use mechanization to boost their productivity.
Devi is determined to make a change through designing and manufacturing low-cost mechanization options for India’s small farmers.
Murthy with her innovative start-up is aiding farmers in rural areas of Karnataka, particularly in Suttur and HD Kote areas. Murthy and her team go to the village fields to tests the performance of their newly-designed and developed equipment and whether they will be useful in the real situation.
Devi has one strong dream – ‘to see a day in the future when mechanization services become a lifestyle choice for a farmer.’
She hopes to open 15 centres in three states in South India in the next three years.
The new centres will have facilities to provide equipment support and service to about 7,000 farmers. Devi’s dream Kamal Kisan got the Push the Boundary Award in 2013 under Women Entrepreneur Quest.
Devi’s team is developing solutions for existing farm practices rather than having farmers adapt new ones to suit high-cost equipment. Devi and her team are aiming to lower the Indian farmer’s dependency on labour and fuel – both of which come at a high cost. Devi’s equipment will help the Indian farmers to increase farm productivity and go on to make mechanization a lifestyle choice for every farmer.