Meet the Pune Chapter winners of the TiE Women's Global Contest
Here Come The Boss Ladies!
Winner – Arti Agarwal, Anaxee Digital Runners
Arti Agarwal, who co-founded Anaxee says, “Anaxee grew out of the Aadhaar enrolment scheme that was started in 2015. We then used to supply the machine for fingerprints and were obviously in touch with all the people who went into villages and small towns for this enrollment.”
But Aadhaar was done by 2016 and thousands of young boys and girls were jobless. Says Arti, who also had vital knowledge of their designated areas, be it a small rural place or a Tier 2 or 3 town. “Given this scenario, my husband and I thought why not leverage this?” And so Anaxee was born with the ‘young boys and girls’ as digital runners. Arti handed them a mobile phone loaded with an app to capture data as they ‘ran’. So now Anaxee can help marketers with a market survey, find out how many shops a small town has, and how many of them are willing to store your product or take orders for you or spread the word about your product or service.
“Our digital runners load the data onto our app and it becomes easy for a marketer to take a calibrated decision.” Why did Anaxee win the Pune round? Says Zelam Chaubal who heads the women’s initiative, “judges see if a start-up is scalable and fundable. Anaxee is both. In addition to this, it also serves society. Anaxee used her runners to educate rural folks about Covid, the vaccination program, as well as help in getting students back to school.”
Anaxee has 40,000 digital runners that span 540 districts as of now. The future? Says Arti, “we want to cover the entire country.” Anaxee will pitch at the global round of this contest to be held soon.
Runner-up – Kirty Datar, Canebot
Sugarcane juice is a much-loved drink in our country. But most people worry about contracting a bacterial infection because of how it is crushed and the juice served. Kirty Datar thought why can’t sugarcane juice be safe and hygienic to drink? And why can’t it be available at the click of a button? Literally. She worked to design an automated dispenser that stores the sugarcane sticks and at the click of a button crushes and gives you juice, fresh and free of any infecting bacteria! She has built the prototype and also received a patent for this! Says Kirty, “ we plan to set up such dispensers at airports, malls, multiplexes, and so on. It’s simple, fast and safe. In fact, we plan to extend this concept to other fruits too.”
Soon we will be able to say goodbye to the tetra packs of orange, sweet lime, apple, and so on. Canebot is coming!
Runner-up – Sonali Weljali, Krishigati
Sonali Weljali always wondered what a farmer would do with a large tractor on his small, little farm. Says she, “a farmer with a small land holding cannot even afford all these machines. Which then results in poor outcomes. So I thought why not design tools for small farmlands?”
Sonali has designed an EV vehicle that does what a man or an animal can do. “After sowing the farmer has to look into weeding, earthing up of the soil, spraying of pesticides, and so on. This vehicle has different attachments and works just as well in small farms as well as large ones.”
The cost? says Sonali, “it’s Rs 2.75 lakhs but with Govt subsidies it becomes affordable. Besides, it helps reduce the cost of farming by 20% to 70%.” Now, who can say no to that?
Post the global contest run, all the runners-up from the 15 chapters in India will participate in the national round. Says Zelam, “The winners from different chapters who don’t win at the global contest will be eligible to compete at the national round.” More competition, more stirring of the pot to bring up another winner! Cheers to that!