Vikas Birhma

H3i Technologies

Big Idea: Quality-focused platform to link farmers to traders in India

Farmers in India rarely get the optimal price for their crops because the marketplaces they have access to are inefficient and opaque. H3i has created a platform where farmers, village level aggregators, and traders can list their crops. The platform gives farmers and buyers a way to transparently compare prices based on reliable quantity and quality information. They’re testing a bunch of stuff on how to do quick and cheap quality inspections - from low-cost moisture meters to crop grading from a picture using a machine-learning algorithm. A platform that has accurate price, quality, and quantity information can create a better functioning market where farmers capture more value.

Vikas hails from a village in northern India and is an engineer. He holds two master’s degrees: one in social work from Tata Institute and another in public policy from the Harvard Kennedy School. Before founding H3i, he worked in CSR for the Gas Authority of India, where he managed multi-million dollar projects on watershed management and agricultural supply chain.

Rainer Arnhold Fellows