Interview with Santhosh Kumar of Grameen Bazaar

The Grameen Bazaar connects around 500+ million Grameen / Village Entrepreneurs and farmers directly to consumers across world. Consumers can purchase high quality products, organically certified fruits and vegetables, work of arts, potteries, textiles etc directly from Grameen Entrepreneurs via or through UDP (U Drop Pick) points in every city and village.

We had an email interview with Santhosh.

Q1. Tell us about yourself. How you thought of becoming an entrepreneur?

My Name is Santhosh Kumar; completed my science graduation from National College, Basavanagdi, Bangalore University in the year 1998. Innovative thinker with broad-based expertise in technical, operation, finance and business development with proven ability to quickly analyze key business drivers and develop strategies to grow bottom-line.

Kala Infotech, a software company, worked on developing Cloud based Educational software in jsp and SCM for electronics sourcing companies during the year 1998 and 2000.

Founder of SPM Information Solutions Pvt Ltd: A technical BPO company and system integrator in networking and IPPBX from 2000. Founder of VirtualGlobalPhone , Hong Kong: a cloud telephony service provider from 2011.

Friends and family say Entrepreneurship is in my blood as my dad itself is an entrepreneur during 1970’s when he left his district Kundapur in search for a job in Bangalore.

Q2. What made you pick up social entrepreneurship as your area of work?

One of the way we can build balance, synergy, better social atmosphere is to build business through the structure of Social entrepreneurship, which stabilises and builds equal opportunity and standard of life between privileged and under-privileged.

Q3. What kind of products you actually provide?

We provide Unique product cultivated / developed / Manufactured in Rural area of the India to sell it directly to consumer which is presently dependence on middlemen, this initiative creates self-sustained units in the villages spread over the length and breadth of the Indian palette. This is both Farm and Non-farm products. The platform will also help to create new business in the rural area which requires local, national and international presence.

Q4. What type of market exists for your idea?

“Segmented Market”, like individuals, family, restaurants and other food institutions.

Q5. Are you looking to expand your business beyond national boundaries?

That’s correct. We would like to model this and help in country like Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Thailand and other countries.

Q6. Do you also collaborate with other social entrepreneurs?

Yes, we do presently working with another group of entrepreneurs to bring Free computer education for BPL (Below Poverty Line) people.

Q7. How you source your products?

Grameen Bazaar won’t source the product; we provide the business platform, business knowledge with training and selection of high quality. Where each producer in rural area of this country with either perishable or non-perishable products will list the product with the help of UDP (You Drop Pickup) points: A representative of Grameen Bazaar. The logistics and Packaging partner will make sure they pickup from UDP and deliver to consumer place or to Nearest UDP.

Q8. Are you looking for some sort of funding to expand the business?

We are not looking for only funding but with value along with it.

Q9. What’s for future?

a. Provides farmers, Artisans, weavers and others a unique self sustained opportunity to stay in business and to take it to the next level.
b. Reach of market is both domestic and foreign level direct to consumer without any mediators.
c. Because they shall have the reach to direct consumer they can adjust production and capitalize on new market niches before mass stockiest can exploit them.
d. Consumer benefits attributed to farmers’ markets are lower prices and better social atmosphere.
e. Consumer gets quality of their produce “as signified by quality freshness and flavor” followed by lower prices.

Q10. Describe the environment of your team and how you enjoy your venture. Share any advice for budding entrepreneurs.

We are 6 people each with different area of expertise coming together, with one focus to make difference in our country. We all believe that its the model of creating self sustained rural area will be able to create a balanced equal economy around the country.

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