My Journey by Dr Sowmini Sunkara
Sowmini Sunkara 7th March 2021 252Category: My Journey.(0)
Sowmini Sunkara
Dr. Sowmini Sunkara is an Agri-professional holding Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Biotechnology with 15+ years of experience in research (Genetic Engineering, Molecular Biology, Plant Tissue Culture & Transformation) and management of various National & International projects related to Rural/Agri- livelihoods, Agri- Value Chains, Farmer Producer Organisations (FPOs), Entrepreneurship & Seed sector. She is Founder and Managing Director at Agrighar Services Pvt Ltd (2019, www.agrighar.com) and currently working as National Project Coordinator at bilateral project Indo- German Cooperation on Seed Sector Development . She is also an Executive Committee member at Gram Bharati NGO. Her entrepreneurial journey started with being a Designated Partner of ABY Farmers LLP and Co- Founder in Womenergy Association of Incubators in Manufacturing (WEAIM).

Share about your business

She is Founder and Managing Director at Agrighar Services Pvt Ltd. which is a social enterprise registered in 2019, with an objective of promoting urban entrepreneurship / employment in agriculture and allied sectors specifically to youth / women / farmers & FPOs. The main aim of this social enterprise is not only to facilitate various untapped potential opportunities available in rural areas but also to minimize the migration of rural population to urban areas in search of employment. Agrighar aims to be one-stop platform for promoting rural livelihoods through entrepreneurship / employment generation activities related to Agriculture and Allied Sectors and SCALE- up the rural economy of India.
Her entrepreneurial journey started with being a Designated Partner of ABY Farmers LLP . ABY Farmers is a short form of Agri Business Yuva Farmers of India. ABY is a social enterprise established in 2017, is primarily an agri-processing and marketing organisation which deals with the commodities produced by the farmers. We recognise the critical contribution of farmers and treat them as “Partners in Progress” and every year we share 50% of the profit generated by us with the Farmers/ Farmer Producer Organisations (FPOs). We make all efforts to encourage youth to take up agriculture as their preferred livelihood option by facilitating them to get better returns on agriculture.
She is also Co- Founder in Womenergy Association of Incubators in Manufacturing (WEAIM). WEAIM supports aspiring women entrepreneurial efforts /start-ups to achieve sustainability & also help them to accelerate the existing manufacturing enterprises and make them fill their strategy mentoring and funding gaps to scale up. We focus on women manufacturing in following segments.
  • We are an association of incubators for women in manufacturing sector,
  • We work in synergy with several other incubators, aggregator forums and facilitators.

Apart from the above she volunteers her services towards farming communities at Gramabharati NGO where she is currently holding a position of Executive Committee member and working towards Natural Farming & Village Development activities across Telangana State

Share something from your Corporate Career

  • January 2017- Till date: National Long-Term Expert (National Project Coordinator) under Indo- German Cooperation on Seed Sector Development – Intensification Phase to act as a liaison officer responsible for planning and implementation of project activities in collaboration with Indian project partners at National & Regional Level.
  • 2017- 2019: Resource person/ Visiting faculty for MANAGE sponsored program on Agri clinics and Agri business centres (ACABC) scheme coordinated by Centre for Entrepreneurship Development (CED), Hyderabad.
  • March, 2017- Till Date: National Resource person in Livelihoods (Value chains) @ National Rural Livelihood Mission
  • February 2018- Till Date: Resource person at National Institute of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj (NIRD-PR) to train National & International participants on “Opportunities/ Initiatives in Agri-entrepreneurship (Food processing), Agri Value chains & Farmer Producer Organizations”.
  • June 2016 – December 2016 (6 months): Freelance Consultant to undertake opportunities related to
    • Educating university students & rural youth on entrepreneurship opportunities specific to Agriculture & allied sectors
    • Exploring sustainable/suitable models for promotion of natural/organic/non-pesticide farming & farmer producer organizations (FPO’s)
    • Short term (20 days) International Contract as Local Short-Term Expert for performing brief study and documentation on the Cultivation and Use of Fodder Crops in India under Indo-German Cooperation on Seed Sector Development.
  • January 2015- June 2016 (18 months): State Agricultural Consultant at Society for Elimination of Rural Poverty (SERP), Department of Rural Development, Telangana State, with major involvement in State level planning, coordination and management of agriculture field extension activities as part of implementation of World Bank assisted project Telangana Rural Inclusive Growth Project (TRIGP), across 150 mandals situated in 9 districts of Telangana State. TRIGP mainly focuses on livelihoods enhancement of small and marginal farmers through Agriculture Value Chain development and federating them into Farmer Producer Groups (FPGs) and Farmer Producer organizations (FPOs) with a goal of poverty alleviation.

What was the inspiration for you to start your own business?

Sowmini, though completed her PhD thesis on advanced Agriculture Biotechnology, her zeal to create an impact to rural livelihoods specially in Agriculture value chains motivated her to shift her well established academic & research career into entrepreneurship. She challenged herself and done ample research in rural communities and now designed a unique holistic model of rural entrepreneurship promotion which addresses the (need of the hour) problem of rural migration & unemployment issues in the country. So her involvement in all her enterprises entirely concentrates towards a common goal which is achieving Atma Nirbhar Bharath

What have been some of your achievements in your professional life? *

Achievements
  • Gold Medal recipient in Chemistry, Faculty of Science, Kakatiya University, Warangal, A.P -2001.
  • Secured 6th rank in Faculty of Science, Kakatiya University, Warangal, A. P -2001.
  • Received best poster awards during her dissertation- 2010 & 2011
  • Incubatee of MANAGE- CIA RKVY- RAFTAAR Scheme, Govt. of India – 2020
  • Best presentation during NIFTEM Women EDP- 2021

Published many research papers & review articles in peer-reviewed journals along with book chapters, proceedings/ project reports and also contributed her knowledge towards scientific community through various oral & poster presentations in national international conferences,

The difference you have made to others

Impacted thousands of Women SHGs to federate into farmer producer groups & Farmer producer organisations and made them tor realise benefit of earning without much investments

What do you want to be acknowledged for

my commitment towards work, straight forwardness

What support are you looking from eGrowth to build your business

Networking

Please share something for eGrowth

I’m thankful for the opportunity given

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