Meet T Generation
Meet the bright young talent in our Generation T 2018 list of go-getters under the age of 40 shaping the future of Thailand. November is the turn of Aukrit Unahalekhaka, co-founder of social enterprise Ricult, which assists impoverished farming communities
Introducing Thailand Tatler’s Generation T 2018 luminaries—the young game-changers changing the country for the better
This month we profile 29-year-old MIT graduate Aukrit Unahalekhaka, cofounder and CEO of social enterprise Ricult. Aukrit and his organisation are on a mission to alleviate the plight of farmers across Thailand and Pakistan through the use of machine learning and satellite technology. Since its establishment in 2016, Ricult has been recognised as one of the best social enterprises in Southeast Asia and has received numerous awards.
I have witnessed firsthand the difficulties small scale farmers face from a young age.
My family owns an agricultural business, which exposed me to the struggle of farmers early in life. That’s really what inspired me to do what I am doing now. It has been my life-long goal to use technology to help improve the lot of farmers, who are the backbone of our country. We use advanced technology such as machine learning and satellites to help farmers enhance their productivity, increase their access to markets and secure more affordable loans.
We believe that we have the right technology to expand across borders to help farmers in other developing countries and we are already working in Pakistan.
I am glad thousands of farmers are using our technology now. In Thailand we are focusing on the provinces of Lopburi, Saraburi and Korat, particularly helping corn and cassava farmers. Our mission next year is to expand to the whole country to include rice, sugarcane and durian farmers as well. We aim to reach and positively impact at least 100,000 farmers within the next three years and to increase their income by 50 per cent through the adoption of technology.
The biggest challenge for me is
making sure we have a world-class technology team developing userfriendly solutions that can transform the agricultural sector and help Thai farmers to have a better life.
Ricult is now officially the most funded social enterprise ever in Thailand.
Our total funding to date is close to US$ 2.5 million and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is one of the investors. Ricult is a double bottom-line startup. We don’t only care about the financial profitability of the company, but also the social impact that we can create to smallholder farmers and their communities.
Generation T is Thailand Tatler’s platform for the leaders of tomorrow. To discover more about the 50 young game changers shaping the country’s future, visit thailandtatler.com/generation-t