Gen­er­a­tion T

Meet T Gen­er­a­tion

Thailand Tatler - - NOVEMBER -

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

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