Farm Bills 2020

Reading Time: 6 minutes


Let us talk about one of the most heated topics of current Indian politics in the most unpolitical way possible: the Farmer bills 2020. As you will go through this blog, you will know about the pros, cons and other aspects of the bills that the government claims to revolutionize the Indian agricultural sector. On diving deeper, one can realize that the bills are way more than just having pros and cons. Sometimes things look pretty on paper but not in realworld and vice versa. Let us first understand the current system of Indian agriculture: the Mandi System. 

Farm Bills 2020

The APMC and MSP

In the present system, there are two ways the farmers can sell their crops in the market. The first way is through the Agricultural Produce Market Committee (APMC) managed by the licensed traders and regulated by state governments. The sole purpose behind the establishment of APMCs was to prevent the farmers from exploitation by the lenders, landlords and retailers. Consisting of licensed traders who are supposed to buy the crops after auctioning, APMC makes sure that the farmers receive the best price for their produce. These traders would later sell it to retailers with a significant margin. The APMC acts like a middleman between the farmers and the retailers and earns good profits. As all these trades are taxed, it is one of the major revenue sources for state governments. But eventually, these corrupt middlemen started forming cartels and buying the crops after mutually deciding a price way lower than before, keeping major portions of margin in their own pocket, leading to the exploitation of farmers, thus defying the very purpose they were supposed to work for.

But there still exists a ray of hope sparkled by the government. It provides farmers a second option: the MSP or the Minimum Support Price, the price at which the government assures to buy farmers’ produce if the APMC traders are not reasonable.

Farm Bills 2020

The Revolutionized Market

Enough of the old, outdated systems. Let us bring some modernization here. Imagine if, in the place of old messed up APMC Mandis, there are huge storage tanks and warehouses owned by private companies storing high-quality yield of commodities produced by the most high-tech and modernized systems of cultivating and being sold in supermarkets instead of the untidy sabzi mandis. The farmers are finally earning deserved profits thanks to the elimination of APMC mediators. We are getting great deals on foods everywhere in the country, thanks to the high-tech storage facility and no wastage. It seems great, right? Everyone is happy. This is the moment when we stop imagining and start thinking, the part that the government seems to forget every time. But before that, let us first have a very brief understanding of the ordinances passed:    

The Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill 2020: allows intra-state and inter-state trade of farmers’ produce beyond the physical premises of APMC markets.

Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020: creates a framework for contract farming through an agreement between a farmer and a buyer prior to the production or rearing of any farm produce.

The Essential Commodities (Amendment) Bill, 2020: allows the central government to regulate the supply of certain food items only under extraordinary circumstances (such as war and famine). Stock limits may be imposed on agricultural produce only if there is a steep price rise..

Do you see any flaws in this? It seems like even if you and I go out there and start farming, it might not be that much of an issue. But here we are talking about the majority of the Indian farmers, who are uneducated, poor, 85% of whom own less than 2 hectares of land and would be far from having an equal say in the contracts designed by the profit-making strategists sitting in the air-conditioned cabins of huge corporates who will hardly think of the farmers’ well-being. Here come the exploitation and slavery again. But the farmers would still have the option of selling the crops to the government and at MSP, right? The government says they would but at the same time didn’t mention it in the ordinances. This is where the controversies begin

We all are well aware of the most common strategy that will be used by private companies to lure the farmers: initially they will offer farmers great prices and attractive contracts to stay alive in the competition. This will result in farmers going for private contracts every time, decomposing the APMC and MSP system. The government’s warehouses will become liabilities and will stop receiving investments. Once the MSP scheme becomes totally inefficient, farmers will be left with no option but to go for contract farming every time. This is when the private giants resize their pockets to fit in huge chunks of money, needless to say, by taking a part of farmers’ share. These established monopolies will jeopardize everything, farmers being exploited, fluctuating food essentials prices thanks to no prohibition on hoarding leading to the middle class’ suffering. This time the government couldn’t be relied upon, as they will have huge tax revenues rolling in already.

Till now, we have seen two scenarios. Both of them imaginary. The government keeps on promoting the first one and the opposition second. So where does the reality lies? It appears to be lying somewhere in between, that too greatly depending on how it is implemented, and how actively government participates in these procedures and considers itself responsible for the consequences at ground level.

Farm Bills 2020

Arising Questions

Middlemen removed thus only GST will be imposed on selling, then what about the state government revenues? It will bring the latest technologies and professional farming encouraging cash crops, but since farmers cannot own this equipment themselves, will this lead to slavery? Farmers will get better prices for their yield, but will they continue to get the same in the future?

Contract farming will assure good prices independent of market situations, but will farmers have enough power to take legal actions if required? The government guarantees to give MSP, then why not write it in the ordinance? One Nation One Market, but can farmers afford the transportation cost? Allowing to stock will help in less wastage and even distribution, but what about black marketing? If the system badly failed in the USA and Europe, how come it would succeed in India?

These are the worries that led the farmers to hop on their tractors and rally till India Gate, lodge protests, and block roads and railway tracks. But there are political reasons behind that as well, and we can’t deny that. Most of us have already lost trust both in the opposition and the ruling party as everything they do appears to be for some kind of propaganda or the party’s interest only.         

Way Out/ Conclusion:

1) The government should assure to give MSP and purchase products for welfare schemes through APMC, not verbally, but by a proper ordinance.

2) Government should play an active role as a regulator and facilitator for both corporates and farmers. It would be beautiful if the private sector and government fill each other’s gaps and work hand-in-hand.

3) Arrangement of free and powerful legal assistance for farmers whenever they need it.

4) Reforms in APMC and have a check on its illegal activities instead of their complete removal.

5) Educating farmers and making them aware of both systems and how to use them. Preventing them from being exploited or misled.

The system does have the potential to revolutionize Indian agriculture. As the farmers’ situation in the current system is already deteriorating, a change certainly needs to be done. But each step needs to be taken very carefully, as we already have the USA and Europe falling prey to this.

Customer Service in any Organization

Reading Time: 6 minutes


For any profit-based organization, it is often said, “Excellent customer service is the number one job in any company. It is the personality of the company and the reason customers come back. Without customers, there is no company.” This belief has helped many companies achieve success in their respective fields and in this blog I have discussed what really is Customer Service and share my experience of more than 30 years in the field.

So, product service is basically the provision of support (service) to the customer before, during, and after the purchase of the product. Whatever be the situation, the employees of the organization have to adjust themselves to the varying personalities of the customer to ensure success in the field of customer service and the overall success of the company. An organization that values customer service has to spend more resources on training employees/customers than an average organization.

Customer Service in any Organization

An important mantra that any organization should follow while training their employee is that they should believe in proactive customer service rather than reactive customer service. Proactive Customer Service refers to effective planning earlier to tackle all the situations customers put you in. Whereas, reactive customer service refers to acting spontaneously to the complaints of the customer. This often causes a panic situation in the company causing many extreme steps that could further affect the reputation of the organization. 


Role of Customer Service in any Business

Contrary to common misconception, Customer Service also plays a vital role in the overall sales process of the organization and generating revenue of the organization as in today’s industry a lot depends on the reputation of the company. Due to this perspective, customer service should be included as a part of the overall approach of the systematic improvement of the company. It is important to understand that even one good customer service provided can change the entire perception of the customer towards the company.

Customer Support doesn’t limit to just solving a client’s problems with the product. Once the customer buys the product from the organization, it is the organizations’ prime duty to help the customer that he/she uses the product right and cost-effective. To ensure this, the organization has to assist the customer in planning, installation, training, troubleshooting, maintenance, upgrading, and disposal of the product.


Customer Complaint Registration Process

Customer Service may be provided by a person (eg. service or sales representative) or by automated means such as digital kiosks, web sites, and mobile applications.

In the case of a person, a service representative is assigned for taking the complaint directly from the customer. He is basically the point of contact with the consumer for the company. He takes complaints from the customer and assigns the same to the concerned service engineer. The service representative ensures continuous feedback to the customer on the status of his/her complaint until the resolution of the complaint and subsequent feedback to the company from the customer. This has been the go-to mode of customer service for many years but the disadvantage of the method is the time constraint and difficulty in communication between many layers. But these problems are now getting minimized with the help of Automated Customer Service.

One of the advantages of Automated means is an increased ability to provide 24 * 7 hours service, which highly compliments with customers’ needs. Also, customer service is becoming data-driven. So these automated methods could be really helpful. Some of the most popular types of Automated Customer Service are :

i) Artificial Intelligence

ii) Touch-Tone Phone

iii) Online Commerce (Websites)


i) Artificial Intelligence

AI customer service technologies can highly reduce the workload of customer service representatives as it solves minor and some major frequent issues easily. Customers can visually interact with the company’s model and solve their complaints at their own level with the help of proper technology.

Two of the most significant ways AI is augmenting customer service is through AI-augmented messaging and AI email tagging. AI-augmented messaging enables customer service agents to handle a big part of customer queries with the help of chatbot assistants.

Customer Service in any Organization

ii) Touch-Tone Phone

Touch- Tone Phone refers to the customer service dealt with an augmented machine voice that interacts with the customers. It usually involves IVR (Interactive Voice Response), the main menu, and uses the keypad as options to react according to customer’s needs. You might have come across them when you dial mobile connection customer service. (Press 1 for English, 2 for Hindi!)

Customer Service in any Organization

iii) Online Commerce

In the present era organizations are enhancing and maintaining personal experience using the advantages of online commerce. Online customers are invisible and not connected directly which makes it very difficult to effectively communicate with them. Also due to this invisibility, it makes it even more crucial for the organization to create a sense of personal human to human connection. Artificial means of service enables the companies to provide automated online assistants to customers through websites. These methods highly reduce the operating and training costs for the organizations.


Measurement of Customer Service Result

It is very important to keep in check the service provided by the company to the customers and hence Measurement of Customer Service Result is very crucial. Customer Service could be measured in the following ways:- 

i) First Response Time

ii) Restoration Time

i) First Response Time

This indicates how fast an organization responds to the complaints registered by the customer. To ensure minimum response time, an organization must have sufficient manpower for engineers and technicians. Without manpower, it is very difficult to maintain a good first response time which further affects the company.

ii) Restoration Time

Once the response is provided, restoration time is the time by which the customer complaint is completely resolved. To ensure minimum restoration time, the company must have Trained and Manpower and Sufficient stock of Spare Parts.

If the engineer gives a prompt response to the customer’s complaint but he is not well trained by the organization on the product, he/she would be unable to understand the customer complaint and act on it. Hence the restoration time sways away from the target time. Again if a response is given and the engineer is well trained, but if no spare parts are required to solve the complaint’s problem, the restoration time is affected. So have a proactive customer service, the organization should always be well prepared. I have seen all types of situations and it is very important to be in constant touch with time.


Customer Satisfaction (CSAT)

 This term is frequently used by the marketing team of the company. It is a measure of how products supplied and services rendered to the customer has achieved or crossed the customer expectations. Customer satisfaction is defined as the number of customers or percentage of total customers, whose reported experience with the company, its products, or its service index exceeds specified satisfaction goals.

In marketing, the managers found customer satisfaction measuring system very useful in managing and monitoring their business. It is observed as a key performance indicator within business and is also a part of the scorecard analysis of the company. 

In today’s competitive world, customer satisfaction is seen as a key differentiator and increasingly has become a key element of business strategy. In a nutshell, Customer Service or Product Service has been a key industry for the past many years and with the advancements in current technology, customer service will find a new path but the score would remain the same.

Customer Service in any Organization


Reading Time: 5 minutesEver wondered how do websites like Flipkart, Amazon, Snapdeal, Jabong, MakeMyTrip earn money…….??


Well, I hope this blog will clear all your doubts about how these websites always offer you great discounts, gift vouchers, promotions, e-cash, free delivery and more, but still are BILLION DOLLAR COMPANIES.

There is always a question dwelling in our minds that prices of products on e-commerce website are lesser despite the fact those same products are available at a much higher price in same shop offline. Additional services provided by these sites and cost involved in their running are:

  • Free delivery
  • Very less profit margin, roughly 10% of the total sale
  • Additional discounts(nearly half of selling price) on a festival, marketing and advertising
  • Maintaining huge severs
  • Salary of lakhs of employees working with them at every stage of shipping from maintaining the site to delivering the product to your footsteps.

Main ways of making money are:

1. INVESTMENT: the Main reason that online retail companies have survived so far is Private Equity(PE) funding and exit of these PE investors. For example, assume a company is valued 10000 dollars. We approach an investor and tell him. “Sir, this is my valuation at this particular point, I have around 15000 users and these are my earnings. Will you provide me $1000 to increase my reach and expand? the investor replies,” I will provide you $1000 and in return, I need 5% of your stake and all information on your situation. I will sell my stake after two years”. After two years, the number of users becomes 27000, and the valuation becomes $25000. I tell investor, “Sir, we are in need of $10000 to expand, do you wish to stay as an investor or sell your stake in the company and exit?”. He says,”I want to exit” ow we approach to another richer investor and process go on.

2. FIXED PRICE: Registered seller pay a fixed monthly subscription to the e-commerce company to host their product on the platform(i.e website). In some cases, the company also charges a fixed closing fee like 10 for every sale.

3. COMMISSION: Depending on the product category, the company charges the registered seller a certain percentage commission on the value of the product sold. This commission could range between 5% – 20%.


4. OWN PRODUCTS: Amazon and Flipkart have a range of their own products such as headphones, furniture, kindle reader, amazon echo etc. for which they do not have to pay any commission.

Image result for amazon own product

5. DEALS: These websites often make deals with different brands to sell their product exclusively on their platform. This help _s them earn more, a lot more than selling the same product via some third party seller.

6. THIS ONE IS NOT GOOD: every one of us would have experienced ads of the product recently surfed, on other platforms. This happens as there are some companies that earn by selling the user data to third-party companies which further use your buying habits to show you targeted ads and products. Data is definitely worth a lot more than selling a book at a minimal profit.

What really happens in discounting? We always want big discounts and wait for it to come. But do you know who pays the discounted amount to sellers as prices of products cannot drop down in a minute as the sale starts…….its the website or the e-commerce company that bears the discounted price by giving compensation to registered sellers.

Big online retailers like Flipkart, Amazon, SnapDeal and Junglee have cutting edge analytics capabilities and dedicated resources to compare prices of products on different websites and across stores. Based on these prices they suggest the price at which the registered seller should offer their product. This suggested price is where discounting happens.

The seller is not under any obligation to offer his products at these prices but since they get compensated for the discount element by the online retailer, there is hardly a reason for them to not offer their products at the suggested price.

The term BILLION DOLLAR A billion dollar company does not mean that it has a profit of billion dollars or overall turnover. It means that the company has a total market capitalization of a billion dollars. (All stocks x stock price = 1 billion dollars). Also means a company generates billion dollars in revenue.

Are these companies in profit or loss? At Rs 11,754 crore, the combined losses of e-commerce majors Flipkart, Amazon and Snapdeal is almost double the annual budget of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). To put things in perspective, if ISRO was given the same amount, it would be able to launch about 24 ‘Mangalyaan’ missions to Mars.

Being having the name tag of billion dollar company these companies are actually in losses in a country like INDIA.

These companies mainly seem to be running on investments given by big PEs. Once the big PE funds run out funding for huge discounts could not be made and to survive, will be forced to sell at the original price. Then there are chances of making the profit on sales.


In the current scenario, only the consumers and manufacturers are the real winner. But these are tech companies and can become profitable tomorrow if they wish to show. One cannot shadow how these companies have evolved, they just need a click in their heads.

CONCLUSION: In this whole e-commerce battle only two sets of people seems to be winning. First are the delivery companies and the second, digital marketing companies like Google and Facebook. If brought under lights these big giants (poster boys of Indian startup culture) are actually in losses and may collapse at any time.

“Thank you for reading and giving your precious time to blog………!”




CEV - Handout