As a company grows, it becomes even more imperative to break from the routine and do something different and exciting. Recently, at AgroStar, we had our first ‘Hackathon’, where teams of 3 had 36 hours to hack an idea and build a working model in the form of an innovative tech-based solution that will help the Indian farmers, the agriculture domain or help AgroStar serve and deliver more efficiently to our end customer, the farmer.
It was the first time ever, that our office was so high on energy and the first time ever, that non IT teams like Procurement, Agronomy, Data Analytics and Sales participated too after seeing the energy of the tech team, probably a first time ever in the history of hackathons.
What came as a pleasant surprise to all of us was how the founders stayed in office all night, supporting the teams, playing indoor-cricket with and cheering the teams. The purpose of the hackathon was mainly to break away from the routine and have some fun and that’s precisely what we did. Unlimited snacks, red bull, hot beverages, cold drinks, frequently served munchies, fruits and great meals, we couldn’t have asked for more. As a surprise element we had live music performance late in the night, to give us a breather and relax. Crooning to the music and letting our hair down for an hour, we got back into our nocturnal skin, to continue hacking through the night.
At the end of the hackathon, we had all the amazing ideas turn into working models, all in a span of 36 hours. The winning team was Team Agrobot that built a robot to facilitate the picking and sorting of products at our warehouses and make the process faster and more efficient. Some of the other brilliant ideas included a vernacular voice-based in-app search tool in our app, a tool for the internal sales team activity planning, a unified dashboard for assisted e-commerce channel partners, an interactive solution for handling farmer complaints, a virtual agri-expert who gives personalized crop-based solutions etc.
Along with the winners, to keep the spirits high, there were also spot prizes for categories like ‘Best Team Name’, ‘Best Idea Chart’, ‘Best Social Media Blogger’ and ‘Fastest Submission’.
A new and first time experience for quite a lot of us, including me, I enjoyed being the DJ for 36 hours. One thing is for sure, whenever any of us we will come across the term ‘hackathon’, it will surely bring to us the super cherished memories of the successful first hackathon at AgroStar.
Author: Surabhi Mathur, Executive – Content at AgroStar