By Meghan Jensen, VP Marketing & Communications for The Water Council
In November of 2014, Arsalan Lodhi used his guiding passion to help customers improve profits and founded WISRAN, an Agtech company providing live farming intelligence through a platform that measures time variations of farming activities and provides financial metrics for each task during operations. Prior to his endeavor with WISRAN, Arsalan launched two startups and worked for IBM, Accenture and EY for 15 years.
“Technology is an enabler for me. Water and agriculture are two very important sectors that are not valued as much as they should be.” – Arsalan Lodhi, CEO of WISRAN
The United Nations sites that by 2050 the world population is expected to reach 9.7 billion which presents certain challenges and opportunities as population and urbanization grow, especially with freshwater. For our farmers, infrastructure capacity and access to water play a significant role in productivity and logistics. Seeing an opportunity, Arsalan shifted the focus of WISRAN to agriculture due to more traction among farmers who are interested in finding opportunities to save money.
Arsalan with kids and Justin visiting a field in Bloomington, IL to see the planting in action.
Customers can manage and improve profits with WISRAN by identifying and measuring waste in real-time, whether that waste has to do with the time management of farming logistics or water leakages.
In 2016, Arsalan and his company based in Milpitas, California applied for the BREW Accelerator and were selected as one of six winners for the 2016-2017 cohort, the fourth round of the water focused accelerator located in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Over the last nine months in the BREW, while practically living in the fields, Arsalan collected and studied evidence, absorbed feedback from coaches, interviewed customers and was able to develop a value proposition that was pivotal for WISRAN.
In just a few weeks, Arsalan will be pitching at the University of California – Davis Food & Ag Innovation Showcase. From their website, the Food & Ag Innovation Showcase will feature the most promising Ag startups and research projects pursuing solutions in high value, nutritious agriculture and food from across the globe.
Doug Durdan and crew troubleshooting a combine breakdown in Streator, IL.
With encouragement and enthusiasm from Bill Dougan, BREW Accelerator coach and entrepreneurship professor at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, Arsalan applied to participate in the showcase. “The ability to present at an event like this is very humbling and I’m grateful for Bill’s encouragement,” said Arsalan. UC-Davis is well connected to the research and grower communities so his exposure to the people in the room is indispensable.
WISRAN is looking to connect with more growers and strategic partners. During the summer, they are planning to pilot the beta version of their product in Illinois and Wisconsin with a couple customers. “The feedback and results will help us improve the product and provide us with additional validation for our value proposition,” said Arsalan on his plans for this year. “We hope to acquire more customers and investment and by September, we are looking to close $500K – $750K funding for hiring marketing/salesperson, technical talent and filing patents.”