The Weather Company, a business unit run by technology giant IBM globally, is keen to go beyond the basic weather forecast services and add more components to its portfolio in India.
Speaking with indoasiancommodities.com, Himanshu Goyal, India Business Leader of the company, said its basic services of weather forecast which has immediate implications for many businesses particularly farming has been received well in the country. And buoyed by the preliminary success, the weather company is now looking to further expand its portfolio.
“The accurate weather data from us helps nearly 4.7 million farmers in India make better decisions about their crops every day. Considering our growing strength, we often get the request to provide inputs in terms of yield forecast from companies in agri-supply space so that they can plan their annual sales. We are contemplating adding this capability into a service for our customers on a larger basis,” Goyal said.
Pursuing a pure B2B model, IBM’s The Weather Company in India has partnered with scores of agritech firms which deal directly with farmers. The company is also providing basic weather data support and related services to other agencies both from the public as well as private sector.
“Another area which we would like to develop as a defining vertical is price forecast of different commodities. This offering, however, will take sometime to evolve,” Goyal added. On a pilot basis, The Weather Company has successfully executed an advanced price forecast project for the Karnataka Prices Commission.
Meanwhile, to reach out to the larger farming community with its existing (weather forecast and soil moisture monitoring) and emerging solutions, The Weather Company is also looking at expanding the ambit of its partners.
“We are definitely looking at the opportunity to join hands with Farmers Producers Organisations (FPOs) at the ground level. A robust partnership with some of the leading ones will expand our reach significantly,” he said.
IBM’s The Weather Company is one of the leading weather forecast companies in the world today with over 400 million downloads of its app. Bundling together IBM’s advanced Artificial Intelligence (AI) and cloud capabilities and The Weather Company’s expertise of high volume weather data gathering, its solutions are mostly accessed by companies from different business spectrums for efficient decision making.
The Weather Company’s cutting edge deliverable was well reflected by its unique initiative – Operation Dashboard – at the beginning of the lockdown early this year.
The initiative entailed sustaining the supply chain linkage between agri-tech firms, FPOs, farmers, etc by providing real time location specific weather and traffic information. “It had particularly helped transportation players in the agri value chain,” Goyal said.
Operations Dashboard was powered by Global High-Resolution Atmospheric Forecasting System (GRAF). The system, unveiled last year, is known for making frequent and more accurate local weather forecasts based on the use of advanced supercomputers.