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How 3 friends are assisting Ladakhi farmers earn more money by staying at home

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Thinless Norboo and his friends went to Hamya, a village in the Rong Changthang area of Leh district, near his native Liktse (village), in July 2018. He asked three grandmothers where all the young people had gone. “It hit me hard when one of the abilays (grandmothers) opened my eyes to how all the youth from the village had left for Leh, leaving them behind.”

Ladakh Basket is a local e-commerce company founded in June 2019 with the goal of preserving traditional culture, promoting organic farming, and providing farmers in Ladakh’s most remote areas with access to markets outside the region. The three young men shared a goal of launching a business that would improve the lives of farmers in the region and eliminate the need for them to leave their homes. Ladakh Basket is an online and offline platform selling indigenous produce from the region, such as organic chamomile tea, ground barley, buckwheat, walnut kernels, peppermint tea, toasted wheat, goat cheese, organic apricot jam, and other items. 

Early Trials

According to this Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council-Leh report, about 62 percent of families in the district own less than one hectare of cultivable land.

Thinless, Stanzin, and Sonam, the three founders, began obtaining a range of produce from their families’ farms while completing their different fellowships. Following the fellowship, the three of them began approaching local farmers about marketing their products on their platform. Given their different middle-class backgrounds, they initially ran into liquidity issues as a bootstrapped enterprise.

Farmers Getting Their Fair Share

Ladakh Basket’s business concept is mostly focused on the 26 farmers in the Leh area from whom they acquire their products. The venture claims to receive 35 orders per month, with monthly revenues approaching Rs 40,000. The company claims they frequently offer farmers better prices than they might otherwise receive in Leh. Thinless explains that if wild caraway costs Rs 600 per kg in Leh market, he offers Rs 800, making it a win-win for all.

Tsering Namgyal, a farmer from Liktse, says his income has grown significantly as a result of his partnership with Ladakh Basket. “Now, we don’t have to visit Leh to sell our food,” explains Tsering Angchuk, an organic farmer from Skurbuchan. “This saves us a lot of time and money.”

When the COVID-19 outbreak hit India last year, many people returned to their villages and resumed farming. Ladakh Basket spent Rs 30,000 to buy 300 sacks of organic manure for farmers in Liktse, distribute them, and held workshops. Soon, 90% of the farmers in the area decided to go completely organic as the business envisions expanding into offline outlets as well. 

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Leadership

4 Must Reads – Straight from Elon Musk’s recommendation list

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Elon Musk’s reading collection includes science fiction classics as well as complicated literature on cutting-edge technologies. His vision as the leader of some of the world’s most valuable companies makes it interesting to take a peek into the inner workings of his mind. Musk is also known for sharing his suggestions on social media. 

Let’s evaluate some fascinating reads from his recommendations.

Steve Jobs, by Walter Isaacson 

This book chronicles the ambitious and adventurous life of Apple’s brilliant entrepreneur and eccentric creator. Steve Jobs covers the man’s successful enterprises, beginning with his early experiences with spirituality and LSD and ending at the pinnacle as a worldwide technology superstar. This is a well-researched book that goes into the thinking of the man behind the world’s most valuable technological business.

Life 3.0, by Max Tegmark

The Brief Introduction to Artificial Intelligence, Elon Musk’s latest book, is one of the few that explores the idea of AI being used for good rather than harm in the world. Max Tegmark, an MIT scientist, addresses how to keep Artificial Intelligence helpful to humans while simultaneously ensuring that technological progress is consistent with humanity’s long-term goals.

The Big Picture, by Sean M. Carroll

The Big Picture is a bold examination of the world we live in and how we may make sense of the vast majority of it through scientific thought. It teaches readers how to think about the most difficult things, such as the origins of life, awareness, and the cosmos itself, using a deductive approach. Sean Carroll is a practicing theoretical physicist with some unique philosophical perspectives. Sean invented the phrase “poetic naturalism”, which is addressed in the book.

Superintelligence, by Nick Bostrom

Superintelligence is intended to be a serious, hard-headed examination of the impending arrival of computers that are far smarter than humans. Musk has often warned about the dangers of unfettered Artificial Intelligence, and this book examines the pitfalls of taking technology too far too soon. 

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Freshwork’s inspiring success story makes employee crorepatis

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Freshworks IPO has made 500 employees crorepatis

Freshworks Inc., led by Girish Mathrubootham, became the first Indian Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) company to get on the NASDAQ, which helped the valuation of the company reach a sky-high value of $13 billion.

Through stock options, around 500 of Girish’s employees turned into ‘crorepatis’, out of which 70 are said to be under 30.

Born to a former bank officer in 1975, Girish co-founded Freshdesk (now Freshworks) with Shan Krishnasamy in 2010. Atwell College from Australia was the first of many clients on board. The company managed to get 22 clients worldwide in the initial days.

Entrepreneurship is never a smooth journey, with success never guaranteed. “Success and happiness are two different things – One should focus on staying happy irrespective of what is happening around you. We always hold the key to our happiness,” says Girish.

Girish also mentions how grateful he is to all his employees and that the 500 new ‘crorepatis’ deserved a reward for their contribution over the years. About 4300 of Freshwork Inc’s employees globally hold equity options in the company.

Girish strongly believes in mentorship. He also founded SaaSBooMi, a community of founders who share hard-learned experiences by making these learnings available to all. “Passion and purpose are more important than almost anything else,” said Girish talking about young entrepreneurs looking to leave their mark. In the long run, he hopes to build a SaaS company that is recognized globally.

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Shaji Thomas: The Indian Superhero who is saving the Amazon Rainforest

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Global warming, forest depletion, and other hazardous effects on our environment have been increasing rapidly as days go by. There are still a few souls who do everything they can to make sure they somehow play a part in saving us from what is known as the end of our existence.

One such hero is Shaji Thomas. He has been in a fight for the last 26 years to protect and save the Amazon Rainforests of Brazil. Here is a look into his heroic struggle to ensure a better future for us all. 

Shaji Thomas: Guardian of the Amazon Rainforest

Shaji Thomas who hails from Kerala carried his bags and shifted to Brazil as a young student. This young smart superhero is now an environmental conservationist and a lawyer, but what is more fascinating about him is the fact that he stayed back after his education for one special cause.

Shaji Thomas decided to fight and protect the Amazon Forests of Brazil and the rights for the 60 plus communities that reside in the region. This passion began when he was in his mid-twenties and was a part of the Quilombola Community. 

The battle was not easy in the beginning. Thomas had to acquire Brazilian citizenship and become the only Indian-origin lawyer in the region. He stood up to the mafia and lived on a boat in the rivers of the Amazon for years. 

This superhero has been holding up a strong fight for years but there is still a lot of work to do. Climate change is something that has been on the rise leading to major destruction of the rainforests. Thomas claims that almost 20 sq. km burns every year due to forest fires.

Shaji Thomas is working hard every year and inspiring people all over the world to play their part to ensure that the Earth’s lungs are safeguarded, and we have a sustainable future.

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