Future Farms combats India’s food crisis with alternative farms.
The future of food in India might just be hydroponics, thanks to Future Farms. The company is tackling India’s shortage of high quality, affordable food for the masses through the alternative farming technique, which is used in the U.S. and Europe but less so in developing economies. Hydroponic farm systems have tremendous advantages to traditional farms: they require no soil, use 90% less water, less labor, and have yields 4–5 times greater. And because they are designed to be either hip-height or vertical, hydroponic farms can be located almost anywhere, even on rooftops or in empty parking lots.
Dedicated to a mission of “clean food for all,” Future Farms is the brainchild of Sriram Gopal, a Chennai-based electronics engineer and a business graduate who stumbled onto videos about hydroponic farming in 2013 and immediately saw its potential for India’s food crisis. It’s estimated that 15 percent of the population — nearly 200 million people — lack access to clean, healthy food because of contamination, poor distribution systems, and bad weather. “I was completely blown away with its possibilities and surprised that nobody in India was really pursuing this,” he said.
Sriram Gopal is the founder and chief executive officer of Future Farms, India’s largest vertical farming and hydroponics company. He founded Future Farms after establishing another company, Synamen Thinklabs, a technology product development enterprise in Chennai. Gopal is an electronics and communications engineer who earned an MBA from Glasgow Caledonian University, specializing in marketing and strategy. Raised in a business family, Gopal believes that businesses must not only offer quality products but also create a positive impact on society. He believes India needs better solutions to feed future citizens and is motivated to solve this challenge through the use of technology.
Gopal participated in the Seed Transformation Program in India in 2018.