Weather Risk Management Services Pvt Ltd (WRMS) plans to offer bundled insurance to about one million farmers this year, while installing about 6,000 automatic weather stations globally, enhancing its data capabilities, its founder and CEO Anuj Kumbhat has said.

The company, which mainly focuses on agriculture and risk management, plans to provide advisory and risk management support to approximately 200,000 farmers through our “ SecuFarm” app, he told businessline in an online interaction.

WRMS offers solutions designed to mitigate, manage, or transfer risks through advisory services, data analytics, and insurance. “Our goal is to minimise damages in the agricultural sector and other areas affected by climate change,” Kumbhat said. 

WRMS founder and CEO Anuj Kumbhat

WRMS founder and CEO Anuj Kumbhat

Starting with agriculture

Initially, the company provided financial solutions and insurance for agriculture. Over time, it has expanded its offerings to include weather forecasts and farm advisory services using AI and deep learning models. 

About 1.50 lakh farmers in India benefit from WRMS services. Globally, around 10 million farmers are impacted through its data services to governments and private entities, he said.  

In India, WRMS operates in 18 States, including Punjab, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh. “Internationally, we are active in around 20 countries such as Fiji, Vanuatu, Philippines, Vietnam, Indonesia, Bangladesh and several African nations. We also work in Latin American countries such as Honduras and Guyana,” the company’s founder and CEO said.

Small and marginal farmers benefit from its bundled insurance products offered through partnerships with seed and agrochemical companies. “These products are provided at no extra cost to the farmers, with the premium paid by the companies,” he said. 

Collaboration with corporates

WRMS collaborates with corporate companies to implement climate-smart agricultural practices. “For example, with Olam, we help farmers adopt direct-seeded rice (DSR) cultivation, reducing their risk and ensuring a minimum yield. We also provide advisory services and insurance to support low MRL agriculture, which benefits farmers by offering them higher market prices for their produce,” he said. 

The Gurugram-based company is betting big on its “SecuRisk” platform, which facilitates the development of parametric insurance products. It significantly reduces the time to design and implement insurance products from a few months to about two weeks. 

“It allows for instantaneous claims calculation and settlement, enhancing efficiency for insurance companies. For instance, it can quickly design insurance products for agrochemical companies offering free weather insurance to farmers,” said Kumbhat. 

In addition, the “SecuFarm” app offers localised advisory services in multiple languages, helping farmers manage their farms more effectively. 

Integrating remote sensing

On WRMS evolving from offering insurance to developing a comprehensive farm advisory system, he said as the company interacted with farmers, it saw a demand for more comprehensive information, especially weather forecasts. 

“In 2008-09, we began creating specific forecast products for farmers, using numerical weather prediction models. Over time, we integrated remote sensing and cloud computing technologies, allowing us to offer detailed, farm-level advisory services via mobile applications. This evolution led us to provide a bundle of insurance and risk mitigation services,” said Kumbhat. 

Though WRMS is not directly linked to Prime Minister’s Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY), it supports insurance companies in designing and pricing parametric insurance products. “These products can be bundled with agricultural inputs like seeds and agrochemicals, providing farmers with free insurance coverage,” he said. 

Govt initiatives

The company also work on government initiatives, such as the Weather Information Network Data System (WINDS) and yield estimation projects, to enhance the accuracy of agricultural data and support better risk management. 

WRMS has been empaneled with the Government of India for initiatives such as crop yield estimation projects. “We work with around 10 States on various projects related to weather data, irrigation, and disaster management. Our goal is to provide accurate, technology-based outputs to improve agricultural practices and reduce dependency on manual interventions,” said the company’s founder and CEO. 

On accounting for climate change patterns such as El Nino and La Nina, he said WRMS closely monitors long-term climate trends and adjusts its insurance products and advisories accordingly. 

“For example, we analyse data to understand the impact of extreme weather events and advise farmers on suitable crop choices based on these trends. This approach helps farmers mitigate risks associated with climate variability,” Kumbhat said.