Customer Story

Jain Irrigation Systems: Empowering farmers across the globe with sustainable innovation on Google Workspace

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Jain Irrigation moved 12,000+ global staff to Workspace, won 100% freedom from IT maintenance, empowered farmers in pandemic, and forged new agriculture technology (ag-tech) strategy with Workspace and Google Cloud solutions

Google Cloud Results

10x productivity improvement and 700,000+ docs shared

• Streamlines global supply chains by keeping track of 30,000 truckloads and 10,000 shipping containers on Sheets
• Enables real-time guidance to farmers during the COVID-19 pandemic with 5,000 Meet calls
• Safeguards intellectual property by moving from zero security legacy email to near 100% protection with built-in security
• Enhances trust with global clients and regulators through automated compliance on Form

"We like to say our bottom line is measured not in profits but farmers' smiles. Google Workspace transforms our ability to work creatively, quickly, and securely in the farthest reaches of the world." – Abhedya Jain, Vice President, Jain Irrigation

In the 1960s, Bhavarlal Jain, a young law graduate, launched a business selling kerosene from a pushcart in India's Maharashtra state. That planted the seed for a humanistic enterprise that grew into the world's second-largest micro-irrigation firm, Jain Irrigation Systems (Jains), empowering farmers from Peru to Kazakhstan.

Under the Jain Irrigation model, agronomists fan the world to give farmers free guidance on how best to optimize crops. Whether the farmer buys a Jain irrigation system or not, the agronomist from Jain Irrigation Systems is committed to providing an end-to-end modernization strategy.

The vision has been honored by UNESCO and studied by Harvard Business School. In 2015, Forbes presented Jain, whose inspiration was Mahatma Gandhi, with its "hero of philanthropy" award. Jain is also an early pioneer of today's green ethos that "doing good is good business." The firm has annual revenue of $1.2 billion, reaching more than 125 markets and over eight million farmers.

Two years ago, Jain Irrigation was in the midst of forging strategies to reach its next eight million farmers. These include an AI-driven ag-tech platform, diversification into green farming infrastructure, and nurturing the huge potential of African agriculture, seen as the new frontier in farming empowerment. Yet the dreams were complicated by the very sprawling nature of the enterprise, and legacy systems that struggled to connect all parts.

Jain Irrigation decided it needed digital transformation built around a productivity and collaboration solution. This would enable secure, real-time communications and information sharing among stakeholders scattered in some of the world's most remote regions, including agronomists in Bangladesh, farmers in Tanzania, suppliers in Brazil, all the way to staff at headquarters in India's rural Jalgaon.

Jain Irrigation switched from "pen-and-paper" record-keeping and locally hosted email to Google Workspace collaboration and productivity tools. It helped spark a new chapter in Jain Irrigation's journey empowering farmers with sustainable agriculture systems in an age of resource scarcity and mobility restrictions due to COVID-19.

"We like to say our bottom line is measured not in profits but farmers' smiles. That's what motivates us to keep growing. Yet it also creates a challenge of geographically-scattered data with teams on different software," says Abhedya Jain, Vice President Jain Irrigation Systems. "Google Workspace transforms our ability to work creatively, quickly, and securely in the farthest reaches of the world."

Digital transformation in rural India with intuitive Google Workspace tools

As the architect of Jain Irrigation's digital vision, Jain, who is also the grandson of founder Bhavaral Jain, knew that connecting the firm's global network started with Google Workspace transformation at home, deep in rural India. Yet he was concerned about uptake by headquarters staff accustomed to decades-old workflows.

"We thought rolling out this new technology would be really difficult. Based in the countryside, where people are less digitally savvy than in cities like Mumbai, we worried our frontline staff might struggle with adoption," recalls Jain. "At the same time, we were excited to get started on Google Workspace because we have a pipeline of digital initiatives that just couldn't wait."

The challenge led Jain Irrigation to partner with UMS Tech Labs on the rollout. Given the scope of the task getting thousands of staff comfortable on a new system, UMS initially slated eight months for the Jalgaon phase of migration.

When Jain said he didn't have eight months to spare, UMS proposed shrinking the timeline to three months. That still didn't meet Jain's expectations. Eventually, the UMS team decided they would complete the migration overnight.

After a brief period of deploying Google Workspace and initial training on how to use it, 3,000 Jain Irrigation headquarters staff arrived at work to find a message in their inbox. It contained their password and instructions to move to the new platform immediately.

"We were amazed that people started using Google Workspace as if they'd been on it for years. Everyone, from knowledge workers to frontline staff, was happily using Drive, Sheets, Google Meet, and everything else under the Workspace suite," says Jain. "They loved it because it was so easy and intuitive."

Fast forward two years and Jain Irrigation's 12,000-strong global workforce, along with customers, vendors, and agronomists, are confidently and collaboratively building the future of sustainable farming on Google Workspace.

Expanding global farming reach with full range of Google Workspace tools

"Forms enables anyone in our company to guarantee compliance at the click of a few buttons thanks to its sheer simplicity." – Abhedya Jain, Vice President, Jain Irrigation

For Jain, one of the greatest satisfactions of the platform adoption has been extending the firm's reach with global farmers. In an age of Covid, he says, Google Workspace has enabled Jain Irrigation to provide real-time guidance, in the middle of difficult situations such as floods, typhoons and dry spells, not to mention lockdowns.

Jain Irrigation eased the burden of a difficult 2020 with more than 5,000 Meet video calls, providing training for farmers on everything from planting to water management. Jain Irrigation also used Drive to securely share continuously updated insights with agronomists, farmers, and suppliers.

The positive energy unleashed in the firm's early days on Google Workspace grew rapidly. It resulted in deployment of a comprehensive range of solutions that support every aspect of the business.

For example, Jain Irrigation uses Sheets for all finance, logistics, and fleet tracking needs. The simplicity of Sheets soon made it one of Jain Irrigation's most popular tools, with an adoption rate of 78%. With Sheets, Jain Irrigation easily keeps track of the 50,000 truckloads and 10,000 shipping containers criss-crossing supply chains every day.

Meanwhile, Forms has been instrumental to secure information collection, from customer surveys to global compliance. Jain Irrigation is proactive about reaching out to farming communities, with questionnaires about concerns, ambitions, needs, and challenges. Forms easily enables these insights with its simple-to-use interface and interactive features such as multiple choice questions.

Forms secure templates are also ideal for ensuring compliance, something that used to be a very bureaucratic process. "Now Forms enables anyone in our company to guarantee compliance at the click of a few buttons thanks to its sheer simplicity," says Jain.

Harvesting measurable results in farmer empowerment

"With Google Workspace enabling scalable business processes in the cloud, we can focus 100% on our irrigation, food processing, solar power and ag-tech platform without worrying about IT." – Abhedya Jain, Vice President, Jain Irrigation

The results of these benefits have been significant. In two years since adopting Google Workspace, Jain Irrigation has shared 700,000 Docs, Sheets and Slides globally, for an estimated 10-fold boost to productivity. Meanwhile, world-class security baked into all Google Workspace solutions has enabled the firm to move from "zero security" on legacy email to near-complete security.

The ultimate empowerment? The freedom to do what Jain Irrigation does best, creating innovative solutions that help farmers succeed. "With Google Workspace enabling scalable business processes in the cloud, we can focus 100% on our irrigation, food processing, solar power and ag-tech platform without worrying about IT," says Jain.

Planting seeds of farming's future with Google Cloud migration

For Jain Irrigation, Google Workspace has been the entry point to a full-fledged migration to Google Cloud. Building the infrastructure with partner UMS, Jain plans to deploy BigQuery to crunch the staggering amounts of data generated at Jain Irrigation's 33 global manufacturing plants.

"BigQuery will yield powerful data analytics and dashboards that will give us granular insight on how to minimize costs and optimize efficiency, enabling us to make our solutions even more affordable for farmers," says Jain.

Jain Irrigation also plans to adopt Google Cloud AI solutions such as Natural Language AI to build a chatbot that provides intelligent automated guidance to farmers, on topics such as what fertilizer to use and how often to sprinkle crops.

In addition, Jain Irrigation plans to use Vision AI for optical character recognition (OCR), to read orders in places where farmers rely on pencil-and-paper. With Google's OCR, the Jain Irrigation dealer only needs to snap a photo of the handwritten order, and it's converted to text to be processed on the other side of the world.

"Our main focus now is to evolve our ag-tech with an aim of reaching a million farmers each month," says Jain. "With Google Cloud machine learning solutions and the optimized collaboration of Google Workspace, there's no end to the good we can achieve in our mission to bring smiles to farmers' faces."

*Google Workspace was formerly known as G Suite prior to Oct. 6, 2020.

Google Cloud Premier Partner

UMS Tech Labs

UMS Tech Labs is a Google Cloud Partner that guides clients to optimize deployment of Google Cloud, Workspace and Chromebook. It has moved more than 100,000 customers to Workspace, leveraging deep knowledge of the platform to maximize scalability, reliability and security.