Featuring New PIA Member: Snow International

April 8, 2016

Karan Kapoor, Managing Director of Snow International is no stranger to the MIT Practical Impact Alliance, having presented a case study in the 2015 PIA Working Group on Distribution Challenges at the BoP. We're thrilled that Karan and Snow have decided to deepen their involvement with PIA this year by joining as a member. Read on to learn more about Karan, his involvement in the network, and his priorities moving forward.




1. Why did you choose to join PIA? What value do you anticipate for Snow International?

PIA has members from a variety of industries operating at different points in the value chains. We chose to join to enable us to gain insight and build from experiences shared by other members to be able to apply these in the agro-inputs industry in Southern Africa. By learning from other members we have come to re-evaluate certain priorities in our operations and research further in to our operations. The sessions are well structured focusing on specific points and has enabled us to gather perspective on lessons learnt in other parts of the world.

2. What element of PIA are you most excited to engage in this year?

We participate in a variety of farmer development programs in the Southern African region. We look forward to learning and participating further in the Measuring Impact working group focusing on metrics to track when engaging in social impact projects. Through this working group we believe that we will be able to add value to projects that we work in to add value to all stakeholders involved in the programs. We work closely with small holder farmers and it is interesting to learn from other members who’s operations act at different levels in social impact programs what they feel are the key enablers to gain efficiencies in programs.

3. Which Snow priorities or projects do you see as most relevant to the PIA network and approach?

We have set up a franchise program in Tanzania and Zambia for farmers to be able to access high quality inputs at affordable prices. Through the PIA and the groups that we engage in we would like to develop our franchisees ; dealers; and the farmers who work with them to be able to make informed decisions on their purchases and add value to their crops. Further to sessions that we have participated in and learnings from case studies we have carried out numerous surveys  with farmers and dealers and have started to amend our training and marketing programs to enhance impact to all parties in the value chain.

Karan Kapoor bio

Karan is the Managing Director of Snow International and associate companies in Tanzania, Zambia, Malawi, Mozambique, Kenya and Zimbabwe. He manages operations on the Agricultural Inputs division and the Heavy Commercial Vehicle part and Tyre divisions on the continent. The agricultural operation currently deals with over 700 agro dealers in the region and numerous commercial farmers and outgrown schemes supplying fertiliser; pesticide; seeds and farming implements. Snow has registered their own brand of products in Sub Saharan Africa with the aim of offering farmers the highest quality pesticide at the most affordable price. Snow also acts as distributors for various multinationals such as Syngenta and Yara. Karan recently partnered with a software developer to design a business management system focused on dealers at the base of the pyramid which is being used in Tanzania and Zambia.

Karan holds Degrees in Economics and Actuarial Science from the University of Southampton and the University of Kent in the UK. Karan started his career over ten years ago working as an Actuarial Analyst on Defined Benefit Pension Schemes in the UK for 2 years before moving back to East Africa. He has over 8 years experience in the agricultural industry and has worked on various social impact programs in the region on developing better agricultural practices with small holder farmers in the Cotton; Vegetable; Maize and Cashew sectors. His focus is aligned towards enhancing value for farmers in the African continent by creating sustainable distribution and training centres to fill gaps in the market.