April 13, 2022
Jiva launched in 2021 with a vision to empower smallholder farmers around the world. Through hundreds of hours of in-field interviews, home visits, and user testing sessions, we developed a unique agriservices platform designed to meet the needs of smallholder farmers around the world. Understanding agronomic processes, the complex agricultural supply chain and the pain points of smallholder farmers was critical in designing a system that could provide our users with low-cost advances, high quality supplies, fair prices and world-class agronomic advice. Today, Jiva empowers farmers across Indonesia by increasing yields and profits, as well as by giving farmers a voice in this big, complex and often unjust industry.
We built Jiva with the understanding that smallholder farmers face overwhelming disadvantages. Despite their outstanding contributions to the world’s food supply, they operate in a system that actively suppresses their ability to make a living and grow their profits. We are changing that. Our ambition is to uplift the livelihoods of our smallholder farmers and to empower them to adopt better practices, adapt to new conditions and grow their incomes. As of this month, we have supported over 70,000 corn farmers in Indonesia. Our farmers have also received advances amounting to Rp65 billion ($45 million) to support their farming activities which resulted in the successful harvest of 90,000 MT (90 million kg) of corn.
Needless to say, Jiva employees have one thing in common: purpose. Despite our different backgrounds, we are able to create teams that are ready to provide help and support to our users. However, with a rapidly growing team, we knew we needed to put pen to paper on what exactly it means to work at Jiva.
Geographically, we are spread out across three different countries — Singapore, Indonesia, and India — working diligently to find harmony and establish a shared vision through different languages and time zones. Professionally, we are a combination of many expertises and talents, including software engineers, data scientists, in-field agronomists, financial analysts, field agents, and UX/UI designers, to name a few. We knew that creating a common culture and set of values across the business would be tricky given our diverse backgrounds.
The only way to form a collective view of our values was to hear what each and every Jiva employee had to say about their vision for Jiva and the values they hold near and dear. So, that is what we did.
We began with a company-wide survey. The survey asked employees what motivated them personally and what they thought Jiva needed to succeed. The results of that survey were then drafted and recirculated to the company. We met in small groups to discuss why the value resonated, how each employee thought they would embody it, and what concerns still remained. Notes from those sessions led to an updated version of the values, with feedback carefully considered and integrated into the new language. Finally, after months of work, our values were finalised. We are proud to introduce our values and share what it means to work at Jiva.
We asked three Jiva employees about our values. Here is what they have to say.
First of all, what do “culture” and “value” mean to you? Why are they important to have?
Fijar : Culture and value describe the work environment of an office, department or business. Many companies strive to promote healthy cultures, focused on helping employees feel supported, valued and motivated. By generating feelings of community and positivity in the workplace, companies can boost productivity, reduce turnover and improve morale.
Tejas : Cultures and values are very important to the foundation of a company. They set a direction and guideline for the company, and ensure that you stay on the right track. A good set of values should be easy to understand, and easy to apply to key decisions.
Seamus : The quote “Culture eats strategy for breakfast” comes to mind when I think about the importance of culture to companies. It is the heartbeat of the organisation, the reason why employees stay with their company. Your company culture is the first thing an employee will be embraced with, and the last thing that they will remember on a day to day basis. It’s critical to get it right. A company’s values are a clear distillation of this culture; they reflect what you stand for, what you reward, and what you steer away from.
Farmers First — Empowerment at Every Level — Impact at Scale, Build Iteratively. Which one is your favourite value? Tell us more about it!
Fijar : Farmers First, of course! This is why I am here; this value drives me to constantly figuring out how I, as the training team leader, could contribute to Indonesian farmers.
Tejas : I think that Empowerment at Every Level is my favourite value. Good ideas come from everywhere. Sometimes, when you are the leader, the most important thing you can do is to get out of the way and let the team drive things that they are passionate about! It’s important to be continuously learning new things from your team.
Seamus : Empowerment at Every Level. What I love about it is the true belief that meritocracy leads to the best ideas. This value speaks to giving our field agents a voice and an ability to share their ideas, and drive decisions right where and when it matters. I’m all for that.
Lastly, how are you and your team planning to integrate these values into your daily work?
Fijar : We are in the process of creating a campaign and an introduction on our values. We will be conducting various activities to support this introduction in the hopes that our employees would always refer to our company values, especially in their decision-making.
Tejas : The values help us decide the next steps for the PDG team. It reminds us to take product direction from those working closest with our Farmers. Impact at Scale, Build Iteratively talks about the quality needed for our products. If our goal is to truly have impact at scale, then we have to ensure that our product is world class, and bug free.
Seamus : Our teams interact with farmers and field teams on a daily basis.The teams adapt materials, create new initiatives, stop projects, and raise red flags in line with the recommendations from farmers and supply chain partners; in short, we live and breathe Farmer First and Empowerment at Every Level. As for driving Impact at Scale, we structure our work plans and initiatives to evolve over time; never letting perfect get in the way of good. We push early and learn from the market, to make our final result really worthwhile.
Integrating values isn’t just about promoting them to the team, it’s a mindset for how you structure what you do; that’s the difference between knowing your values, and living your values.
Jiva is thrilled to continue to uplift our farmers as we move forward with a shared ethos. We are excited about the ways in which our values can cut across borders, unite the Jiva team and push our products, and our users, to greater heights. For more on how we live these values, stay tuned! Let’s go, Jiva! 🚀
📩 Driven to contribute to change? We’re hiring! Check out our openings here.