Pranav Tadi

    March 14, 2019

    Pranav Tadi, the Director of Corporate Development and Indigo Research Partners, was Indigo’s sixteenth hire. Four years ago, the California-native was based out of San Francisco, where he served as a strategic financial analyst for a pharmaceutical company. A mentor and boss, Neal Rajdev – one of Indigo’s first senior leaders – reached out to Pranav early in 2015 with word of a company set to revolutionize the agricultural industry via plant microbiology. The message: We want to bring on someone with a desire to listen, learn, and act efficiently in order to change the world.

    The entry level role – finance and business operations associate – was across the country, the company brand new, the field unfamiliar. Pranav had been in the finance world for only ten months; his other credentials included a degree in molecular biology from the University of California, Berkeley and a year spent teaching high school algebra and geometry with Teach for America in Oakland, California. That biology degree? A springboard for becoming a physician. But Pranav soon learned he didn’t have to become a physician to help others, especially since – to his parents’ chagrin – he had little interest in the medical field itself

    The unifying and motivating force across Pranav’s career was, and still is, “helping and enabling others to be successful by providing access to tools that elude them,” he said. Pranav knew he could and would do whatever it took to be successful at Indigo, like he had for past roles – that he would devote the time and energy to achieve new heights. But could the position, and the company, help him achieve the maxim underpinning his work?

    Indigo line break

    An hour-long conversation with Indigo’s CEO David Perry on a Thursday afternoon in a crowded Starbucks put any doubts Pranav had to rest; the vision for a new agricultural system was discussed in detail, one that brings economic stability to growers, sustainable practices to the environment, and healthy foods and beverages to consumers. Helping others, Pranav realized, could be accomplished at Indigo on a global scale. The grand idea was not only convincing, but inspiring.

    Pranav accepted Indigo’s offer that same Thursday, quit his job on Friday, flew into Boston on Sunday night, signed his contract Monday morning, and went into the office for the first time. A west coast mentality brought Pranav to Boston without a jacket, and a winter of record snowfall left him drenched by the time he arrived to the office. As he entered his first All Hands meeting, the small Indigo team shared a nice laugh. In the four following years, as Indigo’s headcount went from 16 to over 800, its office locations from one to six, with touchpoints all over the world, Pranav would accomplish what he was asked to do from that first snowy day he showed up: We want to bring on someone with a desire to listen, learn, and act efficiently in order to change the world.

    Pranav’s horsepower was strategic and analytic. That included producing Indigo’s first two financial models, drafting several of its first five-year business plans, and project managing every private financing round. Indigo is today the best funded beneficial agriculture company in history, with more than $650M in capital raised. This includes a $47M investment Pranav led himself. In late 2017, Pranav helped found and took ownership over Indigo Research Partners, the world’s largest agricultural lab focused on grower profitability. Today, he leads the program alongside Barry Knight, helping growers discover, vet, and implement innovative tools and technologies in support of robust final harvests, good land stewardship, and overall profitability. Outside of this role, he still plays a big part in investor relations.

    Working at Indigo, Pranav has found the juncture in ambition and impact; he’s identified the right “vibe,” as he calls it. His driving maxim to help others, one that led him to pursue a molecular biology degree, teach math in Oakland, and accept a job across the country with a company just getting its footing, has now landed him in a position with a tangible impact and a fulfilling mission.

    “I want to stay right where I’m at, for now,” he said, when asked what’s next for him at Indigo. “To be in a leadership role at the only agriculture company that really keeps the grower in mind. We’re trying to create something different, here. To change something so that it works for all of the industry’s key constituents. I’ve got to say, I’m pretty happy with that.”


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