Due to lockdown, the good old neighborhood Kirana stores have attracted a lot of attention from fintech startup companies. The recent advancements in technology have permeated almost every industry vertical including the local retail industry. The recent ‘Sentiments of India’ survey revealed that 79% of the responding traders in non-metros and 50% in metros confirmed that there are new consumers coming to their stores post the lockdown period. The reason behind this is that the neighborhood stores have been empowered by startup companies with additional and technology services to help non-metro consumers with the maximum solutions under one roof in a covid pandemic.
These services help kiranas to rely on the conventional methods of operation. So let us take a look into the companies that are working tirelessly towards digitally empowering the local retail ecosystem in India:
Snapbizz: Start-up Snapbizz to launch digital solutions for 3 lakh kirana stores. The Bengaluru-based start-up has transformed 13,000 kirana stores across 110 cities into ‘virtual supermarkets’ with its Android/Windows-based cloud platform solutions. The partnerships with HDFC Bank and ICICI Bank place it on track to aggressively expand its kirana footprint from the current 3,000 stores/per month. There are 10 million kirana stores in India and people realized the importance of these stores during the lockdown, when they stepped up their act and made sure groceries and other staples were available to consumers, with very little help from outside. We have been in conversations with HDFC Bank and ICICI Bank for a while, but the momentum picked up post-Covid.
EasyPay: Ahmedabad-based startup Easy Pay has onboarded 500,000 retailers on their platform and its app Paisa Nikal has served more than 35 million people in rural India. The startup’s app Paisa Nikal connects both small stores and their consumers through banking services, thereby ushering a new way to look at the future of banking. The company aim to offer additional revenues to the Kiranas and help in digitizing them. During the COVID-19 lockdown, the founder says Paisa Nikal also became a medium for cash withdrawals benefits of various government schemes such as Jan Dhan Yojana, PM-Kissan Samman Nidhi, Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Scheme, National Pension Scheme, Kissan Nyay Yojana, MGNREGA, and many more.
BANKIT: Noida-based fin-tech company, BANKIT is helping hyperlocal businesses in simplifying order, payment and additional services at the store amid this lockdown. These kirana stores have the accessibility to help locals with online cash transactions via AePS/ mATM and provide cash withdrawal services. During the lockdown, more than 10,000 kirana stores of BANKIT are equipped with additional services like online order, mobile/TV recharges, travel booking etc to empower their business. The company plans to expand its presence with additional services in the coming year.
PayNearby: PayNearby is a fintech startup, empowers retailers at the first mile to offer digital services such as Aadhaar-based banking services, bank savings, bill payments, card payments, insurance services, and more to local communities. The company leverages AI, ML, and advanced analytics to create quick, simple, seamless, and efficient micro experiences that enable local retailers, referred to as ‘Digital Pradhans’, to provide these assisted hyperlocal services. Driven by its mission ‘Har Dukaan Digital Pradhan’, PayNearby enables an average of 3.5 million transactions in 115 Aspirational Districts of India every month. Through concerted efforts, the company is not just digitally empowering kiranas and local communities but is also playing an instrumental role both in driving financial inclusion and the transformation of India’s socio-economic landscape.
Source: Business World