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5 companies helping your convenience stores thrive in the digital age
Released April 14, 2022
We all have a little feeling associated with our local Kirana stores. The bond of trust we develop with them goes a long way, and many of us feel that these local Kirana stores have been there for us through thick and thin, and a precise example of this is the recent Covid-19 pandemic. Local businesses have been at the forefront throughout the pandemic. They served their customers despite the risk to themselves, their employees and families. Local businesses continued to form the backbone of their neighborhoods, ensuring that people could get their daily necessities day in, day out.
In many ways, they were the unsung heroes of the pandemic. Their hyper local facility made the difference by ensuring Indian households never ran out of essentials. That same hyper-local reach is why small vendors, local Kirana stores and other local businesses make up a multi-billion dollar market in India. Consumers have switched to digital shopping since the pandemic, and therefore local retailers are also migrating towards digital to continue serving them.
Here we list the top 5 companies that are empowering local shopkeepers and Kirana stores with new age tools to support their businesses in this digital age:
1. LoveLocal: In a world where most ecommerce platforms are crowding out local retail, LoveLocal is here to empower local businesses and create a level playing field. Focused on the hyper-local categories of everyday essentials ie Grocery, Drugstore, Fresh Fruit & Vegetables, Dairy and more – LoveLocal offers local retailers a complete digitization platform that brings their businesses online, end-to-end consumer service, manages, markets and promotes them at new digital consumers and provides actionable insights so retailers can manage their stores more effectively.
Launched in 2020 by Akanksha Hazari, LoveLocal has helped over 1,000 retailers digitize their stores into 700+ PIN codes and grow their business by 70%.
For consumers, the app provides access to features such as one-click reorders, trending products, top rated stores, placing an order from multiple stores in a single checkout, and more. The app is a great channel for consumers to discover the tailored deals and local deals created by retailers. Consumers can continue to enjoy free and on-time delivery, as well as the value and impeccable service quality of local retailers.
2. Paytm: The digital payments revolution started a decade ago, and since then many traditional methods have changed or been phased out. Recent events have highlighted the importance of digital payments and their need of the hour.
Paytm has emerged as the most popular and convenient option for any transaction or trading activity in India. The company offers local businesses several UPI solutions that allow merchants to collect payments directly from their bank accounts without having to enter cumbersome net banking or card details. In addition, businesses can accept online UPI payments from customers via Paytm UPI, BHIM or any other UPI app.
Paytm was launched in August 2010 in Noida, Delhi NCR with an initial investment of US$2 million by its founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma. Paytm has helped small and medium business owners understand the benefits of digital payment and how it saves their time and effort.
3. Rental kart: Small business owners and sellers are struggling with finances and are always looking for organizations or banks that can offer paperless and quick loans at very low interest rates. This is where LendingKart comes in. It simplifies and standardizes financing for MSMEs. Lendingkart has offices in Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Mumbai, Delhi NCR and has service coverage across India. Since its inception, Lendingkart Finance has assessed nearly half a million applications and disbursed over 1,00,000 loans to more than 90,000 MSMEs in over 1300 cities across all 29 states and union territories of India, making it the Non-Banking Financial Institution (NBFC). ) with the largest geographic footprint in the country.
Created by Harshvardhan Lunia, the company’s co-founder and CEO, NBFC offers MSMEs short-term, unsecured working capital loans with minimal paperwork within 72 hours. Loan card sizes range from as low as Rs 50,000 up to 1 crore for periods of 1 to 36 months.
4. ShadowFax: The hyperlocal delivery space has seen a surge in the past two years since the pandemic began. Local retailers and businesses are seeing a downturn in business as they have been unable to deliver the services to consumers’ doorsteps. To address this problem for small businesses, startups like ShadowFax began providing logistical support for local carriers for last-mile delivery.
The company’s logistics gateway for businesses works in plug-and-play format and offers its customers an on-demand delivery service platform. The technology enables customers to make fast, safe and reliable deliveries by instantly connecting them (businesses/e-tailers/retailers) to the company’s extensive network of 50,000+ delivery partners in 150+ cities and towns in India.
5. Khata Book: Founded in January 2019, Khatabook develops supply solutions for the nationwide MSME sector with a sales volume of 6.3 million. Their first offering – an Android app that allows companies to digitally record the loans they extend to customers – went viral and so far Khatabook has been downloaded over 5 million times. Currently, the company has 10M+ monthly active merchant users managing 344M+ customers across India. With more and more companies than ever adopting the digital world of business, Khatabook’s goal is to empower merchants by simplifying their business.