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5 businesses that are helping your neighborhood stores thrive in the digital age
Posted on April 14, 2022
We all have a little feeling attached to our local Kirana stores. The bond of trust we create with them goes a long way, and many of us have felt that these local Kirana stores have been there for us through thick and thin, and a clear example of this is the recent Covid 19 pandemic. local stores have been on the front lines throughout the pandemic. They served their customers despite the risk to themselves, their staff and their families. Local businesses continued to be the backbone of their neighborhoods, ensuring people received their necessities day in and day out.
In many ways, they were the unsung heroes of the pandemic. Their hyper-local setup made the difference by ensuring that Indian households never ran out of basic necessities. The same hyper-local reach is why small vendors, local Kirana stores and other local stores are a multi-billion dollar market in India. Consumers have shifted to digital shopping since the pandemic and as a result, local retailers are also migrating to digital to continue serving them.
Here we list the top 5 companies empowering local store owners and Kirana stores with new age tools to support their businesses in the digital age:
1. LocalLove: In a world where most e-commerce platforms are replacing local retail, LoveLocal is here to empower local businesses and level the playing field. groceries, pharmacy, fresh fruits and vegetables, dairy products, etc. – LoveLocal provides a comprehensive digitization platform for local retailers that brings their businesses online, manages end-to-end consumer service, markets and promotes them to new digital consumers, and provides actionable insights so that retailers can run their business more efficiently.
Launched in 2020 by Akanksha Hazari, LoveLocal has helped over 1 million retailers digitize their stores into over 700 PINs and increase their business by 70%.
For consumers, the app gives them access to features such as one-click repeat orders, trending products, top-rated stores, ordering from multiple stores in one checkout, and more. The app is a great channel for consumers to discover personalized offers and local deals created by retailers. Consumers can continue to enjoy free, fast delivery and the value and impeccable service of local retailers.
2. Payment: The digital payment revolution started a decade ago, and since then many traditional methods have changed or ceased. Recent events have realized the importance of digital payments and how much it is the need of the hour.
Paytm has become the most popular and convenient option for transacting or conducting business 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 online banking or card details. Additionally, businesses can accept online UPI payments from customers through 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 reduces their time and effort.
3. LendingKart: Small business owners and sellers are struggling financially and are always on the lookout for organizations or banks that can provide paperless and fast loans at very low interest rates. This is where LendingKart comes in. It simplifies and standardizes the financing of MSMEs. Lendingkart has offices in Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Mumbai, Delhi NCR and has service reach across India. Since its inception, Lendingkart Finance has assessed nearly half a million applications, disbursing over 1,00,000 loans to over 90,000 MSMEs in over 1,300 cities across India’s 29 states and union territories, which makes it the non-banking financial institution (NBFC) with the largest geographical footprint in the country.
Launched by Harshvardhan Lunia, who is the co-founder and managing director of the company, the NBFC provides unsecured short-term working capital loans to MSMEs with minimal paperwork within 72 hours. The size of the loan notes ranges from Rs 50,000 to 1 crore for a period of 1 to 36 months.
4. ShadowFax: The hyperlocal delivery space has seen a surge in the last 2 years since the start of the pandemic. Retailers and local businesses are seeing a drop in business as they were unable to deliver the services to consumers’ doorsteps. To solve this problem for small businesses, startups like ShadowFax have started providing logistics support to local vendors for last-mile delivery.
The Company’s Enterprise Logistics Gateway operates in a plug-and-play format and offers an on-demand delivery service platform to its customers. The technology enables customers to make fast, safe and reliable deliveries by instantly connecting them (businesses/e-merchants/retailers) to the company’s vast network of more than 50,000 delivery partners in more than 150 cities and villages in India.
5. KhataBook: Launched in January 2019, Khatabook develops utility solutions for the country’s 6.3 crore strong MSME sector. Their first offering – an Android app for businesses to digitally record the credit they extend to customers has gone viral, and so far Khatabook has been downloaded over 5 Crore+ times. At present, the company has over 10 million monthly active merchant users who manage over 344 million customers across India. As more companies embrace digital for business than ever before, Khatabook’s goal is to empower merchants by simplifying their business.