The conventional old ‘kiranawalas’ life now becomes tech-savvy by a mobile application that immediately connects them with sellers of several products. Now the shop owner has better command over his inventory; he can order any time and gets the delivery of goods within 24 hours.
In only four months of its start in Indore, the ShopKirana mobile app arranged 500 retailers on board with just 10 brands integrated into the system and achieved a turnover of more than Rs 50 lakh of sales.
“Indian retail market is still largely (92%) unorganized. Millions of small and fragmented retailers lack the technology and are plagued with supply chain inefficiencies. Even taxis today have been connected with technology aggregators, but this huge untapped market struggles to survive. While studying the market, we had initially thought of 1/15 acceptance. Now seven on ten retailers have accompanied us, and that shows how badly this market wanted it,” tells ShopKirana Co-founder Tanutejas Saraswat, who looks after growth & operations.
ShopKirana ensures support to the retailers through a 24×7 order ability, quick inventory fulfilment through 24-hour delivery and consolidation by bringing hundreds of brands to one place.
Training and Educating retailers
ShopKirana is an Android operating system based mobile application that is available to download for free. The retailers can then look for desired goods they want at a time, order over the app and pay cash at the time of delivery.
“Selling products to retailers via mobile app is just an initiative to get connected with them. Our motive is to make them aware of the technology that can reduce unnecessary efforts. This helps them generate better sales by smartly keeping less inventory, buying in real-time, keeping track of every data on mobile and associating them with different suppliers in different service industries like banks, IT, POS system,” notifies ShopKirana Co-founder Sumit Ghorawat.
ShopKirana has a team of 150+ people that do all other things including going door-to-door, demonstrating the benefits of the application and educating retailers about the importance of an intelligent business system.
Along with retailers, the CPG (Consumer Packaged Goods) companies and distributors have discovered a platform to find retailers. “ShopKirana is an end-to-end supply chain solution. Now distributors and product companies can benefit from POS data, trend/ forecast, and analysis of promotion and competition. They can time their product launches, and they will know exactly where the demand is,” shares Tanutejas.
After winning Indore, soon ShopKirana launched in Mumbai as well. Since beginning in February 2015, the startup has had 15,000+ deliveries across Indore and Mumbai, businesses of INR 70 lakh and have sold three lakh quantities of different goods with just collaborating with only ten brands.
Founders, Competitors and Market
ShopKirana founders share a common passion for bringing a difference to retailers. Tanutejas Saraswat is an alumnus of Proton Business School, Indore, and went into startups directly from his college. The co-founder Deepak Dhanotiya is passionate about innovations and supply chain management. He is a NITIE, Mumbai, alumnus, and has previously worked for P&G and Cummins. Same as him, Sumit Ghorawat, the alumnus of Carnegie Mellon University, was also employed for P&G and was also a part of an incubator hub during his college days.
Having worked in various sectors, ShopKirana founders are confident and now even more experienced that their product is one-of-a-kind that is working to organize a disorganised market. “Some companies like SAP, Neilsen focus on getting POS data with some hardware. But we feel no one is competing in empowering retailers the way we are doing,” tells Sumit.
The founders admire Steve Jobs’ viewpoint: Customers don’t know until you show them what’s important. “We are going to create a dent in the Indian retail universe,” says Deepak. ShopKirana has already touched 10,000 retailers and at hitting 20,000 within a month during the end of 2015.
Ghorawat, with his co-founder friends Deepak Dhanotiya and Tanutejas Saraswat—stayed steady after they started ShopKirana in Indore in 2015 and stayed put in the Tier II city till the period of 2018. The business-to-business (B2B) supply chain-concentrated startup for mom-and-pop (Kirana) markets started working with a handful of Kiranas for a few months; ended the year with over 100 stores, gradually expanded the network over the next few years in Indore, and closed FY18 with a revenue of Rs 8.92 crore. “Now we were confident of our business model and ready to move outside the steady,” recalls Ghorawat, co-founder of ShopKirana.
Ghorawat reveals the magic after the tremendous growth. “It’s ready, steady, and heady,” he smiles, describing how the startup got its act right. Staying in Indore for four years made ShopKirana ready with a business model which could be mounted subsequently. “A long one-city stint also made us steady,” he contends. The team figured out the unit economics. While the loss in FY20 was Rs 24.72 crore, it marginally improved to Rs 30 crore in the next fiscal year. During the same period, Ghorawat indicates revenue vaulted from Rs 200 crore to Rs 400 crore. “We now work with 50,000 Kirana across four states, including 3,000 in Indore,” he claimed.
ShopKirana worked out on many in-house brands in late 2019 and used its vast network of Kiranas to reach a scale over the next two years. The first label was ‘Kisan Kirana’, which had prepared food, spices, premium rice, and mixes. Then also came up with a brand and named it ‘Safoya’ for fabric and housecare; next in order was ‘Clean and Bold,’ a personal care brand. “All the three brands together added to Rs 100 crore in sales for FY21,” declares Ghorawat.
ShopKirana app is now “Direct”
Announced 2 weeks ago via a youtube video. Around seven years ago, they started ShopKirana with the purpose to “Empower retailers with the help of technology and brands”. In the journey, they have empowered lacs of retailers, delivered crores of products, and brought uncountable modifications to make everyone’s life easier.
According to Tanutajas, now their app is split into two segments – Brand Store and Seller Store. The retailers can directly buy from 350+ top brands like P&G, HUL, Dabur, ITC, etc. Through seller stores, the retailer can directly give orders across categories to top traders from their city. “Our app name is changed from “ShopKirana” to “Direct” to make it easy and relevant for everyone.”