A recent media report has revealed that several technology startups which include Express Stores, Behtar Stores, Gully Network, Good-Box, ShopKirana, NIFLR and Jumbotail, are experimenting with new models for a foothold in India’s grocery retail segment.
The report published in a reputed new daily says that this comes at a time when big players such as Reliance Industries, Amazon and Walmart-owned Flipkart are strengthen their commitment to get a bigger piece of the pie in the segment.
Many of these technology-driven startups are taking over the functioning of the kirana stores to control merchandising, inventory management, invoicing, financing and most importantly their branding, a couple others are creating self-checkout stores and technology solutions for retailers to get easy access to these kirana stores.
The report quoted Ajay Nain, the founder of one such startup, Gully Network Retail, as saying: “Physical retail is such a large, fragmented, differentiated and unorganised business that no one solution can fit this underserved market.”Dwelling on the USP of their business model, the report goes on to say that these tech startups claim that they don’t just offer the whole store experience, but enable these stores with efficient supply chain, in-store experience and customer engagement capabilities.
These changes in the operations will help the stores to clock increased revenues over time, if not immediately, the report further says.
“Our thesis is that small shops need a 360-degree handholding to embrace technology to cope with the ever-dynamic purchase behaviour of consumers and generate additional income other than their primary business,” Nain was quoted by the daily.
The founders of these startups have also revealed that they have received good response from investors with a number of these companies including Orios Venture Partners, Accel and Nexus Venture Partners receiving a couple of rounds of funding.
What needs to be seen now is how they survive in a competitive segment that is not only unorganized, but also till now being ruled by a couple of bigwigs.