In order to uplift the aspirations of India’s small merchants and help them benefit from the nation’s digitisation movement, SnapBizz, India’s leading retail digitisation company, Samhita-CGF’s REVIVE Alliance, a blended finance facility restoring COVID-19 affected livelihoods of informal workers and entrepreneurs, Nielsen, a global measurement and data analytics company, and leading national banks are enabling the digitisation of small kiranas and other retailers, to stimulate the adoption of digital tools and practices among the small kirana merchants to improve business outcomes and profitability.
The initiative targets small and local merchants in the lower income bracket, having a net income of INR 20-25,000 a month, and aims to ease their access to working capital and supply chain challenges. SnapBizz, with a goal of digitising a million small merchants, will provide the digital solution for local merchants. Samhita-CGF, through the REVIVE Alliance will provide financial assistance, through Returnable Grants and incentives, for small kirana merchants to access the digital solution & training. TRRAIN will support the initiative through self-help videos for merchants on modern retail practices. Nielsen will provide store acquisition and data evaluation support in the programme. Further, national banks and SnapBizz are collaborating in the roll-out and subsidising the digital solution for the programme.
The solution will give comprehensive support to the merchants – to manage their stores efficiently and effectively, help the store go online with their own storefront, give them access to suppliers of goods and working capital finance. The solution will enable merchants to sell more and acquire new customers by going online and enabling home deliveries, manage the store billing, inventory, accounting and compliance and optimise the access and supply of goods and money. They would also be provided with financial incentives such as a digital adoption reward of INR 1,000 at the end of four months by Samhita-CGF and the REVIVE Alliance and other performance rewards and ongoing incentives and promotions from banks and brands. The initiative is also expected to open newer in-store promotion avenues for FMCG brands by allowing them to collaborate with local merchants and drive targeted promotions.
The Returnable Grant, a zero-interest credit instrument provided by REVIVE Alliance, will be revolved to support each incoming merchant in adopting the technology. The merchants would be expected to return the money in instalments once they see success. Once returned, the money would be used to fund a new batch of merchants, creating a system where funds would be used and reused, driving a multiplier impact to the fund invested.
Prem Kumar, Founder & CEO, SnapBizz said, “Many Kiranas have gone digital in recent months and their stores have gone online by accepting online payments, ordering supplies online, managing inventory, etc. However, there are still millions of Kiranas that continue to work without any digitisation or technological help which puts them at a huge disadvantage and hinders their growth tremendously. Our collaboration to ensure that every Kirana has a fighting chance to face the growing world of e-commerce and online marketing. We are privileged to have partnered with these organisations as it brings us closer to our vision of driving inclusive growth and integrating small merchants with the larger ecosystem. We are working together towards a digitally enabled India for all segments of the society.”
Priya Naik, CEO & Founder, Samhita says “Small kiranas are the backbone of the retail business, and they’ve been at the frontline during the COVID-19 crisis, staying open through lockdowns and providing households in their localities with essential goods, with great risk to their business and health. Digitisation could help them modernise their trade and improve business outcomes on both the supply and demand sides in the current pandemic, from ordering online to customer acquisition to accepting digital payments.
The collaboration will enable small kiranas to build resilience, compete with modern commerce and even thrive in the post COVID-19 era, ensuring that local economies and livelihoods are strengthened and empowered.
Diptanshu Ray, Retail Intelligence Lead – South Asia at Nielsen says, “The REVIVE Alliance is thrilled to partner with SnapBizz and national banks to create a better normal for small kiranas across the country, accelerating their digitisation and business growth and enabling them to compete with modern commerce.”
The second COVID-19 wave is potentially more damaging than the first, especially on small businesses that haven’t fully recovered from the lockdowns and healthcare risks they faced in 2020. This collaborative aims to empower millions of small kiranas by equipping them with the latest digital tools and timely financial support, that will help them sustain through this crisis and thrive while meeting changing consumer demand in the present and for the future.