BharatNet, the government initiative which envisions connecting all 2.5 lakh village panchayats with high-speed broadband network, will soon unlock a new digital market in India. With this project, our rural geographies - which are home to around two-thirds of the national population - will become familiarized with digital technologies and help drive rural digital adoption with high-speed internet. With this infrastructure-building initiative, there will be a continuous demand for cutting-edge products and services throughout the country. So, it is beyond doubt that the need to maintain credit history, digital payments, logistics services, and digitization of the unorganized retail market will be imperative. Thankfully, there are a number of Indian startups that are addressing these demands pre-emptively. Let us quickly have a look at them and how they are adding value to the overall ecosystem:
OkCredit is a cloud-based digital application provider for micro-merchants. It connects small retailers with customers and suppliers digitally. Its app, which can run on a basic smartphone, helps automate all transactions of retailers with their customers and wholesalers. The company plans to expand its merchant base and create teams across verticals such as product, technology and digital banking. Merchants can use OkCredit’s app to track buyers’ purchases and when payments are due. They can also use the app to send payment reminders
XPay.Life is driven with a vision of making life simpler by providing a one-stop solution to the consumers to pay their multi-utility bills using a single window. Powered by a blockchain-based transaction framework, XPay.Life covers the complete spectrum of bill payment services, including Touch Screen Kiosk, Web, Mobile App, POS Device and Mobile ATP Van. The USP of XPay.Life is Bill Payment through Touch Screen Kiosk, which accepts cash as well as digital payments. Thus enabling cash to digitization in rural India.
The retail subsidiary of Reliance Industries Limited, Reliance Retail recently announced its plans to digitise kiranas for the transformation of the unorganized retail market, as part of its ‘New Commerce’ move.
Reliance Retail will leverage AI, ML, blockchain, IoT, and cloud computing to empower these local retailers with an end-to-end digital and physical distribution stack. This would enable them to operate in the same way and as efficiently as larger enterprises and ecommerce players do. By integrating merchants, consumers, and producers through this digital platform, Reliance Retail envisions to further digitisation and inclusive growth, and share the wealth with those at the bottom of the commerce and retail pyramid in India.
Shiprocket, for seamless deliveries: Covering more than 26000 pin codes and 220 countries with its
network, Shiprocket optimizes existing logistics infrastructure using data and AI to offer seamless
shipping solutions for every online seller. The platform has tied up with 15 courier partners like FedEx, Aramex and Delhivery to name a few. The easy to use app for Direct to Consumer sellers, provides features such as daily COD remittances, courier recommendation engine, insurance cover for shipments lost in transit and personalized post ship tracking for customers to name a few. Sellers also have an option to integrate their E-commerce store with their Shiprocket account in order to process all orders from one single platform and avoid the hassle of managing the shipment data manually.