Like many owners of mom-and-pop outlets, Rajesh Khuteta, a Jaipur based Organized Kirana Store owner, is confident in competing with modern large format retail giants and online retail players. He has transformed his store in a manner that does not look like unorganized mom-and-pop outlet anymore. Keeping the value proposition of his store intact, he has upgraded his store in a way that gives ‘organised’ experience to the consumers.
‘Relationship’ and ‘interaction in person’ is still considered to be the best quality of doing business. As per the Google Consumer Survey, about 92% of purchases still happen through offline stores and consumer behavior plays a major role in it. Seeing or feelinga product in person, instant gratification, privacy, saving on shipping, easier returns are some key factors that make mom-and-pop stores to be unbeatable. Indian Kirana stores are offering ‘relationship’ which is earned through offering consumer credit, home delivery on call, attention to seasonality and hyperlocal assortment of products.
Online and large format retailers have the biggest advantage of economies of scale thuseliminating the whole supply chain to bring the win-win offers for both manufacturers as well as customers. While this traditional kirana market is open for transformation andit’s indeed looking for equal playfield to sustain the complex business model against the competition. Transformation and Technology has a huge cost and requires a special skill set to operate.
Providing equal playfield to Kirana Owners:
Aggregation ofTraditional Offline Kirana Shop Owners for the cause of transformation and creating the country's largest offline marketplace without diluting their ownership and interest can give them a competitive edge and bring sustainability. According to a report, India has more than 12 million offline kirana stores that still follow the traditional business practices. Upgrading them to a level-play would require a winning their trust and keeping their interest intact.The need of the hour is to come up with a self-sustaining model facilitating self-serve and tapping untapped footfalls.
One such unique business model exists in Jaipur, Rajasthan. Kirana King - Anenterprise with a vision to empower traditional kirana business in the country,was founded in 2014 by Mr. AnupKumar Khandelwal; has won the trust and confidence of over 85offline kirana shop owners in the pink city.Kirana King has set India’s first revolutionary ‘Asset Light Grocery Retail Business Model.’
This model enables Indian kiranastore owners to become a part of the revolutionary organisedgrocery retail while retaining the ownership of their stores. On the other side, this model also enables consumers to avail ‘organised shopping experience’ at their neighborhood is known kirana stores and experience high-speed retail.India Ki NayiDukan - Kirana King is giving the necessary thrust for empowering existing kirana shop owners’ market and heralding the kiranarevolution in the country using its professional management skills. Keeping 4 strong principles in the center – Standardization, Digitization, Centralization and Socialization of traditional kirana system, Kirana King endeavours to become the country's largest offline marketplace & Dynamic Alternate Commerce Platform for grocery retail.
Post standardization and digitization, the level playing can be more conjuring to step in the aggregator model of eCommerce with the supply chain management at these kirana stores. Kirana King has looked the viability and revenue model in ‘click to collect’ concept like Walmart, Tesco, ASDA, Sainsbury's, Amazon, Countdown, etc., brands are successfully doing in US, Europe, and New Zealand markets.
Overcoming the Marketing Challenge
The Indian consumer market is very dynamic and easy to be sensitized through IoT and hyper marketing tools. By using heavy means of advertising and brand endorsementsover some time, a brand reaches in the top of the mind of the target consumers.On the contrary, for kirana shop owners, simple marketing tactics are still a challenge. One, they do not have expertise in marketing themselves and second, they do not have heavy marketing budgets.In this case, an aggregator can play a major role in the untapped kiranawallas. An added advantage would be the strong presence of Kirana shops and customer relationship in the vicinity would not require heavy marketing budget.
Managing Supply Chain
Kiranawallas face a tough time in managing the shop's supplies and keeping a distance from deadstock. Callingdistributors and managing the stock in the shop for regular supplies is highly mismanaged due to lack of time and data management. A real-time SKU system can help an aggregator to manage the stocks even in remotely located kiranawallas. With the help of IoT and AI, an aggregator can also provide analytics to the manufacturers about the demographic, typographic and psychographic demands of consumers. By doing this,an aggregator like Kirana King is enabling Kiranawallas to optimize their business opportunities.
Giving respect to the Kiranawalla’s profession
Traditional kirana business is known not to be a respectful profession in society. The main reason behind the same being highly unorganised and less interested profession in youth is its social status. To give high social status like Ola and Uber provided to drivers in the country, kiranawallas should be engaged to a self-sustained aggregator business model.By doing so, Kirana King aims to elevate the social veil undermining store owners.
Amazon has tied-up with ShopX, a Bengaluru-based startup that digitally connects kiranas with large retailers and FMCG companies. To go till the last mile, Amazon is set to plan ‘I have space’ programme under which about 20,000 kirana stores in 350 cities are networked. On similar lines, Flipkart, Reliance and many more such giant retail players have realised the strengths of kiranawallas and taken it to explore the semi-urban and rural markets through last-mile delivery advantage that kiranawallas have.While the coming festivities of the remaining year awaits the market surge, it’s predictable to witness the changing graph of kirana shops across the length and breadth of the country.
The article has been penned down by Anup Kumar Khandelwal, founder and CEO of Kirana King