How rural eCommerce is all set revolutionise online retail in India?
In an exclusive conversation with Jitender Singh, Founder & CEO, MiniDukan sheds light on how he aims to revolutionise rural ecommerce sector.BY Shipra Srivastava | January 11, 2019 | comments ( 0 ) |
How did MiniDukan start? Also shed light on your entrepreneurial journey so far?
While working with my previous rural venture Starfin, which went on to become one of the largest banking correspondents to State Bank of India in Northern India, I envisaged that the next big market for e-commerce is rural India. In my 13 years of working with multiple companies, I mastered the skill of managing large teams and creating networks in different fields (FMCG, telecom, travel). My experience in channel sales, building networks, managing teams came handy in my entrepreneurial ventures later.
MiniDukan is the current venture that I am working on. We started MiniDukan with an idea toempower villages with technology to ride the e-commerce wave in the country and in the process create employment opportunities. People in rural India were looking for an online solution where they could buy products of their choice. With MiniDukan, we are able to deliver products in areas that most leading e-commerce players don’t reach.The brand is dedicated to addressing the challenges faced by the e-commerce sector such as logistics, vendor retention, timely payments, employment generation and customer education.
Kindly shed light on your business model? What are your views on current mCommerce market in India? How many downloads your shopping app has received so far?
MiniDukan was established in 2018 with a vision to revolutionize the e-commerce business in rural India. The hyperlocal service empowers customers across tier 4 to tier 6 towns to shop a wide range of products from general merchandise and fashion to electronics, at the click of a finger.
We are empowering rural literate youth to make their living by opening a collection and delivery center at the village level. They are in turn connected with our nearest logistic hub for a smooth supply of products. MiniDukan offers an enhanced customer experience with deliveries at Zero charges and no Minimum Order Value (MOV). The App plus kiosk-based hyper-local service sources products from vendors and ensures delivery within 48-96 hours.
On one hand we are empowering the rural youth and on the other, we are empowering the local shop owners to be on board with us so that they do not face threat with the upcoming competition from e-commerce companies.
As of now, how many pin codes are covered by MiniDukan? Going forward, how many pincodes the company plans to add in? also shed light on your current consumer base?
Our business model is more of the village, block, and district-level coverage rather than PIN coverage modules. As of now, we are present in 11 districts in Uttar Pradesh are and managing end to end logistics at villages covered through our unique business model.
How many categories you are retailing so far? Going forward what are the plans for category expansion?
MiniDukan offers customers a wide range of products from general merchandise, and fashion to electronics, at the click of a finger.
What are your strategies for logistics fulfilment?
We will be appointing our 3rd party logistic partners which is exclusively for MiniDukan at the block level and these partners will supply the orders at the village level.
Is your start-up backed by any VC?
We have started approaching VC’s and a few VC's have approached us and we have initiated our talks with them. I look forward to receiving our 1st funding in the next 90 days.
What are your views on recent amendment in eCommerce policy?
The recent amendment is good for all the stakeholders (Manufacturers and their channel partners), where each will get level playing field rather than manipulations from the large e-commerce players.
Kindly highlight your growth plans?
Within a year, the company has established its presence across 11 districts in Uttar Pradesh with 20 logistic warehouses, 2,500 Collection Delivery Centres (CDC) or kiosks and a customer base close to 1,00,000.This year we are looking to add two more states, 10,000 villages and 2 million customer base with 20000 of orders per day.
We are constantly striving to come up with innovative ideas to expand our business and overcome any hurdle on the way. Thus, our plan for the future is to scale up in different regions of India and increase our market base.