Shop: Wave Telecom Owner: PrashantN. Founded: 2012 Earnings: Rs 35,000 a month

Service: Sell mobile accessories and services Android Phones. Also, provides passport and PAN card services along with delivering Amazon products

PASSPORT

KISHORE BIYANI

Chairman, Future Croup

capture that information, which Amazon can. Kiranas are hubs for booking rail, air and bus tickets along with filling up passport/tax forms and mobile recharge vouchers to supplement their revenue. Over the years they have extended services to selling apparel, mobile repairs, and ironing clothes. Reports by CRISIL and Ernst & Young put the total number of kiranas in India at 12 million (approx.) outlets and they clearly continue to dominate the $550-billion retail market. The organised retail market accounts for less than 8 per cent of sales and, in the last 10 years, the share has only crept up by 3 per cent If you can’t beatthem, join them: is what the Amazon strategy dictates.

Flipkart and Snapdeal said that the ‘kirana strategy’ is not on their immediate agenda, but Biyani’s $3 billion Future Group is committed to leamingfrom and linking up with the Kiranas.

Kirana Now

“The data is agold mine. If e-commerce businesses get this data from kiranas, it is going to change the way they run promotions and campaigns,” says Devangshu Dutta, CEO of Third Eyesight, a consulting firm. “Can they provide customer

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The company did manage to give BWa sneak peek into what it is doing for the food and grocery business andhowitplans to use the kirana network to deliver to customers. A similar model is followed byAaramshop.com. Vjay Singh, the founder of aaramshop.com, is aggregating 6,000 kiranas in 28 cities for food and grocery delivery, and is helpingthem find customers through his platform. However, this startup is yet to raise the kind offunding required to scale up the business. Meanwhile Amazon is goingto push all its cash resources to create technology that can make the customer connect with kiranas a simple matter.satisfaction? That is the crucial test which will decide ifkiranas can migrate to servingthe mobile customer,” adds Dutta. Sources say that today kiranas deliver close to 3 lakh packages a month for Amazon, which means just through the kirana network it makes more than 3 million deliveries ayear.

Fazal Mohammed and Abdul Basit, two brothers, run their 800-square-feet shop called Care Fresh, in Mathikere, in Bangalore, with a continuous watch on the expenses. Being new in the area, they were not getting any traction from their store. Their catchment had let them down and they had no marketing budgetto connect with customers. When they heard about Amazons “KiranaNow” pilot program, which is a platform for kiranas to sell grocery through a mobile platform, the brothers jumped in.

Amazon’s team took pictures of 15 to 20 items of the inventory of Care Fresh, and placed them on the mobile website and started an online store frontforthebrothers. Basit and Fazal have access to abrowser-based system that connected with the Amazon network and the boys know, in real time, whattheir customers order. All they have to do is pack the items and generate an invoice. The Amazon delivery boy will take the package from Care Fresh and deliver it to the customer in 90 minutes. Amazon is trying to reduce this to 3 0 minutes and eventually will train the kirana to handle deliveiy. The cash will be paid back to the kirana in four days and Amazon will take 1 per cent of the total value delivered to the customer.

“Kiranas know the customer better than anybody and hence, their services add more value to our customer service experience”

AMIT AGARWAL

MANAGING DIRECTOR. AMAZON INDIA

The ‘Kirana Now’ program is available only in afew urban centres of Bangalore, but in six months it would be scaled into other cities. That said, Amazon India has already cracked the kirana delivery model with its IHS program and is in a position to scale up this segment rapidly. Kirana stores in Delhi such as Manchanda Enterprises and Lakshrm Stationaries have scaled up their businesses with Amazon’s IHS. “I hardly made Rsl5,000 a month. But with people picking up Amazon items, on a daily basis, it has upped my shop’s I business too,” says Shankar Singh, owner of Lakshmi Stationaries at Janak Puri in Delhi. Today he makes close to Rs40,000 a month.

The company had started with less than 10,000 packages with the kirana network 18 months ago; today, it is doinga million packages a month. Clearly, one does not need a crystal ball to see that kiranas will survive and thrive. Retail in India will continue with its hyper local system with no one brand or group dominatingthe consumer’s wallet Wesay let the Kiranas drive the Indian story ahead. DEI

^ [email protected]; # @vishalskrishnc\ For more on retailing, visitwww.businessmM.i-