It's the age of hyperlocal startups. For a country that is known for its smaller and local neighbourhood stores, hyperlocal platforms seem to be the best bet. Platforms like UrbanClap, HouseJoy and LocalOye are some of the key players in the space. Other similar startups are HereNow and Qyk - and joining this bandwagon now is AndNrby, a hyperlocal content delivery platform that provides smart localized deals, promotions, and offers in real-time.
With digital channels certain to command a greater share of marketing budgets, AndNrby provides just the right tools for traditional businesses to reach their target customer segments in an accurate and timely fashion. Started by Amish R. Shah and Bhavik Solani, AndNrby, was born out of a desire to empower traditional retail businesses.
"We wanted to help the mom-and-pop / brick-and-mortar stores use technology to communicate to their consumers. While technology has always been an enabler and process optimiser for large businesses, the high upfront costs of technology made it unaffordable for traditional businesses," says Amish.
There was a market need for empowering traditional retail, and the duo came up with the concept of a hyper-local communication channel for them – in a bid to help them promote their deals and offers to customers who were in the vicinity of their shop.
Ideation to creation
Amish and Bhavik were friends from school days and were exploring business ideas together. It was in early 2014 that the duo decided to quit their jobs and work on some of the ideas. After discussing and trashing several ideas, the duo conceived of the idea of AndNrby, in August, 2014.They then discussed the idea with another friend, Harsh Maheshwari at a casual meet, and the idea excited him as well.
The AndNrby platform was launched in Mumbai on April 27, 2015. According to the team, since then they have witnessed close to a 200 per cent month-on-month increase in the number of active users. "The number of retailers signing-up with AndNrby has been increasing at a rate of 100 per cent, month-on-month. We plan to expand to five new geographies within Mumbai over the next 3 months," informs Amish.
AndNrby is completely free to users. At present, retailers are charged a nominal fee, on a per deal or offer basis. "AndNrby has been generating hard cash as revenue from the day of its launch," remarks Amish.
The biggest challenge for the team was getting the right set of people. "Be it finding the right candidates for market research or product development or sales, the process was challenging, but thoroughly exciting," says Amish.
According to Amish the term hyperlocal is narrowly defined, in many cases. Systems that claim to be in the hyperlocal space are limited to either the malls or the chains. Providing deals and offers from malls or chains is hyperlocal in a very limited sense and does not do justice to the term.
Till now, retailers have been sceptical of using technology, but the advent of ecommerce has made them look at technology for growing their businesses. "Though ecommerce presently counts for only two per cent share of the retail market in India, traditional retailers are aware of the challenges and are looking for ways to face this new competition. Businesses as looking for simple technology solutions that they can trust," reckons Amish.
AndNrby is a truly hyperlocal platform that provides a user with store / deals information from businesses that he or she can walk to in five minutes or so. Similarly, businesses have a dedicated reach to people who are within a defined geography in proximity to the shop. In addition to being hyperlocal it takes the content to the users – it does not wait for the user to pull the content. It is smart, in terms of understanding what the users will need. This is where AndNrby is different from the rest.
According to reports the Indian retail market is pegged at USD 600 billion dollars, of which 98 per cent is dominated by traditional or ‘unorganised’ businesses. This market size is set to reach USD one trillion by 2020. "This is the market that AndNrby is catering to. The retail markets in other countries are heterogeneous but generally more balanced between the organized and the un-organized sectors as compared to India," adds Amish.
AndNrby aims to be the largest hyperlocal communication and content-delivery platform for traditional business across the country. The system will be expanded to cover all of Mumbai by June, 2016. "With AndNrby, a user can travel across geographies and still always be assured of having a local assistant for handling all his/her shopping needs," concludes Amish.