Chennai-based Jnana Inventive is helping retailers connect with users online amid pandemic
The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated digitisation in India. With people restricting themselves from crowded places and staying indoors, they are opting for ecommerce services to purchase essentials such as food, groceries, and medicines, among others.
During the crisis, several retailers are also taking the ecommerce route to ensure safety and improve their business.
In this scenario, Chennai-based Jnana Inventive aims to provide product development and marketing consulting services to small businesses.
Launched in 2018, Jnana Inventive is the brainchild of husband-wife duo Kalidoss Rajagopalan and DC Sinthuja, and is looking to help offline retail shop owners move their businesses online and connect with customers through its SaaS application, e-vaadikkai.
Speaking to YourStory, Kalidoss says,
“Coronavirus pandemic led to many unavoidable business issues for retailers such as losing customers, low productivity, and much more. To avoid this, they wanted to move their physical shop into an online business, and for this many began taking customer orders using WhatsApp. But certain communications cannot be done through WhatsApp or messaging, and therefore they lost many important orders.”
E-vaadikkai was launched to solve these problems and help retailers grow their business online, he adds. At present, the SaaS application has over 100 retailers listed on its platform.
Connecting retailers and customers digitally
Speaking about the core product, Kalidoss explains that e-vaadikkai helps retailers gain online presence and connect with the users under their own shop or brand name.
To begin with, retailers need to register themselves using the application. Following this, Jnana representatives will call back to help the users set up their online store and guide them on how to market and operate it.
The founder claims the application has been designed with a user friendly UI and easy to learn model approach to help the retailers manage their products and orders. He says the app has high secured architecture and uses Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) for security.
The app has also been designed with personalised local language support for retailers who don't have digital knowledge.
In September, Jnana Inventive got shortlisted by Retailers Association of India (RAI) as one of the top 10 retail tech startups who made it to the finals of ReTech Start-up Awards.
Business and more
The co-founder reveals that Jnana Inventive was launched with an initial investment of Rs 30 lakh. The startup has 15 members who come with vast experiences across verticals.
Kalidoss explains that e-vaadikkai operates on a B2B subscription-based model. “Our pricing range starts from Rs 199 to Rs 499 per month. There are no hidden charges and commissions,” he adds. He also reveals that the subscription can be paid by the retailers after they start earning through the app.
With increasing digitisation, several players have been looking to disrupt the ecommerce segment by connecting local retailers with the customers online. For instance, Bengaluru-based Lookup connects consumers with the local stores online for purchasing groceries, medicines, booking laundry services among many others. It lets the users chat with the shopkeepers, enquire about the product or services and make the transaction online. Apart from this, brands such as Bigbasket and Grofers are also helping retailers connect with users online.
According to the co-founder, e-vaadikkai has an edge over its competitors because of its personalised local language support, which enables retailers with less digital knowledge to take their business online. Apart from this, the startup also provides free digital creatives to the retailers for the first month.
Speaking about future plans, Kalidoss says the startup is looking to raise external funding and is planning to pitch to VCs for funding.
He adds that the app is looking to onboard 1,500 retailers in the next one year and eventually enlist 5,000 retailers in three years.
“We want to support small retailers to help them do their business in the digital era. We want to become the preferred end to end online solutions for all retailers,” the co-founder says.
Edited by Megha Reddy