Imagine the future when you see a corner store upgrade its technology, diversify its product offering, open multiple revenue streams for itself, and yet retain its USP- the personal connect with the customers. Set out to achieve this union is the Pay1 platform– with a mission to empower the unorganised retailers and create sustainable revenue streams for them.
The disruptions and innovations in the Indian retail industry have always sounded the death knell of the kirana store. From the advent of ‘organised’ retail in the form of supermarkets or introduction of large format shopping centers and the more recent e-commerce boom, the kirana store is often questioned and opined to be ceasing soon. But the age-old model seems to be living through it all and will remain immortal for many years to come.
Owing to the population explosion, the kirana stores will have enough reasons to exist as a business, but what may need rethinking is the business model. While the business at the corner stores, are going at a steady pace, for any exponential and sustainable growth to happen, these business will need to aboard a technology platform that helps them improve their current business, open new avenues of income by helping them identify diverse services they can offer, and monetize their manpower and physical infrastructure.
Pay1 is a platform that provides these retailers with digital, financial and business solutions such that each small business and retail store can use technology to expand their business offerings. Pay1 also aims to create more jobs by aiding micro-entrepreneurship especially in the rural and semi-urban India.
The technology provided by the Pay1 platform will help the retailers in an efficient inventory management, customer buying behaviour analysis, new products and trends, forecasting demand, offering discounts, bunching highest selling products as a part of the platform offerings. It also provides solutions like bill payments, mobile recharge, and remittances. The platform will partner up with the banks to become a full-service digital payment solution.
Another problem that unorganised retailers face is the inefficient utilisation of infrastructure in terms of space available inside and outside the store. Pay1 aims at introducing products/ services and partnerships wherein the retailer can leverage its current infrastructure. Pay1 will partner with logistics companies and make the retailer location their drop box, collection center or depository (mini-warehouse) to enable the retailer to monetize the infrastructure. This will increase the footfall and incremental revenue.
The current services offered by the platform are cheap and quick business expansion loans to the retailers. The retailers based on their business volume and credit score (maintained by the Pay1) can access hassle-free loans and quick disbursals.
The platform also offers mPOS installations at the retailer site, empowering the retailer to accept digital payments. The AePS feature empowers retailer to offer cash withdrawal facilities to its customers by using thumb impressions on the Aadhaar enabled POS machines.
Pay1 also offers offline branding and promotion services to third party products and services companies. These parties get the advantage of the brand promotion at the retailer site by putting hoardings, banners, and standees. The retailer, in turn, earns a pre-fixed revenue to do the same at the shop site. Thus opening another revenue stream.
The partnership with financial services companies and banks makes the Pay1 retailer a financial product distributor and a banking point. Pay1 will also partner with NBFCs and small finance banks to provide micro-credit and other banking services to the retailers.
The platform provides opportunities to monetize on the store physical infrastructure, install ATMs or kiosks to provide digital and financial inclusion to the unbanked, underserviced hinterlands of India.
Pay1 plans to partner with logistics and e-commerce companies making our retailers the local delivery centers or mini-warehouses and depositories for the e-commerce and logistics companies’ related inbound and outbound packages.
The technology platform with a huge data mining capability offers unique insights to products and services companies, supply chain providers, manufacturers and financial services companies. These insights help in identifying new products for new geographies, creating the targeted promotions, and integrating financial products and payment solutions.
While the way the corner stores evolves with Pay1 support is an exploratory journey with endless possibilities, Pay1 has the capability, calibre and conviction to make the kirana stores the ‘strengthened’ pillar of the Indian retail.