Snapbizz is in their own words ” where we transform traditional Kirana stores into virtual supermarkets and give them a competitive edge in the current environment to make them far more profitable “.

In a recent interview with Mr. Prem Kumar an author and also the CEO of Snapbizz was kind enough to answer some of our questions regarding Snapbizz and its vision to revolutionize local e-commerce.

It all started when we came across an article by Mr. Prem ” How ‘silent’ e-commerce is already underway in India ”

It talks about creation of robust eco-system for micro-ecommerce that will also connect and add value to all FMCG players (including the kirana stores and consumers) & also how it is going effect the big companies when every business will be their own brand.

ky : As the local e-commerce will boost and the companies who sold their services via. big brands such as amazon , flipkart etc , are going to get their own audience without the need of these business giants anymore, how do you think will the big companies react & who will be leading the market then ?

Prem : We do not feel that the big players’ relevance will go down in spite of the local e-commerce boost. Instead, we will witness a new era – Retail 4.0 where we will see the creation of new networks of stores which will be driven/bonded by technology. These store networks will start collaborating with these big business houses / FMCG Brands both on demand-side operations and supply side operations. This form of collaboration is very similar to the Amul’s White Revolution which saw a formation of a massive network containing dairy farmers that does profitable business with large players.

Times of Retail : How do you think the rise of local e-commerce is going to affect the ways of social media marketing ? ( by local e-commerce I mean how convenient it has become to get basic items from the store next door via a whatsapp text )

As more and more retailers are getting online and offering hyper-local merchandise to their customers, we will see significant increase in social media marketing spends by more retailers. Hyper-local retailers have the advantage of proximity to the customers.

Moreover, they have hyper-localised the merchandise to (a) include various socio-economic classifications in the locality and (b) service the customer needs in an inclusive manner. It is imperative that they thrive; otherwise there would be a huge vacuum in distribution and availability of merchandise to the various income segments in the country many of who earn enough to buy for the week or day What’s more significant here is that we will see participation of FMCG Brands, Wholesalers, Distributors etc.

In the social media marketing activities of the retailers. We will see more support coming from these players who will assist the retailers by way of more offers and discounts and also by way of virtual merchandising (via hyper-local B2C e-commerce app and social media)

TImes of Retail: How hard is it going to be for Kirana stores to come back on their feet after the corona war?

Covid-19 has caused significant disruptions to the grocery retail – particularly for kirana stores. Here are a few disruptions / changes that have impacted them

  • Constantly changing environment. Eg. Staggered Lockdowns, need for social distancing at the store etc.
  • Shrinking wallet as customers are expecting lesser income and are curbing their discretionary spends 
  • Changing customer preferences in terms of what they buy, how they buy and from  whom they buy
  • More customers going online for purchases

We have been pleasantly surprised with the resiliency with which kirana store owners have stood up to the challenges over the past 9 months – with a smile! They have constantly adapted to the changes, re-invented themselves with new practices/processes and have come out from these situation stronger. We are also seeing the crucial role that they have been playing in the Indian economy and servicing the needs of 1.3 Billion people. This was something which was understated over the years but they are now finally being given the credit where it’s due.

Having said that, the kirana store owners have the challenge of their customers drifting away and going online. Therefore, they will need to go online. They also need to ensure steady flow of right supplies at the right prices at the right time. They will need to adapt and digitise their stores so that they can serve their customers online and get integrated with the FMCG ecosystem consisting of players such as FMCG Brands, Distributors, Wholesalers, Banks etc. so that they can extract value from these players. Now is the time that they can actually grow bigger or they face the threat of significant reduction in business income.

ky: As SnapBizz is trying to give the power back to the small retailers / Kirana stores , can you elaborate more on how they are helping them to step up ?

We have developed a unique technology solution for Kirana stores that transforms it into a smart store with the help of a few plug-and-play options.  Our solutions enable the store owners to leverage their strengths (proximity/ convenience, personal touch, assortment) to gain a competitive edge and improve profitability.

Our “money-making machine” enables them to

  • Attract new customers and sell more to current customers
  • take the store online instantly
  • integrate them via cloud to all the FMCG eco-system stakeholders such as brands, wholesalers, distributors, research agencies, e-commerce players and financial service players
  • manage and optimise store operations
  • create virtual merchandising space – both inside the store and out of store
  • get promotions/discounts from brands/suppliers

We like to be perceived as the brother of kirana store owner who is sitting inside the store and helping in acquire new customers, sell more to the current customers and optimise the supply-side relationship for the supply of goods and services

ky : Lastly, anything you would wanna share with the readers about SnapBizz’s vision.

● We are a company with a purpose to transform the lives of the small retailers who need a white knight as this point of time to support them. We are passionately obsessed about protecting their best interest and transforming their lives in the holistic manner to enable them establish a strong foothold in their business.

● We like to be perceived as the brother of kirana store owner who is sitting inside the store and helping in acquire new customers, sell more to the current customers and optimise the supply-side relationship for the supply of goods and services

● What really keeps us going is when we see a 70 year old grandmother of a family-run kirana store using our solution with ease or a 21-year old seventh-standard pass store boy taking charge of his boss’s store with total control using our solution. The love we have been getting from our stores has been overwhelming.

● We are also creating a social impact by (a) reversing the marginalisation of the SMEs (b) digital/financial inclusion of the SMEs and (c) up skilling people at the bottom of the pyramid. We have been working closely with various partners to drive (a) adoption of healthy food products among slum dwellers (b) nationwide hygiene practices in kirana stores and (c) women to play a bigger role in kirana/FMCG business

Snapbizz has been successfully improving the retail environment for the kiranas in India and seem to be in the flow of making a big impact. Such companies not only help small kiranas which is “salt and pepper” of everyday retail but also by contributing in growth of the economy overall , not through some multinational brands in hand , simply just by starting with the basics .

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