While large retailers often gain visibility through both online and offline channels; it’s the kiranas that lag behind in certain cases. The pandemic was proof that kiranas are still the mainstay, despite the growth of ecommerce and branded supermarkets. To offer them an opportunity to expand and scale, ShoprSmart has developed a unique product called Erevu.
The product was first launched at TechSparks 2022 in Bengaluru, in the presence of Vivek Menon, Co-founder and COO, ShoprSmart and Barath Akkihebbal, Co-founder and CEO, ShoprSmart. The founders highlighted Erevu’s role in transforming the script of smallbox retailers and brands pan-India, and more.
Integrating the supply chain
Barath, who has extensive experience in the supply chain, wanted to utilise his capabilities in starting his own enterprise. With ShoprSmart, he developed a model where ‘anything for your office’ could be ordered, minus alcohol. In the first year, he clocked a revenue of Rs 1 crore, and in the following years, he generated an increase of 30 percent year-on-year.
“Post-pandemic, we were stuck with inventory – I was looking to fill a gap, and that’s when I looked at retail. We started moving the same inventory for corporates into retail and that’s when our second vertical was born. Before going deeper, we wanted to have a tech differentiator to strengthen our operations and supply chain,” he added, sharing that their net profit in 2020-21 was over Rs 12 crore. They also expanded to Chennai and Hyderabad.
The vision was to address the supply chain gap in retail without burning money, along with providing intrinsic value to retailers. Although they aimed to build a tech product; they went ahead and came up with an advertising solution.
Simplifying the process for brands
Vivek, who has worked in merchandising, sales, management, and advertising, joined hands with Barath to create a hyperlocal ad management tool – an offline ad space for retailers and brands.
“We would occupy empty spaces in and around kiranas and retailers, and place our signboards there. This is how brands advertise their products. We realised that to escalate this development, tech is needed. This is where we automate and simplify the process for brand managers, making it easier for retailers to be a part of the process,” he shared.
The entire purpose of this operation is to foster stronger partnerships with retailers by supplementing their income. Erevu also plans on organising all the kirana stores and providing advertising solutions to them, based on their requirements.
“Here’s the interesting part – we can also connect the logistics and supply chain to kiranas and small-box retailers. They also have higher regional relevance, and are a part of the natural ecosystem,” added Vivek.
The founders believe that there is an integral connection between offline and online spaces today. Hence, they are digitising the offline space and converging tech around it. In a nutshell, this will also help them capture footfall and affluence data, as well as the demographics that can help shape the narrative for brands.
“This is a sample we will test in the market. In the future, there will be many more features including collecting stores in the area, labelling favourites, and recommendations that will help small-box retailers make better choices,” concluded Vivek.