Even as digital payments are becoming increasingly popular in India, there is still a large number of people as well as businesses dealing in cash. While dealing in cash is not necessarily a problem but going digital helps bring access to several online services.
A number of startups are looking to address various aspects of this gap through services like cash management, inventory management and so on. A new entrant in this space is Kerala-based Digi Suvidha. The company offers Digistore Pay, which helps Kirana shops become a one-stop-shop for several online services, including mobile recharges, ticket booking, and utility bill payments.
The startup was founded in 2020 by Anoop K Raju, Baiju Paul, Anitta Babu V, and Harikrishnan. We spoke to K Raju to understand more about the platform, and what it is trying to achieve. Here are the edited excerpts:
Can you explain how your platform works and what your business model is?
Digi Suvidha operates on a B2B2C model, leveraging Kirana shops as key touchpoints for service delivery. These local shop owners act as brand ambassadors, serving as conduits for various services for the communities they cater to. Using a preloaded digital wallet, Kirana shops provide services such as recharges, insurance, bill payments, passport assistance, DTH, and ticket bookings.
Moreover, our approach involves identifying and integrating the best service providers into our platform to ensure cost-effectiveness, quality, and excellent customer support. Unlike developing our own services, this strategy allows us to offer a diverse range of high-quality services from leading providers, enhancing the overall user experience.
Please tell us about your growth trajectory over the years.
Despite initial challenges, including the impact of Covid-19 and regulatory changes, Digi Suvidha has steadily evolved. After receiving positive responses to our prototype, we entered the market in compliance with RBI regulations. We have expanded our service offerings, forged partnerships with entities such as Afthonia, and collaborated with hospitals for medical insurance. The subsequent release of beta versions and continuous technological advancements underscore our commitment to growth. So far, we have onboarded nearly 1,000 shops.
What are your immediate and long-term growth and product expansion plans?
In the short term, our focus is on recruitment to support ongoing expansion and franchise models. We aim to diversify our services and enhance technological capabilities. Our immediate geographic expansion targets Kottayam district in Kerala, with plans to gradually cover neighboring districts, South India, and ultimately pan-India. Long-term strategies encompass comprehensive market analysis, effective marketing strategies for diverse states, and adherence to evolving governmental regulations.