fish­ing to sa­ree: mera desh dig­i­tal ban raha hai

Suc­cess sto­ries of hy­per­local busi­nesses who lever­age the on­line plat­form

PCQuest - - SMB CORNER - –Soma Tah CIOL Writer

In a world that is go­ing dig­i­tal fast, small busi­nesses now know that they can’t af­ford to be obliv­i­ous to the shift that is happening around. A re­cently re­leased re­port, ‘Dig­i­tal Desh Drive 3.0’ by lo­cal dis­cov­ery plat­form, NowFloats says that even hy­per­local busi­nesses feel on­line dis­cov­ery is cru­cial and hence, are will­ing to spend on boost­ing on­line pres­ence or on busi­ness web­sites to drive com­merce and to boost cus­tomer in­ter­ac­tions.

We got to know about two dif­fer­ent sto­ries that tell how hy­per­local busi­nesses in Kar­nataka are em­brac­ing dig­i­tal in their own unique ways.

Sat­tar, a fish-trader from Kar­war is us­ing What­sApp to trade fishes. When Sat­tar’s boats are out at sea- the fish­er­men, some­times, spot spe­cial fishes whose mar­ket value they do not know. They catch one or two and if, and when, they find net­work, they send the pic­ture of the catch to Sat­tar via What­sApp. If Sat­tar finds the fish to be of any value, he di­rects them to catch more. He of­ten posts the pic­ture on the What­sApp group of his prospec­tive clients so that they can gauge the size and fresh­ness of the fish. This way he en­sures that the fish­er­men do not end up wast­ing cargo space on the trawlers with use­less fish.

Am­rut, an­other lo­cal, saw the value in the hand­made sa­rees and started a Face­book page for sell­ing them. He plans to start his own e- com­merce plat­form soon. Although de­vel­op­ment is not a prob­lem, he says that he can’t af­ford the cat­a­logu­ing of the prod­ucts with mod­els. In­ter­est­ingly, he has made it easy for his cus­tomers to find him by nam­ing pre­vi­ously un­named roads and places in Il­kal on Google Map Maker. Now you can find him in his house on ‘Bi­j­jal Road’ which runs per­pen­dic­u­lar to the ‘Old Mu­nic­i­pal­ity Road’!

There are more such sto­ries and the in­sights are far more in­ter­est­ing. While the ten­dency to go on­line is preva­lent among B2C busi­nesses, many are not too keen to make an on­line shift for high cost, in­ter­mit­tent power and con­nec­tiv­ity as well as lo­gis­tic is­sues. Up­dat­ing and main­te­nance of web­sites, re­spond­ing to high vol­ume of queries and re­views on so­cial me­dia are also a bur­den­ing task for them.

But as and when the cus­tomers start in­ter­act­ing with them on­line, they will not be able to turn a blind eye for long.

“we have been cham­pi­oning on­line dis­cov­ery for small busi­nesses for over half a decade and the num­bers from the NowFloats ecosys­tem show the rise of on­line dis­cov­ery for small busi­nesses”

We spoke to NowFloats Co-Founder and CEO, Jas­min­der Singh Gu­lati to know more.

In Desh the Drive jour­ney 3.0, from how Dig­i­tal­has the Desh on­line Drive pres­ence2.0 to Dig­i­talof lo­cal­give us busi­ness­esa com­par­a­tivein In­dia anal­y­sis?grown so far? Could you We deeply know that In­dia is in­cred­i­bly di­verse- each place has a unique sys­tem and our re­search, sto­ries, data and hy­poth­e­sis es­tab­lish the eco­nomic value chain clearly. We go ‘In­side the In­ter­net of In­dia’ to re­veal how small busi­nesses are go­ing dig­i­tal across Tier 2 and 3 cities in In­dia and show­case sto­ries that are ex­ten­sion of deep data and in­sights we gen­er­ate via the anti-sur­veys we host, where we no longer ask scripted ques­tions. We try to live their lives, in­stead. We lis­ten. We ob­serve. We un­der­stand.

We found that 95 per­cent of the busi­nesses have a smart­phone and use lo­cal lan­guages. An­other in­ter­est­ing story is that while web­sites are con­sid­ered ex­per­tise in­ten­sive and ex­pen­sive, What­sapp has be­come the new sales­force for small busi­nesses.

The Dig­i­tal Desh 2.0 Drive Book has deeply in­spir­ing sto­ries of how mer­chants across the cen­tral In­dia are adopt­ing Dig­i­tal tools and are self-learn­ing, while the Dig­i­tal Desh 3.0 Drive Book (In­side The In­ter­net Of Kar­nataka), re­veals a lot about fish­eries, to agri­cul­ture and hand­looms.

Amongst the many in­ter­est­ing data point­ers, a key high­light is the Hand­looms in­dus­try, that went through a down­ward spi­ral. The past 3 years since the in­tro­duc­tion of in­ter­net in this sec­tor, the Kar­nataka Hand­loom in­dus­try has seen a solid jump again.

Can you tell us about a few ma­jor take­aways from the re­port?

The pri­mary ob­jec­tive of our drive was to gauge the in­flu­ence of tech­nol­ogy and in­ter­net on the lives of the peo­ple there; bring back their sto­ries to the main­stream mar­ket and ideate ways of en­hanc­ing their ex­pe­ri­ence. How­ever, we dug deeper into the mat­ter for the book. We heard sto­ries of peo­ple from across var­i­ous re­gions, and hav­ing seg­re­gated them in­dus­try wise, de­tail­ing their most pref­ered lan­guage in tech­nol­ogy, apps, web­sites, etc. to un­der­stand what’s work­ing and what’s not, in those re­mote ar­eas. Some key take­aways are: You don’t need to be lit­er­ate to be Dig­i­tally Lit­er­ate Com­mu­ni­ties are cre­at­ing What­sapp groups; What­sapp is not cre­at­ing com­mu­ni­ties SMEs and young en­trepreneurs are en­gag­ing them­selves in self-learn­ing with Google search and other tools

How do you think the avail­abil­ity of Google my busi­ness, so­cial me­dia, dis­cov­ery plat­forms will help to boost the on­line pres­ence of small busi­nesses in In­dia?

Google search and other so­cial me­dia plat­forms are a ma­jor boost for small busi­nesses. At NowFloats, we have been cham­pi­oning on­line dis­cov­ery for small busi­nesses for over half a decade and the num­bers from the NowFloats ecosys­tem show the rise of on­line dis­cov­ery for small busi­nesses. To­day, 5.3mil­lion lo­ca­tion tagged and mar­ket rel­e­vant busi­ness up­dates are on NowFloats. 11 mil­lion of the 96 mil­lion con­sumers search­ing for a lo­cal busi­ness are drawn to a NowFloats cus­tomer. Around 519K prod­uct SKUs are avail­able on the NowFloats plat­form up­dated via the RIA prompt(a NowFloats tech­nol­ogy). We also launched ‘kit­sune’, a drag and drop sys­tem for de­vel­op­ers to build a web­form in min­utes and de­ploy it within 10 min­utes.

– Am­rut Bi­j­jal, En­tre­pre­neur

“I started the busi­ness in 2009 by sell­ing 2-3 sa­rees/month. Now I do or­ders of even 300/month”

“My fish­er­men send me pic­tures of spe­cial fish from the sea”

– Sat­tar Poka, Boat Owner

Jas­min­der Singh Gu­lati Co-Founder and CEO, NowFloats

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from India

© PressReader. All rights reserved.