Alok Jayant, Joydeep Dutt & Sandeep Mahapatra
Ceo & Co-founder, Coo& Co-founder and Head-Sales & Co-Founder
The retail industry is divided into organized and unorganized sectors. Unorganized retailing refers to the traditional formats of low-cost retailing, such as the local Kirana shops (also known as Kade shops in Sri Lanka), cigarette shops, convenience stores, hand cart and pavement vendors, etc. There is lack of access to data and systems creating inefficiencies across the unorganized retail chain. The key stakeholders- comprising retailers, manufacturers, distributors, wholesalers, and banks and payment service providers-operate in a disconnected world,thereby making it a challenge, to study and gain actionable insights about actual market demand and consumer behavior. Manufacturers and brand owners have little information across the supply chain;
99RetailStreet, the brainchild of 3 IIM alumni- Alok Jayant, Joydeep Dutt and Sandeep Mahapatra- is a start-up, that enables Kirana/Kade stores to compete with Modern trade. Based on their experience with the retail and consumer packaged goods industry for over 2 decades- they have designed a connected Point of Sales based solution which creates a Common Commerce Platform on Cloud for retailers and their ecosystem partners. It also provides a media and advertising platform for stores, allowing them to advertise brands, promote products and services, build customer loyalty and get real-time insights on consumer behaviour. Based out of Bangalore, 99Retail Solutions Pvt. Ltd. helps enhance the retailers’ business, through faster sales growth, better financial capabilities and improved efficiency across the value chain. It enables real time monitoring of store level sales, inventory and back-end solutions, enabling analytics of sales data and provides transformational benefits to both the retail value chain and other ecosystem participants. The solution is built on 99RetailStreet’s IPR based POS hardware specifications–enabling enhanced POS functionalities,last mile data capture, in-depth Analytics based on IBM BlueMix’s Predictive Analytics platform and In Store Advertisements and promotions.
The company launched the solution in early 2016 in the Sri Lankan market and is currently in the process rolling out its solution in the pharmacies across Sri Lanka with the aim to cover 85% of pharma sales across Sri Lanka over the next 18 months. 99RetailStreet has partnered with key ecosystem players in Sri Lanka to provide logistical, technological/ telecom and on-ground support.The solution provides pharmacies with multiple benefits-an online platform, mobile application and an enhanced POS, digital payment capabilities– as well as the ability to do Expiry / Batch Management & Inventory Management-ensuring tremendous amount of savings and efficiencies.
“We believe that our solution not only provides a significant business impact to the retailers-it also enables social upliftment in the unorganized sector. We help retailers compete with modern trade on equal footing and with the use of technology -say, by providing online store based
99Retail Solutions helps enhance the retailers’ business,through faster sales growth, better financial capabilities and improved efficiency across the value chain.
Our cloud platform has been created by a young team with an innate ability to build, learn and innovate.The ability to make changes by- learning from our mistakes and from continuous feedback from all players has been the mantra of our success. With our strong data analytics and our innovations in product promotion, we offer the manufacturers- CPG, Pharmaceuticals etc. an unprecedented real time, accurate view of their business. The data helps the manufacturers bring in supply chain optimization by integrating, in future, with logistics partners and passing on these benefits to retailers.
We are a small organization- however, we still have 30% of the team continuously working on R&D. This helps us continuously innovate in the solution and the underlying technology”, says Alok Jayant, CEO & Co-Founder.
99RetailStreet combines 4 key areas of Retail Solutions: Point of Sales Solution for the Retailer; Real time Analytics for the Manufacturer& Ecosystem Partners such as Banks, Debit/ Credit Cards & Payment Gateway, Mobile Wallets, Telecom partners; In-Store Advertisements & Promotions &finally Supply Chain efficiencies across the retail value chain. It also provides a technology platform for unorganized retailers and its ecosystem partners such as Banks, Credit/ Debit Card & Payment Gateway Solutions, Mobile Wallets, Telecom Service Providers to build different solutions across the chain.
99RetailStreet’s central focus has been to build a solution that can be easily adopted by unorganized retailers. They have spent significant time and effort in research on the field to design a solution, which is simple to use – even by a semi-literate user- but at the same time that can handle multiple requirements of retailers and the other key players.
This has necessitated building key eco-system partnerships with a financial model built over a year of effort. The learning from the decades of experience the promoters possess in the domain has been stitched together with the learnings gathered over extensive pilots run on the ground, to fine tune the solution.
Shaping data for retail ecosystem- Transactional & Financial
99RetailStreet also addresses retail pain points in the terms of financial distribution.95% of the retail transactions in the unorganized sector take place in cash and the downstream payment processes are generally ad-hoc, which leads to significant working capital issues and a lot of inefficiencies in the payment processes across the supply chain. It also affects the individual retailer’s ability to obtain credit and many of the retailers do not have access to banking services. 99RetailStreet provides the retailer access to banking facilities, credit/debit card payment systems and mobile wallets through its partnerships with financial institutions and payment service providers.
The company follows standard practices on reporting of transactional and financial data and ensures that data privacy is maintained at all levels. “We are creating a platform where all ecosystem players- be it manufacturers, distributors, financial institutions etc. can have access to relevant data, whilst at the same time protecting misuse of the information. Our approach has helped us build trust in the market and we have been able to win long term contracts with large players,” says Sandeep Mahapatra, Head-Sales & Co-Founder. “Along with the analytics that give you a minute by minute view of your own product sales, you can also try to promote
Hardware partner for 99RetailStreet- NGX Technologies
99RetailStreet’s ecosystem partner for hardware, NGX Technologies, is a premier manufacturer and supplier of retails business products like Android based Bluetooth printing solution, Handled Billing, Desktop Billing devices and Serial/Bluetooth enabled LED display boards. NGX comes with an experience of 9 years in this domain through off the edge hardware solutions.With years of knowledge and experience, NGX knows and understand the quality required to meet Indian& Worldwide standards. The key differentiator for NGX has been that the hardware solution has been designed along with 99RetailStreet solution to create a customized package for the retailer and to build in design imperatives that would be essential for unorganized retail. “Simply put, we have created a hardware that is designed for the unorganized retail market in close collaboration with the software solution provider that works seamlessly on a cloud platform’, says Vinay Patil, CEO, NGX. 99RetailStreet’s solutions are designed and developed for touch based android terminals which makes it easy to use, affordable and with great user experience features.
The Road Ahead
“99RetailStreet is constantly innovating to use advances in technology to drive further benefits for retailers and for each of the ecosystem partners. The company plans on working out solutions for shelf space optimization, route optimization, speech based ordering systems and transportation planning going forward”,Joydeep Dutt, COO & Co-Founder states.“Supply chain optimization with simulations of demand and supply will become a game changer. In the next 2-3 years, with cost pressures increasing, businesses, who have built insight at individual store level will be able to take better decisions. In fact, we are giving a platform to all our ecosystem partners to enhance their business. “
The Co-Founders also credit the support of their families in the journey. “The most important thing that we have learnt is that there cannot be any success without the backing of your family. Their patience, love and support has been invaluable and that is what has helped us get through all the challenges that come with being a start-up.”
99RetailStreet is strongly focused on constant innovation. It aims at harnessing multiple technologies to ensure that across the supply chain- from manufacturers to distributors/ sub-distributors- the retailers to the end customer like you and me- all are benefited by the power of technology.
“In the end, if the end customer sees the benefits flowing across the chain to him/ her, we will have succeeded in our aim to transform the world of unorganized retail”, says Alok Jayant.
Summary of 99RetailStreet’s Solution
• Provides anenhanced POS, a Common Commerce Cloud platform, a mobile& web application to the unorganized retailer.
• Real time Insight onSales and Consumer Behaviour.
• Increased brand awareness and loyalty for manufacturers.
• Reduce supply chain costs across the chain – including manufacturers, wholesalers, distributors and retailers.
• Access to Working Capital Finance and other Financial products for the Unorganized Retailers.
• A digital signage space for retailers to enhance their revenues through context sensitive and interactive advertisements.