9 ก.ค. 2015, 13:25 — ใช้เวลาอ่าน 5 นาที
With the launch of the government’s ‘digital India’ initiative, all things ‘digital’ are in focus. A start-up that is working towards putting India on the digital map is ePaisa. Co-founded by Siddharth Arora, the venture is established on the belief that, “if you want to digitise India, you have to digitise the point of sale first.
ePaisa: The multi-purpose app
Siddharth shares, “ePaisa is essentially a service for small and medium sized businesses. It’s a mobile point of sale solution which works on any tablet or smartphone. It handles the billing, inventory, payment and marketing needs of merchants. And it isabsolutely free.”
ePaisa offers a billing and inventory management software that is cloud based. Even a traditional kirana store can digitise its billing using ePaisa.The system has a bar code reader, and it enables the phone camera to scan bar codes, to update inventory. Many online marketplaces collaborate with local retailers to fulfil their orders. This digitised inventory thus becomes available for retailers and online players as well.
“We enable merchants to accept credit and debit card payments. So with a small credit card sized machine that we give them, it connects to any smartphone or tablet and they can start accepting credit cards or debit cards as a form of payment,” explains Siddharth.
Apart from this, ePaisa is introducing newer forms of payments at retail outlets. Siddharth shares, “If a customer has a Paytm, Mobikwik or Citrus wallet, he can actually walk into a store and make a payment with that wallet. The sales person can come up to the customer when they are ready to do a purchase, accept a credit card or wallet payment and the customer can leave without having to stand in a long cash queue.” He adds, “Even in a cab you can do a payment without having internet access.”
In a bid to make the small merchants and medium sized enterprises more competitive, ePaisa has a Loyalty Programme built into the system. Merchants can customise their own Loyalty Programme – they can define their unique terms such as special offers during happy hours or festivals.
There is also a revenue model built into the app which enables merchants to earn more by offering mobile recharge, utility bill acceptance, ticket booking and gift card issuance to their customers.
Another interesting feature of the app is that it is multi-lingual. Siddharth opines, “The thought is that retailers are not English speaking. All the apps in the market and all the billing software systems in the country are in English and that is another deterrent to digitising. So our app is available in all Indian languages. Today we support 32 languages. You can change language preferences anytime while the app is running.”
Response to ePaisa
“The response to ePaisa has been very positive,” shares Siddharth. The product was launched in January this year and is available in 5 major cities – Delhi, Mumbai, Surat, Pune and Ahmedabad.
He adds, “We have clients who are retailers, restaurant owners and e-commerce companies that are using our system for card on delivery, instead of cash on delivery. The value of the system, because it is mobile, is automatically higher.”
ePaisa’s Big Business Dream
Siddharth sees a big opportunity ahead of him. He shares, “There are 40 million SME players in this country. But there are only around a million traditional credit-card machine terminals. That means the remaining are not digitised.”
Siddharth’s big business dream is to see every retailer using the ePaisa app.
Message to aspiring entrepreneurs
Siddharth offers a valuable insight to aspiring entrepreneurs, “A business plan is ok. But keep in mind that costs will be double and the income will be half. If you can support that, then you should go ahead.” He adds, “Do the shortest possible development cycle and then let people try your product and give you real feedback. Your solution might be the best in your mind but it has to have real users. If you can get people to sign up and pay for your service, then you can keep making it better. Most people end up only focussing on development and creating a product, bettering it and making it the perfect product instead of actually getting customers.”
At a time when the market is flooded with apps, ePaisa stands out because it addresses the core needs of merchants and retailers in a single solution. At GlobalLinker, we applaud the keen entrepreneurial spirit and creative vision of Siddharth and his founding team.
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