The Birth of Nukkad Shops3 years ago Ravi Korukonda
The old adage, “once bitten, twice shy” fails miserably when it comes to people bitten by the startup bug and our story is no different. It’s probably the constant pressure to keep afloat, the urge to grow, the challenge to get the numbers green, that gives the entrepreneurial high and in our journey of making PurpleTalk a success (if we may call it so) we have enjoyed every bit of it, but that is not to say it has done any damage to our itch for doing something new. While the core team here takes every opportunity to caress their entrepreneurial spirit, as an organization, we have always tried to inculcate the same amongst our employees, may it be in the form of “Intrapreneur award” or hosting events like business plan contest. And one of these events saw the birth of Nukkad Shops
It was one of our internal business plan contests, where some of our employees presented their business plan to the management team and one of those teams, lead by Vivek Shukla, a 5-year veteran Purpletalkie, a project manager at that time, presented the concept of Nukkad Shops.
As early adopters we were already familiar with all the major players in the grocery delivery space and the tremendous potential of the 200+ million smartphone users in the country. More importantly, when we looked at the concept of Nukkad Shops we could see the differentiator. We did NOT want to be another grocery delivery company; we are a tech business, that is what we do best and we saw the opportunity to do just that while helping thousands of neighborhood stores from going out of business.
Most of these small neighborhood stores deliver to your home but they are low tech, they can’t afford to build an app, they can’t have a mobile POS. Nukkad Shops was planned to provide this grocery stores with the much needed technology framework, that would allow them to compete against all the m-commerce megaliths.
While the business plan contest was meant to be just an internal training exercise, when we thought over the concept, we agreed this is an idea worth chasing. Thus started the journey of another start up – Nukkad Shops.
At PurpleTalk we had the technology resources in place to make this happen but technology alone is not enough when you are doing a start up and that too, one that is heavily dependent on feets on ground. As our commitment to the project we invested US$ 1 Mn and extensive involvement from our leadership team.
We spent significant time in refining the concept of Nukkad Shops further and making it a more holistic product for the grocery stores; providing them with a next generation connected POS, a mobile store-front where shops can go live in few mins and start selling online, deep analytics to better understand their customers and leverage the same for targeted marketing campaigns. The platform would also enable individual retailers to run their own loyalty programs, which has been a restricted privilege only for the major retail chains so far. We are also working on creating alternative revenue opportunities for retailers integrated into the same platform. The Nukkad Shops platform would have FMCG and Distribution integration. The objective here is to provide the neighborhood grocery stores with a complete technology stack they need to not just digitize their business but help them achieve sustainable growth in this connected world.
Today, 6 months after the beta launch of Nukkad Shops, we already have 180+ grocery stores benefitting from the platform. Shopkeepers are realizing the benefit of the platform and are actively working with us in providing feedback and help improve the system further. Given the response so far, we are looking at 10,000 POS deployment by the end of the year.