It’s 6 PM at Malick Super Bazaar, a kirana (mom and pop) store in Bengaluru’s middle-class neighbourhood of Austin Town. Business is in full swing. Around eight customers are crowded around the store counter, waiting to be billed. They have no choice but patience, as a store employee diligently enters the details of the purchased goods into a point of sale (PoS) terminal. As the number of customers starts to build up, the store owner, Syed Ali, whips out his bill book and begins billing customers as well. “We are really busy right now,” Ali says to me, in between frantically scribbling down the names and prices of products onto the tiny pages of his bill book.
Inside the race to modernise kirana stores
Kirana stores can unlock value by using tech is the fervent pitch startups are making to both kirana stores and FMCG companies. But startups don’t have the full attention of FMCGs while, on the other side, Amazon and BigBasket are likely to get the attention of kirana stores
Startups believe PoS based solutions can help FMCG companies gain visibility into kirana stores
But FMCG companies, especially the large ones are not fully convinced
FMCG firms are however wary of startups that are trying to disrupt the way kirana stores procure
For startups scaling PoS based solutions is a challenge, but it holds the key to deliver great efficiency to kirana stores