It is 7 PM, and Jijeesh V has no time to chat. The wiry owner of Brothers Store, a kirana store in Indira Nagar, Bengaluru, sees 500 customers walk into his store every day. There are anywhere between 12-14 million such shops across India, together accounting for over 90% of food and grocery retail in the country. The ones in larger cities, such as Brothers, make around Rs 4-12 lakhs ($5,700-$17,000) in revenue each month.
Reliance’s second “pilot” is here, for retail this time
With Amazon and Walmart-Flipkart tied up in regulatory knots, the thin end of Reliance’s Jio wedge into 12 million kirana stores is here
Jio's PoS devices are a Trojan Horse meant to seize various aspects of Kiranas, ultimately leading up to a hyperlocal grocery play
Jio has already reduced PoS to a commodity just like it did with voice-calling in telephony
But to nail grocery it needs to be able to get kiranas to digitise inventory
Jio has been an infrastructure firm, not an experience-focused company. So conquering grocery will be a challenge