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    Interview with Rishav Bajoria & Subham Sengupta

    Rishav Bajoria & Subham Sengupta
    Rishav Bajoria & Subham Sengupta
    Co-founders
    Gumti
    Gumti

    Focus is on creating value for a million businesses

    Launched in October 2020, the Gumti app could not have come at a more opportune time. Gumti as the name suggests, means a kiosk, and the Gumti app does just that - bring small physical stores online. It allows anyone to create an online shop -- a page of their own where they can display products in an easy-access catalogue and take orders directly from the customers. It all started when Rishav Bajoria and Subham Sengupta, the co-founders of Gumti noticed smaller shops lagging behind as businesses moved online. The onset of the pandemic made matters worse. Gumti was perhaps a ray of light for many beleaguered shopkeepers as it removed the need for physical presence to buy or sell from a local shop - giving all a national reach.

    How is e-commerce bringing a revolution in the retail industry?

    India has about 70 crore internet users and this is projected to go up to 90 crore. This implies almost every Indian can access an online shop front from their smartphones. E-commerce is currently at about 2-3 per cent of all retail business in India and this number is only bound to grow. Western countries have at least 20 per cent e-commerce transactions out of all retail transactions. India is currently at the beginning of the e-commerce revolution wherein small and medium businesses are starting to come online with their e-commerce shop and in all of this the retail industry is a forerunner.

    What led to the Gumti app launched?

    We realized that MSMEs need a solution to start their online shops which could be reliable, help them to create a digital catalogue in minutes, add products to their online shop, accept payments and promote their Gumti Shop to customers across the country.?

    How many small time shopkeepers are enrolled with the app today? How many of them are from the apparel, shoes and accessories business and how are they faring?

    We have about 3000 registered shops on the platform. They come from various categories and we are seeing the highest number of shops come in the accessory and fashion space. These businesses are just starting to learn how to sell online and we're supporting them to add more and more products and reach new customers.

    Of the three categories (apparel, shoes and accessories), which has the most users?

    Apparel and accessories have the maximum number of users. On the other hand, we have a lot of home bakers and service providers set up their online shops on Gumti.

    What is the kind of hand holding the shopkeepers receive from you pre- and post-enrolment on the app?

    Pre-enrolment is very simple and anyone can download the app and create their online Gumti shop in 3 easy steps under 30 seconds. However, our team reaches out to every business that has signed up on the platform and tries to understand if they have issues using the app. The Gumti app team helps them create a presentable perfect online shop with the right categories and products. Post this we promote their business by giving them a free ad credit for digital advertisements.

    What are the advantages shopkeepers get using this app?

    Advantages are simple. Gumti app is 100 per cent free. So, there is no hassle of finding a developer/agency to create an e-commerce website. The development and especially maintenance of an e-commerce website to sell online is unaffordable for MSMEs. They don't have the right know-how and the hassles of managing an agency is also a pain.?

    Gumti app is a one stop solution for anyone to sell online at absolutely no cost. The app covers all necessary features and functions to run an online business. The businesses don't need any technical knowledge to be able to start an online shop on Gumti App. It is as simple as using whatsapp. They start their shop in 3 steps:?

    1. Register the shop name?
    2. Add product/services?
    3. Share the shop link and accept orders.

    Is there data showing their profits have increased compared to their previous state of not using the app? If yes, by how much percentage?

    We've seen some stores have made sales via their Gumti shop. We have had a cumulative transaction of about ?5 lakh from various shops that came on Gumti.

    How did the app come to the rescue of the shopkeepers during the lockdown and thereafter?

    We started building the product during the lockdown. However, we were doing initial pilots with 100 stores in lockdown. This pilot gave us enough confidence to roll out the app to public as these 100 stores from pilot did some business on Gumti when general business was at zero during lockdown.

    Any new features you would be adding to the app in near future?

    We've some new features in the pipeline. These features would help the businesses promote their shop and understand the behaviour of their customers who land on their Gumti shops.

    How scalable is the app?

    We've been able to handle 3000 businesses on the app seamlessly. We also have an enterprise version for custom branded shops and slowly businesses are upgrading to the same. We believe the app can easily scale to millions of users as the underlying tech has been designed to power as many businesses as possible.?

    How do you generate revenue through the Gumti app?

    We currently are offering everything for free of cost. So we're not generating any revenue and the entire focus is to create value for a million businesses.

    What are your future plans?

    We plan to work on new features and technology. We're planning and putting more efforts towards distribution. Gumti app has seen a great response in terms of businesses engaging with the app and their online shops. The small businesses and especially women entrepreneurs are passionate about their online shop on Gumti and so are we to power their dreams and business. (PC)
    Published on: 25/02/2021

    DISCLAIMER: All views and opinions expressed in this column are solely of the interviewee, and they do not reflect in any way the opinion of Fibre2Fashion.com.

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