Jun 3, 2024 - 23:10
Bhubaneswar (03/06/2024): The Indian retail market is one of the largest in the world, with an estimated size of around INR 108 trillion as of 2022.
The unorganized sector, which includes small kirana (grocery) stores, makes up about 88% of the total retail market.
There are over 12 million kirana stores run by nano entrepreneurs across India, serving as the backbone of the grocery retail segment.
There is an increasing need for these small-scale entrepreneurs to be part of the broader retail ecosystem, and this has started thanks to the training and mentorship offered to them by the government and private sector initiatives.
Other factors like digital transformation, supportive government policies, improved logistics, access to financing, and adoption of technology also play a significant role in empowering these nano entrepreneurs. The Odisha Skill Development Authority's 'Swakalpa' Project has transformed over 90 rural retail businesses in Odisha, including that of Mitu Nayak, an 8th-grade dropout from Astaranga, Odisha.
He struggled as the sole provider for his family of seven with a modest grocery shop.
Limited by basic amenities and a narrow market reach, he couldn't stock high-demand items or expand beyond his immediate area.
His earnings barely covered expenses.
However, his fortune changed when he joined the Swakalpa program, a self-employment initiative by the Odisha Skill Development Authority and World Skill Center.
Through 100 hours of mentorship, Mitu developed a robust business plan, gained market insights, and honed essential skills.
Rebranding his store as "Maa Mangala Grocery Shop," he enhanced its image, becoming a community hub.
With newfound confidence and expertise, Mitu expanded his offerings, meeting community demands, and securing a brighter future.
Swakalpa assisted Mitu with Udyam Aadhar registration and other legal compliances for his business.
Following a growth strategy, Swakalpa also helped him tap into credit opportunities through the PM MUDRA scheme, securing a loan of INR 50,000.
Mitu invested this loan to buy a commercial refrigerator, allowing him to expand his product range and supply more retailers in the locality.
With this new equipment, he can stock multiple high-demand items for longer periods, especially in the summer, thus better meeting his customers' needs.
Through this strategy, he is able to serve the local market while also catering to other retail and wholesale markets.
Additionally, he has reached out to large event vendors to supply products such as dry food and beverages for various events, opening a new market for his store. Amit Patjoshi, CEO, Palladium India, said “With Swakalpa’s help, Mitu focussed on adoption of technology to make operations efficient and attract more customers.
He smoothened his supply chain and reduced delivery timelines by onboarding on the Hindustan Unilever’s (HUL’s) Shikhar mobile application.
The store also allows digital payments to customers who do not want to pay cash.
He has also adopted digital accounting using the Khatabook app for easy transactions and keeping track of finances.” With these interventions, over the past few months, Mitu has multiplied his average monthly turnover to about INR 7-10 lakhs.
Looking ahead, his business projects a turnover of about INR 1 Crore for the upcoming year.
He has hired three of his community members to manage his shop and business and is looking to set up a supermarket and create further job opportunities as his business expands.
His business is attracting an average daily footfall of 150-200 customers, which includes both local shoppers & retailers.