Meet the 4 companies that are helping kiranas go digital

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With digital payments gaining momentum, kiranas know that they must embrace technology in order to thrive, not just survive. Here are four companies that are helping them do just that.

Be it food grains and dairy products to toiletries and other essentials, India has always shopped at the neighbourhood kirana. Now, despite options like supermarkets, large retail chains, and ecommerce being available, mom-and-pop stores remain omnipresent across the country.

However, in this increasingly digital era, technologically upgradation is imperative for these stores. With cash transactions steadily declining and digital modes of payments gaining momentum, kiranas must embrace technology in order to thrive, not just survive.

We list down four companies that are helping kiranas to take the digital path and ensure that they can enhance customer satisfaction and continue to grow.


PayNearby is a division of Nearby Technologies, India’s leading hyperlocal fintech network offering digital financial and non-financial services to underbanked segments of the population.

PayNearby empowers retailers at the first mile to offer digital services such as Aadhaar-based banking services, bank savings, bill payments, card payments, insurance services, and more to local communities. The company leverages AI, ML, and advanced analytics to create quick, simple, seamless, and efficient micro experiences that enable local retailers, referred to as ‘Digital Pradhans’, to provide these assisted hyperlocal services.

Driven by its mission ‘Har Dukaan Digital Pradhan’, PayNearby enables an average of 3.5 million transactions in 115 Aspirational Districts of India every month.

Through concerted efforts, the company is not just digitally empowering kiranas and local communities but is also playing an instrumental role both in driving financial inclusion and the transformation of India’s socio-economic landscape.

Reliance Retail

The retail subsidiary of Reliance Industries Limited, Reliance Retail recently announced its plans to digitise kiranas for the transformation of the unorganised retail market, as part of its ‘New Commerce’ move.

Reliance Retail will leverage AI, ML, blockchain, IoT, and cloud computing to empower these local retailers with an end-to-end digital and physical distribution stack. This would enable them to operate in the same way and as efficiently as larger enterprises and ecommerce players do. By integrating merchants, consumers, and producers through this digital platform, Reliance Retail envisions to further digitisation and inclusive growth, and share the wealth with those at the bottom of the commerce and retail pyramid in India.

METRO Cash and Carry India

METRO Cash and Carry is the wholesale division of METRO, a Germany-based leading international specialist in wholesale and food retail. Its Indian subsidiary recently co-created an app for kiranas with fintech startup ePayLater.

The app, called Digital Shop, facilitates instant digitisation of all business operations for kirana owners, without the need for additional investment on a device. This app basically enables traditional retailers that buy from METRO to order stock, facilitate digital payment options, manage inventory, and track their sales, etc.

It also allows local retailers to facilitate customised offers for customers in their area ordering on the app, giving instant credit for their purchases as well. The app also gives retailers access to interest-free business credit with a few clicks. Digital Shop strives to transform kiranas across the country by offering a more affordable and sustainable digital solution for business growth and profitability.


Shopmatic is a Singapore-based technology firm that provides ecommerce solutions to small businesses and individual entrepreneurs. Launched in 2014 with an objective to empower millions of aspiring entrepreneurs with a digital footprint, the company recently partnered with Singapore-based retail management solutions company Octopus to disrupt the retail market in Asia-Pacific with a suite of services to address the gaps that exist for offline businesses going online. The synergy is helping local retailers implement an efficient omnichannel retail management system after establishing their business online.

Equipped with a holistic online and offline ecosystem, these local retail stores are now able to manage customers, reduce operational costs, synchronise inventory, onboard new customers, and offer loyalty points, etc. Such facilities, supplemented by real-time visibility of sales and staff performance, are enabling retailers to enhance their efficiency and scale up their retail business further.

Publication – Your Story

Published Date – 9th Sep 2019

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