Coronavirus brought the world to a crossroads as it catapulted all of us into a lesser-known territory of lockdowns. Markets remained shut for many weeks together, people preferred to buy from online stores as stepping out amid coronavirus is a risk that no one wants to take.
However, as big stores and apps managed to keep the business afloat, it was the small retailers and shopkeepers whose business faced a drubbing as the economy slumped into a crisis-like situation. To help these small businesses out of crisis, two techies from Mumbai decided to come up with a solution. They came up with an app called the Dukaan-a hyperlocal marketplace. The duo who created the app are Subhash Choudhary and Suumit Shah.
In a Twitter thread, that has gone viral now, Subhash Choudhary detailed out how the venture was created. And, everyone on the Internet agrees that it’s a fascinating tale.
The app has the local retailers listed and people can order their groceries without stepping out. Subhash took to Twitter as he wrote the Dukaan story in a series of tweets. “While india was quickly moving Digital and preferring all things online, these small shopkeepers were not really skilled enough to operate existing digital platforms like shopify / amazon etc,” he tweeted.
He added that his business partner Suumit, who belongs to a family of shopkeepers, was disturbed to see their plight in lockdown and its aftermath. That is when the duo decided to come up with a solution and created the app. “The app was a hit and just in 2 months, more than 2.7 Million small business owners are using the app to sell their products online,” he wrote.
“From Small time grocery stores, to housewives selling their handmade items, to restaurants in small towns – these businesses are now getting thousands of orders every single day and able to sell online.”
However, the backstory to this initiative is more interesting which started with a “hello”, in Choudhary’s words.
Choudhary spoke about his early life in Mumbai and how he moved from his small village in Bihar to the big city in search of a job to sustain his family. His father had passed away when he was three. While his mother wanted him to complete his education, money constraints forced him to drop out of school at the age of 17. He then moved to Mumbai and learned computer hardware and networking for six months.
With his skill and training, he secured a job at an MNC. “I learned everything I could get my hands on, performed really well in the company and for the next 6 years I went from being a trainee to leading a team of 60 engineers, managing over 20 Lakh servers across 15,000 different customer locations,” Choudhary wrote in a series of tweets recently.
Choudhary was five years into his first job at the MNC when he realised that he was more inclined towards “building things on the internet than fixing active directory problems.” As he progressed in life, he ventured out in different arenas, made bold career moves which made his family worried for him. But with his skill, he put everyone’s apprehensions to rest.
He met Summit in 2014 on social media where he would share updates of works. “He had lots of contacts at emerging companies and I had the skills & resources to execute. It was a promising match and we ended up forming a company together. We built a digital agency, the first client he brought gave us over two crores in revenue” he wrote.
11/ We quickly built a team of about 40 ninjas and went on to become a very successful company.In the next few years we worked with dozens of high growth startups, listed companies, even 3 fortune 500 companies and helped them really scale their growth.— Subhash Choudhary (@subhashchy) October 20, 2020
The duo has helped the shopkeepers get over 600,000 orders and generate over Rs 100 crore in sales across India. “Within just 2 months we have helped these dukandar get over 600,000 orders and generate over Rs 100 crore in sales. Together, we are trying to help the next 70 Million merchants go truly digital and the support from these awesome folks will help us get there. Faster!” he Choudhary wrote in the series of his tweets.
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