5 Digital India Startups that are providing employment opportunities in rural India
With the government’s flagship initiative digital Bharat, inculcating technology in everyday life from digital payments to communication, deep tech has become the new talk of the town. India has the third largest space for start-up ecosystems in the world, these start-ups are enabling technology in the lives of people. Making the lives of people easy with technology creating opportunities and employment, start-ups are not only thriving in tier 3 and 4 markets but impacting the lives of rural people and customers.
Connecting rural India with advanced solutions and services addressing grassroot level challenges, these start-ups are emerging as innovative and accelerating programmes for the digital India campaign. The unemployment rate affected by the covid 19 pandemic has made the lives of rural people demanding. Creating a support system unlocking the largest industry, rural India these start-ups are providing livelihood opportunities in Tier-2 market.
The Bengaluru-based startup Social commerce platform and newly minted unicorn focuses on women-led businesses in fashion and homeware. Meesho’ stands for ‘meri shop’ or apni dukaan. A reseller model in which an army of women curate products from its platform and sell them on Whatsapp, Facebook, and Instagram—to selling directly to customers.
Focussing on women entrepreneurs scaling it has an asset-light, capital-efficient approach, combined with its insights into small businesses. The social commerce platform claims to have over 13 million entrepreneurs, a majority of whom are women.
It has helped them start their own online businesses with zero investment, bringing the benefits of e-commerce to over 45 million customers across the country. With a mission is to help women achieve financial independence. Its first TVC, conceptualised by DDB Mudra, focused on an unstated need of a woman, which is to claim what she rightfully deserves – her own identity.
Udaan is a network-centric B2B trade platform, designed specifically for small & medium businesses in India. It brings traders, wholesalers, retailers, manufacturers, and brands in India onto a single platform. With real insights into active trends and great B2B trade features, udaan brings to them the power of technology to scale & nurture their business.
With udaan, traders can reach out to buyers and sellers across the country. Make a purchase with the tap of a button. Udaan is a platform that allows its customers to grow their network for future business, even as you buy and sell.
Through making use of udaan’s intuitive features – MyBiz, Feed, Share – customers can grow their presence, create interest in their brand, and set the stage for growth. Bringing small retailers into the digital ecosystem to benefit from the e-commerce expansion. Udaan is empowering the small businesses of Bharat by leveraging the power of technology and benefits of internet-scale.
Frontier Markets– one of the fastest-growing rural women-led social commerce platform. Frontier Markets is a digitally enabled platform that allows rural customers to buyinstant solutions from multi-product/services fast from women salesforce – FMCG, agri, durables, and electronics and digital services to the last mile village like no other.
It is an end-to-end products and services, delivered at the doorsteps of consumers in villages through an assisted commerce model run by rural women entrepreneurs called Saral Jeevan Sahelis. Proving a winning model with rural women’s commerce.
With a strong gender lens, the company is focused on giving rural women entrepreneurship opportunities through generating employment and income for them. The company has a strategic supply chain and logistics to address the rural crisis of lack of resources using their phygital concept.They have on-boarded 10,000 new rural women entrepreneurs(sahelis) in 2000 villages across the country and are all set to scale up.
Hesa is a Rural Tech start-up connecting Bharat with India phygitally is redefining rural commerce by providing Last Mile Physical & Digital Connect to Rural India. Hesa’s integrated B2B marketplace aggregates and connects both the ends and enables buying and selling with an almost ‘doorstep access’.
Hesa’s “Phygital”, (read as a physical network of village level entrepreneurs (VLE) assisted by a digital commerce platform at every village) approach are the two key aspects that are enabling businesses to reach, showcase, demonstrate, convince and transact with their rural target audience.
For the rural population, Hesa is providing access, enablement and employment opportunities at scale, leading to empowerment. Rural customers can buy or sell a range of products, avail banking and other financial facilities and also pay utility bills from the comfort of their village. Facilitated through a local Village Level Entrepreneur, the “Hesaathi”, who logs in to the Hesa digital platform and transacts on their behalf, generating income for him/her self.
Dealshare is focused on what it calls ‘WhatsApp-first India’ consisting of lower- and middle-income groups in Tier II and III towns. Through the platform, users can get fruits and vegetables, grocery items, beauty and wellness products, and all other household essentials at daily discounted prices.
The startup, which began in Jaipur and then moved to Bengaluru, claims to be servicing more than 15,000 orders daily, and is growing at 50 percent month on month. More than 70 per cent of what the company sells comes from local manufacturers. The company has its presence across three states where it works with around 200 vendors.
The company follows a module of DealShare Dost, “a Dost is a micro entrepreneur in the sub locality, who belongs there, has been there for years and has access to manpower,”. Wherein the earnings depend on deliveries they make or transacting customers they bring, and in some cases, they provide deliveries and warehouse serving earning livelihoods.