In a fantastic example of multiple public and private stakeholders coming together overnight to solve an urgent problem in Covid times, the Government of India’s Department of Consumer Affairs partnered with tech startups Safejob and Seekify to use technology to prevent the spread of Covid at the local Kirana store level.
The Suraksha Store initiative is designed for the health and safety of the people of India during and after the lockdown, amid the global Covid-19 pandemic. The primary objective of this project is to educate Kirana store owners across the country about the Covid-19 safety guidelines and protocols required to be followed while running their businesses. The protocols were decided by FSSAI and MHA and included norms around social distancing and hygiene at all retail outlets. The objective was to allow consumers to use the Aarogya Setu app to find a Suraksh Store near them and shop at peace and safety.
The challenge was to get this to 2 million retailers in a matter of days or weeks. It could only be done with technology and with the help of nimble tech startups.
Seekify, a Sequoia’s Surge funded company, has developed an online learning software. They partnered with Safejob to quickly build a custom solution for registering Kirana store owners, their employees, capturing their location and allowing them to complete online training and certification – all on mobile and optimised for rural and low bandwidth areas.
Safejob, an NSDC partner and training expert, was quickly able to develop and deploy training material in 8 languages as well as an assessment to ensure that they can be certified to be aware of the Suraksha norms.
As a testament to the success of this, the initiative was able to reach out to more than 5 Lacs stores within a week of launch. Currently, over 7 Lacs retailers have enrolled for this training and over 70K kirana employees have completed the awareness training. You can visit www.surakshastore.com fo
Speaking about the initiative, Divya Jain, Founder, Safejob said, “We were extremely proud and grateful when the Department of Consumer Affairs, Govt. of India approached us with an opportunity to serve the country during these tough times. Within a week of ideation, we were able to build the technology required to onboard and train these store owners. And all of this was done while we were all safe and staying inside our homes.”
Arihant Jain and Ajeet Kushwaha, co-founders of Seekfy said in an official statement: “We have always believed that technology is a powerful tool that can create a massive impact in people’s lives and our world at large. The Suraksha Store is a perfect example of the speed and scale at which we were able to use technology to solve a simple yet impactful problem that will contribute in flattening the curve for India. Proud to serve our nation.”