Vikas has an extensive experience of 15 + years in the banking sector and has effectively solved for corporate supply chains during this period. He has previously worked as an executive with C2FO where he led the Capital Finance business, and worked as a corporate banker, in IndusInd Bank and IDBI. He started Paytail in 2021 where he saw a blue ocean of opportunity to create real value among the consumer and merchant ecosystem of India.
With the advent of technology, the retail sector has witnessed a 360-degree transformation in the past decade. The pandemic has further proven to be a catalyst in the acceptance of digitization of payments in the offline retail sector.
The Indian unorganized retail sector accounts to about 90% of the total market and consist of conventional family-run neighbourhood shops, and mom and pop retailers.
With a market opportunity as big as 1.7 trillion dollars till 2026, (ref: article by Investindia.gov.in), the entire entrepreneur and investor ecosystem is venturing exponentially to further achieve hypergrowth in this segment. There are also some clear key advantages in offline stores which maintain their relevance like familiarity, proximity and the in- store experience they offer. It will not be an exaggeration to state that approximately every single lane in India, one can find at least one such store.
It has become increasingly essential to leverage tech solutions that can rapidly mobilise millions of unorganized retail stores to unlock incremental value in offline retail.
We have officially entered the world of e-commerce, where every retailer needs to put customer convenience first, and second. With the plethora of options available to the “digital” consumer, it has become a necessity for the physical offline stores to adapt to this change. A balanced approach is the need of the hour, where a combination of execution and technology can potentially double up the growth rate.
The Indian credit market has also registered an upward trend in credit performance, with a 47% increase in lending from private institutions, and a year-on-year improvement in balance-level delinquencies suggesting that consumers are able to service their borrowing commitments. Credit penetration has experienced a growth from 18% in March 2020 to 21% in March 2022 as a result of sustained growth in consumer demand and easy access to product oriented and consumer durable loans, fueling financial inclusion across metros, urban, semi-urban and rural areas experiencing increased participation. (ref. TransUnion CIBIL Credit Market Indicator, March 2022)
To streamline the same, fintechs have come into action and taken a centre stage. The entire idea is centered around bringing speed and convenience that stretches a helping hand in not only increasing the sales but also organizing the entire business operations from payments to inventory. The competition from E-comms can only be met with the technology adoption in this layer. These could be in the form of ease of payment through various wallets and discount offers, time-bound deliveries, and product variety with a detailed description.
Key winners of this adoption have been payment companies where contactless payments are becoming the go to option for every consumer as well as merchant.. As per the RBI data, the non-cash volume of transactions skyrocketed to a record 98.5% in 2020-21. Given the systemic dependence on this layer of fintechs, it is important that the incumbents discover profitable models to keep scaling with the growing economy and add greater value.
To further the growth and convenience flywheel, now it’s time and need for digital affordability platforms to bring the low-cost EMI options at scale for the offline retailers and consumers which can accelerate the next wave of growth.
To sum it up, businesses who can build profitable models to organize millions of offline retailers which will further create new markets and revenue streams, are the present and the future of the Indian economy. One of the biggest consumer markets in the world, India, will see a skyrocketing rise when access to technology becomes easier. It is safe to say that the path of growth is just “a few clicks away”!