Tanutejas Saraswat Empowering Kiranawala Through Tech

Tanutejas Saraswat’s success story with ShopKirana is a journey marked by identifying challenges, addressing personal pain points, and creating a transformative solution for the unorganized retail sector in India.

The idea for ShopKirana stemmed from a critical observation: the traditional ‘kiranawala’ (local grocer) faced numerous inefficiencies and lacked technology to streamline operations. With the launch of the ShopKirana mobile application, Tanutejas envisioned connecting these retailers with sellers instantly, providing them with better inventory control, 24/7 order facilities, and 24-hour delivery services.

Within just four months of its launch in Indore, ShopKirana gained tremendous traction. The mobile app attracted 500 retailers and integrated 10 brands, achieving a turnover of over Rs 50 lakh in sales. Tanutejas recognized the massive untapped market in the largely unorganized Indian retail sector, where small retailers struggled due to a lack of technology and supply chain inefficiencies.

One of the driving forces behind ShopKirana was a personal pain point experienced by Co-founder Deepak Dhanotiya. His father ran a kirana shop in Indore, facing challenges in ordering goods, managing deliveries, and pricing for almost 15 years. This real-life problem became the catalyst for ShopKirana’s creation, emphasizing the startup’s commitment to addressing genuine issues faced by retailers.

ShopKirana’s Android-based mobile application offers a free platform for retailers to connect with suppliers, order goods, and pay cash upon delivery. Beyond just facilitating transactions, the motive was to make retailers aware of technology that could simplify their efforts, optimize inventory, and foster smart business practices.

The startup’s team, consisting of 45+ individuals, went door-to-door, demonstrating the benefits of the application and educating retailers about the advantages of adopting smart business systems. ShopKirana’s unique approach not only benefits retailers but also provides a platform for consumer packaged goods (CPG) companies and distributors to connect with retailers efficiently.

The success of ShopKirana includes its expansion to Mumbai, with over 15,000 deliveries across Indore and Mumbai, sales of INR 70 lakh, and three lakh quantities sold, all with just 10 integrated brands. The startup’s innovative approach and commitment to organizing the unorganized retail market garnered attention and support.

In C funding round, ShopKirana raised an impressive $38 million from both new and existing investors, including Oman India, Info Edge, and Sixth Sense Ventures. This round came after a gap of nearly 30 months, showcasing the continued confidence and interest from investors in the startup’s growth.

Tanutejas Saraswat’s journey with ShopKirana exemplifies the impact that a well-conceived and executed startup can have in transforming traditional industries. The success story of ShopKirana serves as an inspiration for aspiring entrepreneurs looking to create meaningful solutions that address real-world challenges.

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