From Local shops to customers: How this Start-up is Helping Local Retail Play an Indispensable Role during the Lockdown

In these challenging times, we are witnessing several e-commerce giants struggling to keep up with the increasingly high demand of customers. While the pressure is mounting on these businesses to provide essentials like groceries and vegetables on time, their delivery infrastructure is being pushed to the limit. Customers are having no option but to wait for days, sometimes weeks, to get their orders delivered.

To address these issues, Peddle Plus, a Delhi-based retail technology start-up has come up with a unique and innovative initiative. The company noticed that numerous local Kirana stores are playing a pertinent role in sustaining the lockdown, ensuring that people don’t run out of essential supplies. Some of these stores are also providing home delivery on the same day regardless of the lockdown, for the convenience and safety of customers and shopkeepers.

Peddle Plus has leveraged technology to connect local retailers and customers in their locality. The company is providing several retailers across north India an app which helps them to sell online, free-of-cost. Customers can now order groceries from their local store and get it delivered to their doorstep without the need for stepping out or standing in queues. In doing so, the company is fostering social distancing and ensuring that people uphold the lockdown.

I talked to Mr. Deepak Kumar, the owner of Eazymart in Rewari, whose store is now benefitting from Peddle Plus’ solution. According to him, “I never thought that I could sell my products online. This one-of-a-kind initiative has helped me manage my store from my phone while getting orders from the customers in my area. I’m glad that I can now serve my customers even during the lockdown without worrying much about social distancing in my store.”

Mr. Harish Prasad, an IT professional who bought his groceries using the Peddle Plus app, says “I heard about Peddle Plus from a friend of mine. Having to go out during the lockdown was quite a hassle. I cannot afford wasting two hours waiting in queues just for a few products.  I have a lot of work since I’m working from home now. What’s more, the big companies were taking at least a week or two to deliver groceries, sometimes even cancelling the order altogether. But the stores on Peddle Plus are offering home delivery on the same day. I’m extremely happy and appreciate the work that Peddle Plus has done.”

I also got in touch with Mr. Manoj Bhanja, the CTO at Peddle Plus, who has had a key role in developing the platform. He says, “We as a company have always believed that local stores are an indispensable part of the retail ecosystem. This has now become all the more evident during this lockdown. Empowering these stores with technology can help them compete with modern retail and create a thriving ecosystem of local commerce. These Kirana stores maybe small shops, but they are silent heroes during this pandemic. They indeed deserve true recognition”

It has been extremely fulfilling to see how various businesses are coming together during this crisis. Everyone is contributing whatever they can to help solve various problems that people are facing in the lockdown and ensuring that India becomes successful in defeating the pandemic.

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