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Today Bikayi Is Helping 50 Lakh Merchants
Bikayi, an e-commerce platform, aims to empower all businesses with affordable tools to enable them to thrive on the online marketplace. Ashutosh Singla, Co-founder & CEO, Bikayi, talks of how the initiative began and its future prospects
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How does Bikayi benefit small businesses?
Bikayi provides a complete set of features including payment, delivery integration, and marketing services which help digital-savvy business owners and entrepreneurs, to launch and expand their businesses.
The online platform didn’t exist as a distribution channel for Small and Medium Businesses (SMBs) a couple of years ago. Now, the scenario has changed completely. The entire ecosystem, whether it is for financial products or delivery companies, has become more open to small businesses.
Also, SMBs have access to smartphones and internet connectivity. That helps. For example, Bikayi helps SMBs set up a Whatsapp-integrated shop, so that they can sell products on WhatsApp. We strongly believe that if you are not promoting your products on Facebook and Whatsapp, you will be missing out on a huge customer base.
How did Bikayi manage to cope with the pandemic?
Within six months of launching Bikayi, the pandemic struck. At the time when many businesses were staring at potential job losses and pay-cuts, our platform came as a saviour to the salaried class who started selling their products on Bikayi as an alternative source of income.
Our merchants, who were driving their business through mom-n-pop stores, started riding on the ‘contactless’ and ‘digital’ selling wagon with us. Today, Bikayi is helping 50 lakh merchants become a brand of their own. We had an extensive outreach programme for reaching out to our merchants and devised strategies to boost their businesses on digital platforms.
How do you expecting the year 2022 to be for Bikayi?
The year 2022 looks very promising for social ecommerce as an emerging sector. Small businesses have picked up lately as more customers are open to the idea of buying from small merchants. The services offered by small merchants is equivalent to those offered by e-commerce giants today.
How do you look at the Indian startup ecosystem from the standpoint of entrepreneurship?
The shift has already happened and will continue to grow further in the coming years. From the standpoint of an Indian startup ecosystem, in the past year alone there have been 40 startups that turned into unicorns. Certainly, we can soon expect to see more startups turn into unicorns and even become Decacorns (a company valued at over $10 billion).
How do you feel about winning the Young Entrepreneur Award?
I am humbled and grateful to receive the BW Businessworld Young Entrepreneur Award. The struggle of small businesses that we had witnessed in the pre-pandemic era with fast-tracking of digitisation was the main trigger for me and my co-founder Sonakshi Nathani to start Bikayi.
How do such initiatives help entrepreneurs?
This initiative brought by BW Businessworld helps entrepreneurs like us gain recognition among our peers, and other stakeholders (investors, partners, customers) for the work we are doing.
I am hoping this will further open doors for many brand collaborations.