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Startups working towards uplifting rural India

In the last 15 years, the Indian government has worked assiduously to create opportunities for rural people. India is rising, but this growth is only restricted to urban areas. While the 'Bharat vs India' debate continues, Rural India continues to remain far away from Urban India on every parameter of progress, be it GDP, employment, literacy or health. There are startups that are empowering and facilitating the implementation of business opportunities for a better quality of life across rural India. Technology is the key enabler, paving the way for enhanced productivity and growth prospects in the countryside.

ITC Group: ITC Group’s large-scale Social Investments Programmes that have now come to be known as SIPs, which form the backbone of MSK (Mission Sunehra Kal). MSK aims at building rural capacity in partnership with local communities to develop water and forest resources, open up new non-farm livelihoods, empower women, expand primary education, and drive future skilling in India. The group’s Agri-Business has pioneered the ‘Village Adoption Programme’. It covers 250 model villages in Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Telangana and Rajasthan. This initiative funding rural development is aligned with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s SAGY (Sansad Adarsh Gram Yojana) for holistic rural development.

Shopmatic: As an e-commerce solutions provider, Shopmatic brings several elements of the e-commerce landscape onto a single platform to help SMEs and individual entrepreneurs take their businesses online. During the COVID-19 lockdown, Shopmatic introduced tailored solutions for India’s Kirana stores, enabling them to create an online presence with pre-developed catalogues to help them create web-stores easily without the need for technical know-how or design experience. The platform also offered easy inventory management, secure and instant online payments, contactless delivery, and self-pickup options. With Shopmatic’s tech-centric solutions, shop owners are able to use their phones to track inventory, sales, orders, customers, and more. Entrepreneurs and businesses can choose from four different e-commerce solutions on the platform - Chat selling, Social selling, Marketplace selling, or selling through Web stores. Customers can choose the solution that best suits their needs.

Trell: India’s fastest-growing content social commerce platform currently, available in 8 Indian languages including - Marathi, Bengali, Tamil and Kannada with more than 10 billion monthly views on the platform, Trell is now leveraging the popularity of its 15 Million+ creator base to meet the demands of its growing base of 100 Million+ users. Trell has more than 6 regional languages including - Marathi, Bengali, Tamil and Kannada - on its platform. This is in step with the brand’s mission to provide real and relevant content to users across urban and rural areas of the country. Since its inception in 2017, Trell has been committed to serving the entertainment needs of vernacular consumers across the country with over 70% of its users hailing from tier-2, tier-3, and tier-4 cities.

DotPe: Giving a new lease of life to our rural country’s small businesses and individual business owners in taking their businesses online during the pandemic, Gurgaon-based O2O commerce and fintech platform DotPe has launched Digital Showroom. The new-age digital platform allows them to set up an online store on WhatsApp within 15 seconds and start selling online. Digital Showroom is an initiative by Dotpe which is a technology start-up providing a commerce and payments platform to offline enterprise businesses for driving digital transformation in the way they sell, manage and engage with their customers. The platform has empowered businesses like Mcdonald's, Starbucks, Haldiram's, and thousands more to serve their millions of customers by giving their customers online ordering experience.

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