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Omnisling aims financial inclusion in ecommerce segment

Furquan Moharkan, Deccan Herald News Service, May 8 2017, 0:14 IST

Startup showcase

In Picture:Venu Ramakrishnappa

In Picture:Venu Ramakrishnappa

American businessman and entrepreneur Andrew Mason had said, “Most small business owners are not particularly sophisticated business people. That’s not a criticism — they’re passionate about cutting hair or cooking food, and that’s why they got in the business, not because they have an MBA.”

And, in lure of bigger margins, it is these businessmen, who get sidelined most of the time. In such a scenario, Omnisling — a technology startup exclusively focused on small and medium retail businesses (SMBs) — might seem like a ray of light at the end of a dark tunnel, at least in India.

The company, which is based in Bengaluru, claims to be taking giant strides in increasing reach to its customers and being more efficient by employing technology for increasing margins.

Primarily aimed at MSME retailers who aspire to acquire customers beyond their neighbourhood and also nourish the ambition for exponential growth, the company plans to partner with leading banks, government institutions, agencies in India to sell their technology solutions.

“In the manner of speaking, you could say we are commoditising technology to increase adoption by MSMEs across India. We aim to provide the solutions with a reasonable price, when compared to the competition,” says Venu Ramakrishnappa, CEO and Founder of the company.

The value proposition of the company, according to Ramakrishnappa, is to provide an end-to-end digital omni-channel technology solutions to MSME retailers at a fraction of the cost. “In the process, our venture also provides employment to youth in India,” he says.
Ramakrishnappa started with a marketplace idea for ethnic products in the US, when he realised that small retailers are not equipped to list their products on the marketplace in an automated way. “Retailers either use dated technologies or no technology, and this is a critical challenge for a marketplace to list accurate inventory and products,” he says, when asked about the origin of his idea.

The primary issue that the company is trying to address is the technology challenge that the MSME retailers are facing because of which they are losing customers to competition and closing shops. “We aim to provide a solution which enables retailers to go multi-channel just by digitising their product catalogue, thereby enabling them not only to protect their turf but also compete with larger players on an equal footing,” he adds.
Currently employing 20 people, the company plans to scale its sales force in order to have a pan-India presence.

Having received angel funding, Ramakrishnappa adds, “We are currently raising a pre-series fund, and also reaching out to investment houses for Series A fund.”
The company plans to expand the scope of its offerings through domain specific solutions in the near future.

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