With its proprietary platform, Ghoshak promises to provide virtual outlets at affordable prices for every small and individual-owned business across the country
By Srinath Srinivasan
The demand for automation and digitalisation of small businesses is increasing by the day. More so for a country like India where digital players are competing to capture a huge chunk of the largely underserved market. With large digital players making big investments and embarking on initiatives to bring thousands of small businesses into the digital fold, Chennai-based Ghoshak aims to focus on small businesses and individuals who want an online presence but cannot afford a full-blown website or an app maker for the same.
“Our platform lets users build a proper e-commerce website customised to their business for as low as Rs 3000,” says Rajesh Kumar Subramanian, co-founder and CEO, Ghoshak. “From the beginning, the websites will have billing, inventory, analytics and all other features of a business application as the user desires.”
With a no code feature, the platform offers a set of themes to build websites on. “At the outset this may seem easy. But for a small business or an individual user, the no code feature helps build complex websites. Users can build websites where they can allow complete customisation of their product to their customers and deliver made-to-order final products,” he says.
In addition, he says that the platform can offer personalised experience for every end customer of a user. “The customers of a user could share a phone number or an email id and then our platform brings them a personalised experience without violating their privacy. This is a premium feature today that many small businesses or individual users would hesitate to spend on but is available on our platform without extra charges,” says Subramanian. As a result, this has led the platform to enable the users to run loyalty programmes for their customers and gain insights about the programme using analytics. This is in addition to the business analytics that the users would need to manage their business performance.
The startup charges the users per feature on a recurring basis. While small and individual owned businesses do not have large volumes of end customers to be charged per user using their website, the real challenge according to Subramanian is not the business model itself but size of the market. Being too big, the small business market is largely unorganised, underserved and lacks higher rates of digital adoption.
“The cultural change will take more time to set in. Today shops and individuals are using UPI which is a big shift in itself. It will take time to see their own website names on their bills and we are just getting started,” he says. Although a challenge, this presents a large business opportunity and the space is yet to get saturated. Self-funded with Rs 2.5 crore, the startup has over 15 thousand users across India. “We aim to break even in the next 18 months,” says Subramanian.