Start-up Jhakaas offers tech-based tools to bring SMEs close to customers

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Published: April 12, 2017 2:12:47 AM

Jhakaas Technologies runs a mobile app to fulfill day-to-day needs of consumers

Bharat Mandot , co-founder, Jhakaas Technologies

Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in India find it difficult to meet the demands of consumers due to limited access to sophisticated technologies such as Big Data analysis and machine learning. This is exactly where a handful of tech start-ups are looking to chip in, with technologies tailor-made to solve the pain-points of SMEs.

One such start-up is Jhakaas Technologies, which runs a mobile app to fulfill day-to-day needs of consumers such as grocery shopping, restaurant hunting, on-call cakes, vegetable shopping, accessing wine shops, ordering medicines and cab booking. To provide these services, Jhakaas partners with local merchants or small businesses.

“Due to the emergence of e-commerce giants and growing affinity of consumers for digital payments and doorstep delivery, small-scale and medium level merchants tend to lose customers to deep-pocketed and more agile rivals,” says Bharat Mandot, who co-founded Jhakaas along with his friend Jeetendra Sanjeeva in February 2016.

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A study published by Zinnov reports that while only 40% of SMEs are influenced by technology today, it is set to increase to 90% by 2020. “IT adoption by SMEs in India is hindered because of inability to easily adopt solutions meant for large enterprises. They are not in a position to invest upfront in infrastructure, most solutions offered to them in the market are generic and lack vertical centricity, and majority of the solutions are feature rich solutions with a high learning curve,” reads the study.

Jhakaas is targetting exactly these issues. It provides small businesses a mobile platform at a fixed minimal charge to list products and services. “Jhakaas works on a minimum maintenance and fixed reasonable charges model with merchants so as to provide affordable and profitable deals to the vendors,” says Mandot. The process of merchant enrollment is easy and there are no additional charges. Once enrolled on the Jhakaas app, vendors can collect the payments in their own bank accounts through mPOS or digital payment methods.

Jhakaas isn’t the only start-up trying to make life a little easier for SMEs, and in the process garner some business. Another startup which is creating a tech ecosystem for SMEs is Instamojo. This Bangalore-based start-up provides multiple online payment options such as cards, net-banking, wallets and unified payments interface (UPI) in its gateway. Any SME can provide a payment link generated by Instamojo and share it on WhatsApp, SMS, email or Facebook to collect payment. Instamojo has been finding many converts, and during the demonetisation phase last year, added 3,000 SMEs daily to its platform, the company says in a statement.

Among the bigger players is GoDaddy which recently launched a mobile friendly website builder with an integrated set of marketing and e-commerce tools, making it easy for SMEs in India to attract visitors and drive results. Powered by smart algorithms and machine learning, it helps customers to evolve their businesses throughout their lifecycles, with fees starting from a mere Rs 99.

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