Over the years, India has moved towards full digitalization. Gone are the days of recording all transactions with pen and paper. From booking a taxi to paying, everything is possible with just one click. While many of us are fortunate enough to use digital methods for transactions, many across the country are still struggling to meet the bare minimum. Many small businesses still have to rely on the written word to record their expenses, credit amount and other aspects.
In light of this tedious ordeal, an online application called “OKCredit” makes it easier for business owners to continue with their daily activities. Launched in 2017, it is the result of three graduates from IIT Kanpur named Harsh Pokharna, Gaurav Kumar and Aditya Prasad.
Bookkeeping by small traders
After completing their university studies, the current founders were looking for a start-up opportunity. They talked to their friends, family and acquaintances, looking for inspiration. Ultimately, it was the grocery store near them that gave them the idea to launch OKCredit.
“One day, Aditya went to the store to pay all the dues. He had to stand in line for 15-20 minutes. The owner was rummaging through the invoices, where the names were deleted. Eventually the total amount was something that we couldn’t believe, ”one of the founders, Harsh Pokharna, told The logical Indian.
When they confronted the trader, they realized the magnitude of the problem. As this was the only multi-resident grocery store, the owner struggled to register everything by hand.
Vernacular, easily accessible
The goal of creating a digital ‘bahi khata’ account is to allow small businesses to register their transactions without any hassle. Primarily targeting Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities, the app is available in 14 languages. Pokharna explains: “We have specific features, such as the voice function. We save a lot of time by typing an entire sentence.
They don’t need to have the app. Using the Unified Payment Interface (UPI), payment is made. A message will be sent to alert the customer. For the founders, the road was not easy. Convincing the retailer to go digital took a lot of effort. “Initially, the trader was enthusiastic when we came up with the idea of an app to keep all records. However, it was difficult for him to understand, although it meets all of our UX requirements, ”Pokharna adds. At the same time, they had to involve their colleagues to make this business a success. They had to cross the language barrier to make this all happen.
Confidence was another issue. The trader kept the written records with him, despite having a digital app. He was afraid of losing data. During COVID-19, the app also saw a drop in its transactions. Many small businesses had closed. However, they may have recovered well in the post-pandemic era.
Create customer relationships
OkCredit aims to be a lucrative platform for businesses to create their own identity. The Indian economy being fragmented, several actors came to work with different traders.
“MSMEs don’t want to be completely dependent on a market for their business. They want to build their own identity. However, the technology is not easy and not affordable enough for them,” Pokharna said. The logical Indian.
The application wants to fill these existing gaps in order to allow small businesses to get on the map and create their customer relationship as well as their identity.
Also read: Vision for Digital India! This company helps MSMEs digitize inventories for cross-border wholesale