Mumbai, the house of entertainment bearing the tag for financial capital is also known for its growing local retail market. With this thought and passion towards connecting local retail network with people through a digital platform; Riken and Vince started HuLocal. HuLocal bridges the gap between customers and retail network to bring products including western attire and traditional clothing straight from local shops throughout Mumbai to one digital platform.
Like any other thought-driven companies, this startup also had few hiccups that they needed to overcome before making it to reality. Understanding the exact target audience purchasing from such stores and convincing non-tech savvy local market sellers to adopt to this digital platform were the key challenges they had to overcome. Team then did a through ground research at local markets, to get a grasp of the audience meant for this idea and concentrated strategies on reaching this audience. Shop-to-shop navigation and detailed communication regarding benefits helped them bridge the technology gap with local sellers.
Answering IndianCEO’s question of the Eureka moment, founder of HuLocal Mr. Riken said, “I was shopping at the local market with my wife for a sari. The search took two hours through disorganized markets, constant yelling, fights over prices, and a rising headache. By the time I reached home, the headache had turned into a migraine and I thought there has to be a simpler way for people to shop from their favorite local stores. And, Eurekaaa!”
Riken first pitched the idea to his friend and confidante, Vinod. Vinod liked the uniqueness of the concept and they decided to forge ahead. Vinod added his digital marketing skill and experience to this idea and bang! They created the perfect recipe to transform this idea into reality.
Beta app was launched on the first day of 2016 that helped them gauge the reaction of their target audience to offerings and after local dealers gave their reviews, further changes were made. Presently 30-40 orders are placed a day on average through the app and 1000+ times this app was downloaded with a 4 star rating. By connecting the audience buying from local stores they generated powerful traction in Mumbai.
Their USP is ‘window shopping’ that allows users to surf through the products of local shops and redirects them to the location. They are a first-of-its-kind buy or view e-commerce platform that generates revenue only from product sale through the app.
Boot-strapping their way up against other giant e-commerce platforms this ‘window shopping’ idea plans to cover every house in Mumbai before it penetrates into other cities.