The 10 Most Recommended Retail Solution Providers in 2019 [ Business Magazine ]

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Insights Success enlist “The 10 Most Recommended Retail Solution Providers in 2019” which have taken it up as their duty to bring tailor-made technology to the retail industry. These solutions aim at bridging the gap between customer needs and retail offerings to create delight for both the parties.

www.insightssuccess.in

VOL2

COMPANY OF THE MONTH

FEBRUARY-2019

ISSUE 3

Shivendra Dwivedi

Founder & MD

Maxtra Technologies

10

T

h

e

Most

Recommended

Retail

Solution

Providers

in 2019

AJAY PRASAD

FOUNDER

RISE RETAIL &

PAYMENT SOLUTIONS

Engaging Customers for Thriving Businesses


From the Editor

Personalisation for

Finding the Best Fit

ustomers today are spoilt for choices and retailers are trying every trick in their book to

Cgrab their attention. With retail no more confined to brick and mortar shops, technology

obviously plays a big role in creating new ways to engage with the customer. Of late,

personalization is being seen as the new marketing weapon in the retail armoury.

Personalization or customization is the act of tailoring a service or product as per the customer

requirement taking into account specific individual or multiple needs. It is used to improve

customer satisfaction, sales conversion, branding and up the website metrics. It is seen as a way

to connect to the customers on a more personal level and cater to their needs by recognising

what they want.

With technology at its disposal, personalization has evolved from just addressing the customers

using their first name. E-mails, custom designed products, in-store experiences, push

notifications based on customer purchase trends are all examples of personalization being put

to action by organizations. Using data analysis and Artificial Intelligence, curated emails are

often sent to customers featuring products to their liking. Websites often reshuffle their product

image placement based on browsing habits of the customer. Some even use AR and VR to let the

customer try a look before they buy it. This all is meant to give the best fit product for a

customer in minimum time.

Technology is helping retail restructure itself. From basic stores, online stores to self-checkout

stores, technology and personalisation are all about finding what the customer wants and giving

it to them in the best possible manner. Sometimes even catering to them even before they

themselves realise what they want. For retail, nothing boosts their sales like delighted customers

and since ‘No One Size Fits All’, one must personalize!

Sneha Sinha


Editor-in-Chief Pooja M. Bansal

Managing Editor Rahul Niraj

Executive Editor

Sneha Sinha

Art & Design Head Amol Kamble

Associate Designer Poonam, Shweta

Art & Picture Editor Rahul Kavanekar

Co-designer Aparna Vanzul

Business Development Manager

Akansha Garewal

Sales Executives Sonica, Ashwini

Technical Head Swapnil Patil

Technical Specialist

Amar, Pratiksha

Digital Marketing Manager Prashant, Rahul

SME-SMO Executives Swati, Manoj

Circulation Manager

Tanaji

sales@insightssuccess.com

February 2019

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INTERVIEW WITH INSIGHTS SUCCESS

&

Engaging Customers for

Thriving Businesses

CXO Standpoint

Expert's Opinion


Ahad Retail Ventures

EffiaSoft

RanceLab

Walkins

Xtreme Media

A R T I C L E S

Providing Platform

India Rising


1T

he

Most

Recommended

RETAIL SOLUTION

Providers in 2019

Retail Solutions for Superior

Customer Experience

etail Industry has come a long way from barter system, pop-up stores, brick-mortar stores to the latest

Ronline stores and virtual stores. A big thank you to technology and a great push from ever-demanding

customers are to be credited with the change.

Change is good, but to adapt it, one needs solutions that best fit their situation. In this issue of Insights Success,

we enlist “The 10 Most Recommended Retail Solution Providers in 2019” which have taken it up as their

duty to bring tailor-made technology to the retail industry. These solutions aim at bridging the gap between

customer needs and retail offerings to create delight for both the parties.

The Cover Story of this issue features Rise Retail & Payment Solutions which focuses its solutions on enabling

retailers with consumer engagement and developing efficiency in office management. Maxtra Technologies is

our Company of the Month that defines designs and delivers technology-enabled business solutions for global

entrepreneurs and business.

Also featuring in this issue are Ahad Retail Ventures, a trendsetter in the Retail and Fashion sector with a rich

experience in fashion, luggage, and footwear accessories, EffiaSoft Private Limited which builds POS and

billing solutions for MSMEs, Lomoso Solutions Pvt Ltd (Walkins), an AI based, easy to use, low cost,

integrated, data analytics based customer engagement platform and available on mobile and web, RanceLab, a

one-stop destination to shop for Retail Software and POS hardware products especially meant for the Retail

Industry, and Xtreme Media Pvt. Ltd, a leading solutions provider in Digital OOH Technology and Convergence.

The issue also highlights the viewpoint of Alvis Lazarus, CEO, Hesol Consulting on Supply Chain and Anand

Asaithambi, Co-founder, Intuition Systems on Industry 4.0 . Read through the insightful interview of Sadique

Ahmed, Founder and CEO, Pathfinder Software Solutions Private Limited. Our in-house articles FDI and

the Indian Retail Sector from India Rising and Required: A Retail Solution for Indian Artisans from Providing

Platform intend to bring you some retail therapy.

We hope you enjoy reading this issue as much as we did while creating it!!


Ajay Prasad

Founder


RISE RETAIL

&

PAYMENT

SOLUTIONS

Engaging Customers

for Thriving Businesses

“ In this age of the Customer, the only sustainable

competitive advantage is knowledge and engagement

with customers.” – Forrester Research

Businesses change with changing technology, customer

demands, innovative products, and competition. What does

not change is the bottom line – Customer Connect and

Engagement. A business is nothing without its customer. A

product or service is what its consumers make out of it. If a

product hits all the right chords with the consumers, it’s a hit.

While it is easy for the big businesses to indulge in research,

trend analysis and other market tools to capture what the

customer fancies and how to get in touch with them, it is the

small and medium enterprises (SME) that often are at a loss

of means to connect. The other fact is that these businesses

have a huge share in the market and their combined forces

may at times overtake major players. With changing times in

the retail industry, the need to empower these retailers with

tools to capture and benefit consumers in a huge opportunity

in itself.

Rising to the Occasion

Rise Retail & Payment Solutions is focused on creating

solutions which enable small retailers with consumer


engagement and develop efficiency in office

management. It addresses the core issues such as the

need for enterprise skills, technology, consumer

engagement, loyalty benefits that small and medium

retail market lacks.

The company’s solution portfolio is broadly divided into

two major segments that are significant for any retailer to

be competitive — Consumer Engagement and Office

Management. The Consumer Engagement Solutions ride

on a cloud-based system boarding the consumers once

they come to a retail store and then further managing

their complete lifecycle as a consumer.

The two significant factors that Rise Retail & Payment

Solutions stresses on to build a strong connection

between the consumers and the retailers are Loyalty

Benefits and Continued Communication (automated

wishes or offer based messaging). It helps retailers in

touching lives of consumers beyond a single transaction

by sending relevant offerings. Additionally, the solution

helps the retailers in creating an online database

empowering them to understand the different customer

categories and effectively target these for revenue

optimization.

Rise’s Office Management module caters to the basic

operational need of a retail store such as basic invoicing,

inventory management, staff productivity management

etc. Other additional solutions like customer referral

module, enquiry generator, credit management etc.

increase the overall ROI for the retailers.

A Multifaceted Leader

Being an active sportsperson contributes greatly to one’s

personality making one sharp, agile, critical thinker,

responsible, focused and a leader. Ajay Prasad,

Founder, Rise Retail & Payment Solutions is all these

and more. He is- an avid sports person, and has led a

cricket and a football team, a singer who sings for his

soul, and a keen follower of National politics. A man

with an opinion, he always believed in the need of

creating an ecosystem for the SME businesses to help

them grow and utilize technology to improve efficiency

and consumer engagement. A management graduate

from IMDR Pune, his initial career saw him working

with MNC banks. He also managed the business for one

of the JV of First Data for India and Sri Lanka markets

utilizing his strong domain expertise. After 18 years of

handling national level roles and creating new businesses

in retail payments, finally, it was his time to work on his

ideas, and a time to have a focused strategy with a longterm

mission, hence Rise Retail was formed.

Connecting the Dots: Industry, Retail Store and

Consumers

Indian retail industry looks very promising with its

phenomenal growth rate making it essential to keep

stability in this segment of SME. The higher mortality

rate is a big concern which can be attributed to the lack

of structured fund, knowledge transfer and cost factors

for running a business. Being an unorganized segment,

percentage of regional/ local brands is increasing and

hence the need to digitize and tech-based solutions.

However, as Ajay points out, the industry lacks

understanding of its consumer engagement needs and it

has to move to next level of its current focus on new

customers’ acquisition.

Rise Retail has taken lead to bring the required stability


and is strongly dedicated to educate them on focusing on

managing consumers using technology and analytics and

focus on micromanagement. But the path is uphill as the

industry, in this context, is still in the nascent stages and

Rise’s initiatives are a little early. Educating businesses

and making them aware of the need of consumer

analytics and the need for tech derived system was the

first set of challenges that the company faced. In spite of

understanding the need businesses need sales to push for

the decision. This has led Rise into a constant evolution

journey making many modifications in its product,

business model and propositions. As it ventures into the

5th year of its strong presence in the industry, the

company is witnessing the hard work and perseverance it

carries being paid off. It is slowly observing more

awareness in the industry and retailers getting sensitized.

transforming our backend from single store to hierarchy

based structure to give more flexibility, interactivity and

command to its customers.

Rise works on a defined market segment which has

strong price elasticity and takes time for technological

adaptation. Its expertise in this segment makes it

competitive in terms of user-friendliness, pricing and

bouquet of features that it offers.

Rise is on a mission to improvise the way small retail

stores run their business and impact the larger

ecosystem. And this mission has received recognition

Technology and Focus for Expertise

Solution development at Rise is all about process

orientation and feedbacks. As Ajay explains, “As a

product model, we first work on the prototype of any

feature/ product then look at technical stability and then

the advancement work start. During this process, a realtime

feedback is taken from the market in terms of

product efficiency, user-friendliness and other key

parameters.”

The company keeps upgrading its

methodology by making use of

emerging technologies. It

recently introduced an

integrated invoicing

solution which works

through its loyalty rule

engine. It is also

looking at


1T

he

Most

Recommended

RETAIL SOLUTION

Providers in 2019

with the company being identified as one amongst the”

25 Most Promising Retail Technology Service Provider

in Asia Pacific in 2018” by a leading magazine. It also

received the Pune Brand Leadership award by CMO

Asia in collaboration with ABP News and Yes Bank in

2018.

A Note for Employees and Entrepreneurs

Being a young company means significant dependence

on individuals for Rise. Hence it is paramount that each

member is aligned with the mission and vision of the

organization. Employee motivation comes from the longterm

focus, strong value system and a sense of creating

something new in the ecosystem to serve society. Ajay

himself firmly believes in contributing to the society and

nation and for him, the journey has just begun.

As an experienced entrepreneur, Ajay suggests that there

are different business models which entrepreneurs work

on. “My suggestion is to choose a product/ service which

has a long-term impact on the society. Keep building up

the value to make yourself stronger in offerings and

returns.” Entrepreneurs must have a strong focus on key

metrics i.e. staff productivity, cost and pricing command

in the initial years.

Expanding Horizons

Like all successful companies, Rise Retail & Payment

Solutions has a vision for innovation, growth, and

expansion. The company is focused on horizontal growth

which will help it to expand its portfolio of solutions and

services at the same time. This could be achieved by

creating a distribution system which is a first ever in the

retail sector. Though many companies struggle to

balance scalability and profitability, Rise Retail &

Payments Solutions aims to perfect this balance by first

building a strong base and then bring in the products.

Web-enabled products and solutions are the company’s

next project which would let them connect all the

consumers engaged with the retail stores. Further, the

firm also looks at expanding its retail base drastically and

enabling it with payment solutions. Rise aims to reduce

the loss of customers at small and medium retail outlets

and build an enhanced brand image to pull customers to

the outlets. This change in the ecosystem will bring lot

more smiles to customers, who will be the ultimate

winner of its effort.


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MAXTRA

Technology Partner for Business

After a lull of almost a decade

for software opportunities in

the Indian retail industry, there

is a sudden storm. Traditional Retailers

are looking for solutions that can bring

them on par with online retail and

giants. This pressure of going digital

and being relevant to consumers has

sprung up opportunities for the

technology players.

Leveraging this opportunity, Maxtra

Technologies, started in the year 2008,

defines designs and delivers

technology-enabled business solutions

for global entrepreneurs and business.

It helps them to build products that

solve their everyday problem through

creative and conscientious use of

technology. Understanding the

criticality of a business decision to

build new products, Maxtra, promises

to do the very best and the right things

for a project, user, and team.

A Passion Driven Leader

Shivendra Dwivedi, the young,

dynamic and energetic entrepreneur, is

the Founder and Managing Director.

From being the young graduate from

Rajiv Gandhi Proudyogiki

Vishwavidyalaya to making Maxtra

Technologies amongst most coveted

software Development Company

globally, Shiv, as he is popularly

known as, has always decided to be

unconventional at each step. He has

created unprecedented milestones in

business using the technology as his

tool. His vision is to see Maxtra

technologies as a globally respected

corporation.

Solutions for all Businesses

Maxtra serves its clients with best-inclass

services and customised software

solutions for unique business needs.

Being both a product and service based

company; Maxtra thrives on creativity

and cultivation of techniques by

creating masterpieces in business

development. It is now a globally

recognised face of Digital marketing,

website design and development,

mobile application development and

direct selling software solution. It likes

to act as a helping hand to businesses

looking forward to a future full of

evolution, development and

unparalleled quality service.

Analysing the Retail Industry

Describing the current set of

challenges in the retail industry, Shiv

describes an ideal business

environment as one where principal

companies and retailers don’t just grow

individually, but together. With the

growing demand for better goods, it is

important for both entities to overcome

challenges and forge a strong business

partnership. The challenges right now

are to keep running a profitable

business with an eye for future

innovations, timely changes to keep up

with changing business environment

and taking on digital transformation as

a journey acquiring the necessary skills

and knowledge and continue to

innovate.

Opportunities are never far behind

challenges. Retailers now need to

capitalize on technology to provide

customers with easy access to their

needs. With more customer

empowerment, retailers will only

survive if their business creates shared

value that benefits shareholders and

society. Social and environmental

sustainability will strengthen the

communities in which retailers operate,

which will in turn appeal to customers.

Maxtra will aim to re-design retail and

other businesses so that all

stakeholders (as many as possible)

benefit: customers,

associates/employees, shareholders, the

communities it serves and those in the

supply chain.

Being Agile

Talking about the technological

advancements that are redefining

14 FEBRUARY 2019


COMPANY OF THE MONTH

industry standards, Shiv says,

“Regardless of your personal

opinion—Luddite or technophile—the

rapid advance of technology isn’t

going to slow any time soon. More and

more small businesses that fail to

adapt are going to find themselves left

behind while the savvy ones who learn

to keep up will reap the rewards.” One

must understand how technology

affects their business (for better or

worse) and how to apply advancements

in order to play them to an advantage.

Maxtra offers its clients products and

services that incorporate the latest

technology in the offering.

It aims to capture the incredible

opportunity for companies to leverage

influencers, who have built a loyal

following and credibility within an

industry, to market to enterprise

decision makers. It is using analytics to

gather industry-specific information

that helps in identifying gaps in an

organization’s performance and can be

leveraged to achieve a competitive

advantage. It is aiming to use

Blockchain which represents a

decentralized, encrypted secure system

of record, with applications in

government, HR and countless other

industries. It is also developing mobile

solutions to cater to every aspect of

client business which can be handled

from remote locations if a smart device

or tablet is loaded with the correct

software. Shiv says, “These

technologies have incredible

implications, and we’re just beginning

to see their capabilities. More

importantly, we’re just beginning to

imagine real-world applications for

their use.”

Shivendra Dwivedi, Founder and Managing Director

FEBRUARY 2019

15


Creating an Innovative Work Culture

Maxtra has full faith in its workforce. Shiv insists, “If a

human mind can develop the technology, it sure has the

capability to innovate it for use in varied business models;

and that’s exactly what our people are capable of!” Maxtra

takes care of five points when it comes to its employees -

Clearly defining vision as a roadmap for the

employees Giving employees what they want and need

compassing tools, training, and support from

supervisors.

Communicate well and often during training sessions,

memos, newsletters, FAQs, and regular meetings.

Get everyone engaged in planning and decisionmaking

Coach employees for success, and practice

random acts of kindness.

Feedback is another great motivator which should be given

right away, to encourage more of the same performance

when positive and to self-correct when negative.

Advising the Entrepreneurs

For entrepreneurs, Shiv says that it is important to know

one’s passion in order to ensure that the work is done and

finances are arranged. It is equally important to innovate by

putting one’s passion to work in creating an organization

that stands out from others. One should also look for ways

to positively impact the team and align their goals with

company culture. Entrepreneurs should also remember that

“You can do anything, but you can’t do everything. Taking it

step by step allows you to grow within your means. Use

your money wisely and know when to say no.”

Expanding Networks

Maxtra Technology’s future growth plans include

expanding its network of customers and to increase its

products and services verticals for them. In order to expand

its business, it intends to make strategic alliances with other

companies that are a strategic fit with its business. It

strongly believes that there are still significant opportunities

to further expand into both the local and international

market. To leverage on those opportunities it intends to

strengthen its sales and marketing network by enlisting

experienced marketing and sales personnel and

participating in more transnational trade fairs.

Shiv concludes, “For us, technology is not about services

or products we build. Those are not the end goals.

Technology is a democratizing force, empowering people

and businesses through information and analytics. Looking

for the future, we will move from mobile first to AI first

world.”

“We want to

be the most

innovative

software

company in

any market

we choose

to operate

in, no matter

what

country or

industry”

16 FEBRUARY 2019


Providing Innovative

Retail Solutions

Sadique Ahmed

Founder and CEO

he retail industry today needs innovative and out of box solutions to cater to the ever growing demands of the

Tcustomer. These solutions needs to be quick , adaptable and futuristic keeping in trend with the times and

technology. Pathfinder Enterprise Solutions Pvt Ltd is providing the industry what it needs to win over the

consumers.

In an interview with Insights Success, Sadique Ahmed, Founder and CEO, narrates the story of Pathfinder.

1. From an Entrepreneur to a business tycoon, kindly brief us about Mr Sadique Ahmed and share a glimpse of

his professional journey to our readers.

18 FEBRUARY 2019


Interview with Insights success

Mr. Sadique has been an

Entrepreneur, Product Evangelist,

Mentor, and a domain Leader in

retail who helped the company to

continuously innovate solutions with

experience in building innovative

technologies helping maximize the

potential for Airports, Shopping

Centres, Retail, Governments, and

Aviation. He Started the company

providing POS Solutions to small

and medium businesses then

reinvented itself to provide enterprise

solutions to large businesses and now

oversees the transformation of

“Pathfinder” from a technology

platform to a knowledge platform

with an experienced team of veteran

subject matter experts supported by a

large Data Science team, the

combination that is adding

tremendous value to clients globally.

2. Kindly brief us about your

company and its inception story.

Founded in 1994, started offering IT

Solutions ranging from Business

process management to

infrastructure, security and

networking. In the year 2000, we

forayed into retail domain to offer

POS solutions, then we innovated,

the much renowned “XtreMe

Imperium Solution” for Shopping

Centers & Airports in 2008, which

became the foundation for the huge

success of Pathfinder. We got

recognized by the shopping centres

and Airports and received an award

in 2012 for executing the best EPOS

solution in Rajiv Gandhi

International Airport ,Hyderabad

India. As an organization, we are 25

years old and about 10 years back we

pivoted to providing data solutions.

Our journey began with solutions for

Airports helping them with capturing

sales data and then running analytics

on it. We realized that shopping

centres would also benefit immensely

from a solution like this. We are now

present in over 100 shopping centres

in India and are leaders in revenue

assurance for shopping centres and

airports. With our solutions being

used in over 15 Indian airports, 3

International airports, we are now

acquiring international airports as our

clients. Our latest innovation

“RAPPO – Customer Engagement

Platform” is no less than a disruption

in the retail world. Currently we have

direct global offices in India, Dubai,

Singapore and Portugal. We work

through partners in other countries

who help us expand and penetrate

new markets.

3. What are the distinct products

and services provided by the

company?

Our product suite consists of our

“P+ Platform” which consists of our

Enterprise Applications (Revenue

Assurance, Lease & Contract

Management, Facility Management),

Data Sciences (Customer

Engagement, Footfall & People

Analytics, Blended Insights) and

Consulting & Advisory services.

4. What is your view about the

current opportunities and

challenges in the Retail

Industry?

There has been a shift in consumer

behavior owing to the new channels

of retail spoiling customers for

choice. Brick and mortar retail are

evolving and innovating to catch up

with the consumer’s aspiration and

cater to the modern customer.

Consumers need an uplifting sensory

experience which revolves around

brick and mortar retail. In the next

few years we will see technology

blending seamlessly between online

and offline stores. If you notice

many successful online brands are

now adopting offline channels and

the reason is simple, they need to be

there, where the customer is and

give them a real-time experience of

the brand and the products being

offered.

While this transformation occurs, the

need for retail to adopt new

technologies in Data Science is what

will give them an edge over

competition. From communication

FEBRUARY 2019

19


to engagement, data science is going

to drive consumers to retail and focus

on what the consumers want.

5. How is the company

incorporating technological

advancement for offering better

solutions? Please mention awards

received, if any.

We recently won the International

Airport Review Awards for the

“Revenue Generation” category. This

was a great achievement for us as we

won against large global competitors.

With our data science being offered

as a platform along with our

enterprise solutions, clients realize

the potential they gain from having

data & insights ona single platform.

Imagine a shopping centre, where

decisions on new stores, trading

density, sales performance etc.,

which took 100’s of man hours is

now available in real-time. When

customers can look at forecast of

future revenues, this helps them gear

up to run the appropriate campaigns

on our platform itself. The data on

conversions, ROI is all available on

our platform, making it simple for

management, operation and

marketing teams to run, manage

profitably.

6. How does the company keep

employees motivated and

handles it’s societal

responsibility?

When you see a customer delighted

with our offerings, being able to

quickly realize business outcomes,

make decisions on the fly, our

employees know the feeling of a

satisfied customer and that’s what

motivates us all. Our HR team runs

programs internally to keep

employees participating in events,

knowledge sharing sessions from

senior leadership, so that everyone is

on the same page. While having

multiple offices is an advantage, we

offer our employees the choice to

work from locations that is closer to

them to reduce the carbon footprint

of their travel and saving time for all

of us.

7. What would be your advice for

the budding startups and

entrepreneurs in the industry?

Find a market where your offerings

could have an impact and focus on

solving customer problems from day

1. Find partners or gain the domain

expertise and figure out the value

proposition that makes it essential

for your target customers. Be ready

to pivot when you know you have

taken a wrong turn.

8. Brief us about the company’s

future perspectives.

We are driven on solving customer

challenges with data sciences. This

has led us to expand our data

sciences offerings for global markets.

With our focus on working with

airports, shopping centres and,

retailers we see a future where

intelligent customer engagement

drives business growth.

20 FEBRUARY 2019


Required:

A Retail Solution

for

Indian Artisans

India has been considered as a land of

culture, colours and art. Art and handicraft

have been an integral part of the Indian

lifestyle from time immemorial. Statues and

artefacts found by archaeologists at various

ancient Indian civilizations are a proof to it.

From handmade household items to delicate and

exquisite showpieces, Indians are in love with

their handiwork and so is the world.

A Huge Potential

The Indian Handicraft market is huge and stands

at over thirty thousand crores. It employs over

six million craftsmen and artisans of rural and

urban areas. This sector includes a plethora of

art forms like jewellery making, handmade

fabric, cosmetics, fashion accessories, painting

forms, pottery, idols, various forms of

embroidery and more. This makes India a large

player in the international market which exports

over ten thousand crores worth of handicraft

goods. This export segment is the largest chunk

of the handicraft market. The other segment

comprises of NGOs working in association with

the Government for the overall development of

artisans. The final segment is that of artisans

which work and market their products locally

and comprise of individuals or small groups.

This categorization reflects the unorganized

nature of the sector. The resultant is the lower

than expected appreciation and cost that these

deserving artisans receive. Having no access to

the retail and global market, they have to settle

down with the bare minimum sale price they get

22 FEBRUARY 2019


P R O V I D I N G P L A T F O R M

via the middlemen who pocket a large share.

Retail to the Rescue

The Retail Industry which is the meeting point for product

and the customer can play a much bigger/pivotal role

bringing due credit to the handicraft sector. Retail as a

sector is in a better position, has better reach among

customers, and uses varied payment methods which can

prove to be a focal point in bringing organized changes to

the handicraft sector. Here’s how the retail industry can

help leverage the handicraft and art.

The need is to bring a common retail platform that gives

these artisans an opportunity to directly interact with

customers.

The retail industry can help showcase quality products are

various malls, shops and online retail portals.

Their marketing agencies need to up their act by advertising

and creating awareness about the handicraft items, its

capability and unique items that can help customers

enhance their lifestyle.

They can get in touch with the artisans to teach them about

designing and packaging their products in an attractive way.

Dedicated malls or shops that showcase traditional crafts

work can be set up at all major tourist spots to give local

FEBRUARY 2019

and foreign customers a closer look and direct access to the

various items.

Showcasing the products at important places like airports,

malls, tourist spots, and trade shows will generate more

awareness and new customers.

Handiwork Needed

Thankfully, today, the young minds are recognizing the

opportunities that lays untapped in the handicraft sector.

The Government too is looking for ways to the boost

handicraft through its initiatives like Make in India and

Gramin Haat. Many young entrepreneurs are getting in

touch with the artisans and providing them with a platform

to showcase their potential in the global market. They have

introduced the artisans to technology and utilizing it for

their benefit. Using technology is making them create

newer markets globally. Imparting marketing and designing

knowledge to artisans is also important. They can also be

guided to incorporate new and modern designs in their

traditional methods to create more globally appealing

fusion craft ware. Dedicated workshops can be organised to

take the art forms to more people and get more people

involved with this sector. These steps are all necessary to

keep the traditions alive and stop the attrition that craft

villages are facing in search of better livelihood.

- Sneha Sinha

23


Ahad Retail Ventures

A Catalyst for Indian Retail and Fashion Industry

The Retail Industry is in a

disruption phase globally. In

India, the share of organized

retail business is expected to touch

approx twenty per cent by 2020 and

the Indian E-commerce Industry is

likely to touch a hundred billion US

Dollars mark. With the consumers

becoming more aware and spoilt with

opportunities, the future belongs to

those who are able to define and cater

to the long term needs of the

consumers with product & fashionoriented

benefits. Catering to these

new-age customers who want

services and brands at the snap of a

finger or rather click of a cursor is

Ahad Retail Ventures.

A Brand is Born

The company was formed with

humble beginnings in 1978 at

Bangalore through the efforts of

Ifthikar Saleem, a Bangalore based

reputable entrepreneur, Retailer and

Realtor. He initially started with

Dolphin Stores at High Streets of

Bangalore and over the years slowly

evolved into what it is today. He is a

seasoned expert with over four

decades of experience in the Retail

and Real Estate industry. He has

received a plethora of awards and

critical acclaim for his immense

contribution to the Industry including

Indira Gandhi Priyadarshini Award,

Rajiv Gandhi Excellence Award,

Nations Pride of the Millennium

Award, A listing in the 100 Most

Influential Retail Leaders. Under his

watch and leadership, Ahad Retail is

on the verge of ushering in a

renaissance in the industry.

Offering Premium Services

Ahad Retail Venture offers services in

Franchising; Space Consulting; and

Retailing.

It is revered as one of the frontline

franchise companies delivering

excellent franchising services to

international brands. It comes to

terms with the primary objectives,

brand value, uniformity, customer

handling, sales push plans, events,

and culture of the client. In

franchising, it offers the best of its

talent, expertise, prime real estate for

a great in-store experience.

Location is a prime factor for a retail

store’s success. At Ahad Retail, local

and offshore clients receive the best

real estate and space consulting

services. Its in-depth findings on the

locality, client's contenders, and set

target, help them position rightly and

assisting them to make a choice,

negotiate and run the retail store.

For retailing solutions, it develops a

strategy that takes care of location,

kind of store and its chain, selling,

in-store experience, sales and aftersales

services for client’s products

and to be sure it’s one huge success.

Overall, it offers an end-to-end retail

service.

Ahad Retail Ventures today is a core

member of the ‘Retailers Association

of India’ and has over 100 employees

on its payroll with an unrivalled

experience of partnering with over 40

International and premium brands

over the years. Today, it facilitates

retail for brands including Creyate

Custom Clothing, U.S. Polo, Delsey

Paris, Fab Alley & Indya, Flying

Machine, Ed Hardy, the Children's

Place and many more across high

Streets, Malls & Luxury Malls with a

rooted presence in Bangalore.

A Progressive Strategy

In the mainstream for four decades,

Ahad Retail Ventures understands the

importance of staying in sync with

changing times. So adapting to new

and better technologies is considered

24 FEBRUARY 2019


1T

he

Most

Recommended

RETAIL SOLUTION

Providers in 2019

Ahad Ifthikar

Director

“ Indian Retail is coming

of age with many new

Indian Retail houses

learning from the

international markets

Ifthikar Saleem

Founder & MD


Motivating the Millennial

vital. Its backend operations recently moved onto a custom

built cloud system allowing it to streamline the process and

resulting in better efficiency and effectiveness in

management. It has also been using technology across for

CRM, Social Media Marketing, Partner Management, as well

as vendor management. All of these IT adoptions has helped it

stay in pace with the industry. It has also adopted Omnichannel

across a few of its stores through its business partners

and this has certainly helped it improve its performance and

top line.

Maintaining the Lead

Ahad Retail Ventures is an equal and social employer. It is

complete with all necessary labour rules and regulations of

the government. Its employees are its assets and it treats them

with respect and dignity in order to enable them to achieve

their career ambitions. It also ensures that the employees

engage in regular mentoring and feedback sessions to

continually improve themselves and ensure that the customers

get the best-in-class service.

Years of experience has made Ifthikar a role-model

for the young ones who are looking to carve their

own niche in the retail space. To such youngsters, his

motivational message asks them to “Stay focused on

the profit. Focus on Sustainable growth. Stay

Bootstrapped. Contribute to the society.”

Projecting Future

Ahad Retail Ventures is currently at an exciting phase

in the growth story. It has evolved and repositioned

itself as a premium and luxury retailer in the market

over the years and the future looks bright and

beautiful for its esteemed clientele. It is growing and

actively evaluating opportunities that are aligned

with its business plans and its vision.

FEBRUARY 2019

25


Expediting Efcient, Intelligent and Affordable Technology

Founded in 2012, EffiaSoft

Private Limited is a Point Of

Sales (POS) and Billing

platform development company based

out of Hyderabad, India. The

company’s vision is to be omnichannel

at every billing point in order to enable

MSMEs to adopt technology faster by

reducing the fear and cost of

technology. The company works

together with leading payments,

hardware and retail distributors and

strategic business partners to bring

global networks and competencies to

provide solutions to the whole Micro-

Small-Medium business segment.

A Visionary Founder

Koushik Shee is the passionate

technocrat behind EffiaSoft. An M.S.

in Computer Science, he took to

computer programming at an early age

of 13, and now has over two decades

of coding experience. EffiaSoft is his

3rd startup after his two self-funded,

single-man start-ups received

moderate success but provided him

with a vast experience and exposure on

entrepreneurship. Before the

entrepreneur bug hit him, Koushik

served at Oracle managing enterprise

software architecture, algorithm, data

structure, design patterns, R&D and

project management. He had also

developed multiple Govt, NGO and

freelancing project since his college

days as part of his programming

hobby.

Best-in-Class Software Solutions

EffiaSoft has led global products and

solutions in billing, POS, inventory,

purchasing, CRM, accounting,

e-commerce and end point

aggregation. The company’s flagship

product called “Just Billing” platform

has been used to generate 5 Million of

tax invoices amounting INR 60

Billions of transaction value just within

less than two years and organically

without any marketing expenses. It has

enabled end-to-end solutions for

Retail, Food & Brewarages,

Distribution Supply Chain, Inflight

Retail Management and smarter SME

toolkit by financial institutes. The

solution is also being used by Fortune

500 companies from Retail, FMCG,

Oil & Gas, Airlines and Shipping

industries. EffiaSoft is amongst the first

to deliver GST based retail and

distribution billing software at the

national level. Just Billing is rated

highest 4.7 stars in the Google Play

Store in the POS segment by the

customers.

Other solutions by EffiaSoft include:

Retail Management Software --

Multi-Channel Retail Management

System & point of sale software.

• Restaurant Management Software --

Multi-Channel Restaurant

Management System & point of sale

software.

• Distribution Management Software --

Multi-location distribution

management & aggregation system.

• Inflight Retail Management Solution -

- Inflight retail sales, billing, inventory,

automation, reconciliation and

aggregation.

• Bank Smarter SME ToolKit --

Replacing card processing Electronic

Data Capture (EDC) devices for

merchants with smarter devices not

just to process payments but also to

manage the day-to-day business by

merchants.

Meeting Challenges and Greeting

Opportunities

Koushik considers MSME sector as the

most vibrant and dynamic, yet an

underrated sector. It promises high

growth potential for the Indian

economy but is lacking the required

support it needs to be more competitive

at National and International level. The

MSME share to the total Gross

Domestic Product (GDP) is about 37%,

provide employment to around 40%

workforce and they also contribute to

43% of exports based on the data

maintained by Ministry of Commerce.

Yet they face a number of problems

such as inadequate and timely banking

finance, skilled manpower, limited

capital and knowledge, non-availability

of suitable technology, ineffective

marketing strategy, constraints on

modernization & expansions, etc.

But with recent changes in government

policies to technological advancement,

MSME is looking forward to

leveraging the e-commerce trend,

26 FEBRUARY 2019


1T

he

Most

Recommended

RETAIL SOLUTION

Providers in 2019


• IBM “Global Entrepreneur”

• Google “Startup Launch”

Actions

speak

louder

than

words

Koushik Shee

Founder


adoption of technology, taking advantage of Government &

financial schemes, social media and mobile phones.

EffiaSoft is providing in its own capacity to embed the

social and cloud platform to open up vast opportunities for

revenue growth and operational efficiency.

Backing Technology

EffiaSoft boasts of a multi-tenancy, multi-level aggregation,

rapid business application development framework, multilayer

Service Oriented Architecture and simplified DIY

model. Its agility lets it adapt to the latest technology in less

time providing the following benefits to clients:

• Technology: Mobile, Cloud and Blockchain.

• Cost: SaaS multi-tenancy, negligible CAPEX, low OPEX,

• Functionality: End-to-End business solution and

compliances for MSME

• Platform: Solution for various business verticals and

business needs

• Pre-configured workflows for 45+ business verticals in

retail & food

The Company has been awarded and recognised for the

technology innovations by -

• Certificate of Recognition from Startup India, Govt of

India

• Red Herring Asia 2016 Winner

Life @EffiaSoft

Koushik says, “Monday blues, Friday meeting, and early

morning town hall... is NOT what Effians do at the office!

Our young energy doesn’t allow us to do boring stuff! We

follow a three-step cycle for making our workplace –

Freedom, Learn, Grow”. At EffiaSoft, people do not work

as individual employees, but as a team, as a group and as a

dedicated member determined to achieve the goals. The

company works with its products and services to bring

socio-economic changes for a better and efficient business

ecosystem.

Mission Future

EffiaSoft has been able to create the unique billing

technology platform and solution model, which will

continue to keep its competitors one step behind and ensure

success in the upcoming years. EffiaSoft is now present in

India, Singapore, Dubai, and the United States and in

Africa. Koushik says, “We are now focusing on expanding

into new markets such as Africa, South-east Asia and

Middle-east Asia. From the technology side to be the

number one also in the future, we are investing in

innovations using machine learning, artificial intelligence

and big data.”

FEBRUARY 2019

27


India r e t a i l

revolution

Relevance of brick-mortar stores in Industry 4.0

The 4th Industrial revolution (Industry 4.0) is the age of artificial intelligence (AI), robotics, automation,

and biotechnology. The idea is to use machine learning algorithms to train machines or computers, to

mimic human learning in certain tasks. In some cases, even more effectively than a human, creating

machines with context-specific intelligence. Industry 4.0 is built on the foundation of the previous information

and digital age which has generated large scale datasets. The ultimate goal of AI is to analyze this data, to create

intelligent machines with a certain level of perception, cognition and intuition to mimic human-like functioning

in some jobs. We can derive actionable insights that can significantly improve the business, reduce inefficiency,

and uncover hidden patterns, personalized solution. Some examples of this perception intelligent machine

include voice recognition tools like Alexa, and Siri and facial recognition tool in iPhone X series phones.

Examples of cognition intelligent machines include Google’s partnership with US DOD to make smarter drones

for surveillance and defence, Tesla’s foray into autonomous vehicles, IBM Watson and Lantern Pharma are

leveraging AI technology for mapping right cancer drugs to the right cancer patients using a genetic signature

with a very high predictive accuracy. One such example for the intuitive machines is India based Intuition

Systems’ POS. Intuition is an award-winning POS and business management technology group in India with a

core foundation of data, AI, robotics, software, hardware technologies. Intuition was founded in 2012 when Asai

brothers couldn’t find a modern easy to use affordable POS system for their previous restaurant businesses. The

complexity, data, security aspects of the business naturally took Intuition towards integrating machine learning,

automation and intuitive user experience in their POS software and hardware.

Data-Driven Retail Industry 4.0

As Industry 4.0 unfolds, the retail sector will have a tremendous impact. Every part of shopper journey is

digitized and has evolved into customer-centric. Some of the advantages of retail Industry 4.0 include better

digital payments, instant loan approvals for customers and retailers, RFIDs, connected stores, actionable insights

driven by data and deep learning, biometric security, interactive interface, seamless workflow, automation and

integration, smart warehouses, personalized customer experience (PCE). Amazon and Alibaba are leading this

retail revolution globally in e-commerce. For example, the new Amazon GO is an example of cashier less

connected stores leveraging AI, computer vision and RFIDs. Amazon Go is generating volumes of big data

tracking every customer movement as soon as the customer enters the store translating that into actionable

28 FEBRUARY 2019


CXO Standpoint

ABOUT THE

AUTHOR

Anand Asaithambi is a mechanical engineer and serial entrepreneur with

specialization in n-tech and food-tech. He co-founded two innovative

companies including Intuition Systems. He is skilled in software app

development, robotics, design, UI/UX, product management and marketing. He

led Intuition systems from a start-up to a leading POS, billing and business

management platform company in India.

insights, better ROI, new services, products, personalizable and easy solution. Chinese e-commerce giant

Alibaba brought almost all of brick and mortar stores in China to the internet, a massive social revolution in

itself connecting Chinese retail, small and medium businesses domestically and internationally in one platform.

Data from 2010 shows that all major brick and mortar retailers including Target, JC Penny lost value while

Amazon gained 1910% during this period by embracing and implementing new emerging technologies faster

than anyone.

How is retail India embracing digital transformation in Industry 4.0?

Digital India and Make in India initiatives heralded a new era in India’s retail revolution 4.0. The central theme

of retail 4.0 is empowered retailers and personalizing customer experience (PCE). Many startups are leading

the way in the digital transformation of the retail sector including Flipkart, PayTM, Razorpay etc. In terms of

POS and payment industry, Intuition’s IVEPOS is leading the way with the core objective of empowered

entrepreneurs of small and medium businesses and personalized customer experience. Using Intuition’s

FEBRUARY 2019

29


IVEPOS, now brick and Mortar retail stores can seamlessly manage Omni channels, derive actionable insights,

manage and automate supply chain, track stocks and automated inventory management, personalized customer

experience (PCE) and marketing, data-driven In-store experiment. IVEPOS is also emerging as a payment, data and

business aggregator connecting with third-party services consolidating all in one connected POS system. These

features provide better in-store experience for customers, improved operational efficiency, and increased profits for

retailers. In addition to these new features, some of the other key features of this app include ease of billing,

payments acceptance including payment wallets, KOT(Kitchen Order Taking), KDS(Kitchen Display System), user

management, product management, AI-Analytics, Real-Time cloud-based reporting, accounting and GST

compliance & tax management, CRM.

Obstacles against retailers in Industry 4.0:

Previously, this enriched data-driven technology suite leveraging AI and automation was not available for brick and

mortar retailers and they had to rely on bulky, expensive legacy solutions resulting in inefficient processes and huge

losses. Another recent obstacle for this new age retail transformation is flooding of the market by unintelligent

mobile and digital POS devices, mass made in China and sold as an alternative to conventional legacy systems.

Although cheaper, they are basic devices that do not offer any actionable insights, prone to crashes, security

breaches, not easily serviceable, basic functionality without embracing emerging technologies of Industry 4.0 thus

creating more problems and expenses long term, not a real solution. Retailers are not willing to invest in new

technology and skills thus losing out to competition that invests in Industry 4.0 digital technologies. Data shows

30% of small businesses fail within 2 years of formation (https://www.investopedia.com/slide-show/top-6-reasonsnew-businesses-fail/).

Retail Industry 4.0 and digital transformation is here in India with a merchant and customer-centric goal by

leveraging data and emerging technologies. Retailers both small and big should embrace this change to survive and

be successful in this new age.

30 FEBRUARY 2019


FDI

the

&

SECTOR

he Retail Sector is one of the biggest contributors to India’s GDP. It also has a high rate of employment. A

Tretail store is the final frontier of the manufacturing to consumer chain. It sells products to the customers for

final consumption. Derived from a French word, it means “to cut again”. Simply put a retailer cuts off small

portions of a big production for sale and consumption by the customer. The shop at the corner, a multi-brand store or a

single brand store is all retail shops. With the internet taking over the world online retail stores are now popular too.

The Current Structure

The Indian Retail Sector is mostly unorganized with small, family shops making almost ninety to ninety-five per cent

of the sectors. The organized sector counts for only five to ten per cent. Moreover, all the retail stores are currently

indigenous or have Indian nationals as their owner and proprietor. Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in this sector has

long been a matter of debate. FDI is understood as an investment made by a company in one country into a company

based in another. The investing company can either set up a company on its own or establish one in collaboration with a

native country.

FDI in Indian Retail

Retailing can be multi-brand or single-brand. A store or showroom that gives consumers many options under one roof

is a multi-brand retail. An exclusive store or a store that houses products pertaining to a single brand is a single-brand

store. Currently, the Indian Government has allowed up to 51% FDI in multi-brand retail and up to 100% FDI in singlebrand

retail after years of contemplating on the possibilities and disadvantages. These investments are subject to

permissions from the Government Authorities. The demand for FDI was long being pushed by the major players

wanting to encash the phenomenon of globalization. But the government had its own share of apprehensions. Slowly it

did open up the avenues with certain terms and conditions.

The Yay and

e Nay Sayers

FDI in Indian Retail has always been an arguable issue. Those in favour deem it as a powerful catalyst which can make

the retail sector organized and competitive in a healthy way. Opening up for foreign companies will bring growth to the

32 FEBRUARY 2019


India Rising

economy by funding foreign currency in

the Indian market. The new infrastructure

requirement will call for more

construction and help the real estate

market. The financial needs will be met

by the banks thus boosting the banking

sector. Being an organized market needs

people who can help it maintain the

quorum thus facilitating and opening up

more job opportunities. Big retailers

generally get in touch directly with the

producers or the farmers removing the

middlemen. This brings greater benefits to

the farmers and better price for their

produce. It will also improve the supply

chain management system and create a

pool of skilled manpower. The

consumers are to get benefit due to

more options and better pricing.

Those against FDI are

worried about the

displacement, and job

loss of thousands of

small and mediumsized

retail shop owners.

They also fear the reverse effect

or draining out of Indian revenue to

foreign countries, thus weakening the

Indian economy and growth. Another

concern is that the initial prices may be lowered

to lure in the customers and once the companies

achieve a monopoly, they can hike the rates as per their

wish. Similarly, for farmers, too much dependency on the

companies may lead to lower prices in the longer run.

Changing Times

With changes in the global market, growth in purchasing

power of Indian and their demand for quality products, the rise

of organized retailing is imminent. The market is growing and

is at peace with the unorganized section as shown by Indian

Retail Brands which have been in operation for some time.

Online retail is another segment that is rising by leaps and

bounds. FDI can surely be given a chance to bring world-class

products to Indian customers. They can also provide a great

platform for the local produce. The slow and steady pace of

opening the market can give a fair idea of how things are set to

play in the market. With proper planning, transparent processes,

correct channelling of information FDI can bring about the

required and positive changes required in the Indian Retail

Market and the economy as a whole. - Sneha Sinha

FEBRUARY 2019

33


RanceLab® FusionERP

Simplifying Retail Business Practices

The Retail Industry in India

accounts for more than ten per

cent of the GDP. It has a place

for small neighbourhood shops, big

and international players as well as

retail chains. With growing purchasing

power and exposure of consumers to

goods in both national and

international market, the industry is

growing even more. To meet growing

demands, and digitization, retail stores

have to be more organised and tuned to

the customer’s choices and

preferences.

Simplifying Retail

Founded in the year 1996, RanceLab

has evolved as a one-stop-shop for

Retail Software and Point-of-Sales

(POS) hardware products for the retail

industry. It offers networking services

and customized software and reached

its 100th installation mark with a team

of just six members in four years of

hardship and learning.

The Exponent and the Industry

The company is a handiwork of Navin

Ladha, Founder and CEO, and a food

connoisseur by passion. He has over

fifteen years of experience in various

IT related products, services and

solutions, specializing in Retail and

F&B businesses. His efforts in

delivering IT solutions have reaped

consistent growth in sales and profits

of over five hundred retail stores,

restaurants and food courts.

Navin and RanceLab have kept up with

India’s retail industry that has been

growing steadily over the years. The

retail industry has witnessed many

regime changes from malls to multistorey

shopping centres that offer

shopping, entertainment and meals

throughout the day under one roof.

Retail business is showing an

accelerated growth, with retail growth

not only to cities and metro but also in

Tier-II and Tier-III cities. The

purchasing power of consumers is

growing in categories such as clothing,

cosmetics, shoes, watches, beverages,

food and jewellery.

The opportunity is also marked by

challenges like consumers choosing

multi-channel shopping experiences,

and expecting a perfect experience.

Retailers, on their part, need an

extraordinary experience to keep their

customers and a silent marketing

infrastructure makes receiving

messages expensive and difficult to

manage. There are many technologies

to increase marketing and sales, but

they do not seem to work together.

Overall, RanceLab addresses these

challenges and helps bring growth to

retail businesses.

Serving the Industry with

Distinguished Products

RanceLab has three distinct products –

FusionRetail (its flagship product),

FusionResto and FusionPMS which

are ready to use software for the retail,

restaurant and hotel business

respectively. Apart from these, it also

has FusionERP which is an all-in-one

integrated ERP for Retail and

Hospitality businesses and FusionMobi

- a suite of Mobile Apps for Tab

Ordering, Mobile reports, Customer

Feedback and Kitchen/Service Display

System. Its expertise also lies in

working with hardware products

consisting of the latest range of

barcode and POS products. Marking its

presence in over 40 countries with

35000+ installations, the company

today has offices in India, UAE and

Africa.

As a company, it always ensures that

the products are not just market or

industry ready but also future ready,

meaning it not just looks into

customer’s current requirements but

also supports its growth down the line.

It constantly works towards improving

its products by inculcating the latest

trends and business practices.

Its journey has been marked by several

appreciations for its work, which keep

the momentum going at RanceLab.

Navin says “It motivates us and keeps

us going forward.” It received the

‘Best Value Software’ by COMPASS

and also ‘Innovative Software

Developer Company’. It was also

34 FEBRUARY 2019


1T

he

Most

Recommended

RETAIL SOLUTION

Providers in 2019

“ By using IT solutions

at its best, our

mission is to be a

global retail

solution provider

Navin Ladha

Founder & CEO


recognised as the ‘Best ISV - Retail Solution (East) 2018’ at

ITPV Partner Leadership Summit, “Emerging Company

from East” by NASSCOM in 2012 and “Innovation on

Display” by Khadhya Khurak.

Being a Holistic Company

With so much happening in the industry, the workforce

commitment has increased. The Corporate Social

Responsibility (CSR) has become the most important

outlook for any organization where it seems more attractive

to employees but all the organization looks for is the

workforce who thinks and has the potential to make an

impact. The best thing that the employees at RanceLab are

motivated for is the creative ways of working and bringing

out practical as well as logical ideas. The organization

supports and gives the workforce the space for their

creative ways and they are never constricted from their

innovative working ways. This brings up better employee

engagement relations and also brings a feel-good nature of

the organization’s CSR involvement.

Inspiring the Young Guns

“Many a time I have found that people lack focus. The

enthusiasm and passion that they start their venture with,

seem to fade away as it progresses, they succumb to the

challenges that the industry and the market throw at them.”

He shares the mantra as “The mantra is to believe in

yourself, your product and your company and to not give up

on your vision that you started with.”

Chalking out the Future

RanceLab’s future lies in recognizing what the customer is

going to demand and how retailers plan to meet that

demand. Navin muses, “What the organization looks for is

the main source of consumers, what they focus on and what

they need. As we believe that the future industry will be

more automated, the technological inclusion will have

Block-Chain, Artificial Intelligence, Natural Language

Processing and more.”

RanceLab is and will continue to be the preeminent

provider of world-class technology to its customers.

Exploiting new technology to bring more simplicity and

ease to the frequent and habitual business processes is what

it believes in. The company is all set to provide assistance

and bring growth to the retail industry over the coming

times as a completely automated solution.

For any startup or the aspiring entrepreneurs, the key to

success is to keep moving forward consistently. Navin adds,

FEBRUARY 2019

35


Supply Chain

e Magic Wand

ecades before we all believed that ‘Quality comes with high Cost’; then the Japanese showed us that ‘Doing it

Dright the first time’ increases the profitability. TPS (Toyota Production System) showed us how to work leaner,

produce quality products at less cost as well as to provide world class customer experience. Seeing the success

of TPS, every organization started to reference TPS and build their own lean production systems. Clearly, those days the

lean production systems created the much-needed competitive edge for businesses. The benchmarks are broken quite

often, and the bar was kept rising every now and then. Decades passed by and now almost every big organization has

mastered the art of lean manufacturing. Thereby, slowly lean manufacturing has lost the status of secret recipe and the

competitive edge is lost. The gap is filled by none other than the Supply Chain Management. Supply Chain is one of

the key discussion points in every board room and a lion’s share of the Budget is getting allocated to build the supply

chain for the future.

As of today, we can loudly & confidently say ‘The Organization with the most successful Supply Chain is the Winner’.

Evaluating a Supply Chain

The Supply Chain has 3 main functions within – Sourcing, Manufacturing and Distribution. The success of Supply

Chain is measured by –

1. Reaction time – Supply Chain is packed with uncertainties, no matter how well you plan. The successful Supply

Chain reacts and re-aligns almost real time to ensure the performance is seamless.

2. Efficiency – Supply Chain has numerous sets of activities bundled together in a sequence. With multiple if and then,

the flow is very complex. The successful Supply Chain is efficient by having full control on each step within the

process.

3. Cost – Sometimes we may feel cost is always a sub set of the above two. Partially it is true; by being efficient we save

cost. But the point here, the successful Supply Chain has the most updated method of performing the processes and

thereby cost efficient.

Starting from Supply Chain Basics till the new trends like IoT and Industry 4.0, all are well aligned to this. For example,

in a Nutshell the IoT Supply Chain adds value by aiding in real time decision making which is aligned with the reaction

time.

Building a Supply Chain Brick by Brick

Though it sounds so simple, building a Supply Chain from scratch is not a cake walk. It needs a lot of careful

considerations, quantitative analysis and design. One wrong assumption in a Supply Chain can back fire very badly. Let

me quickly tell you two blunders in Supply Chain Design:

1. The biggest blunder ever an organization could do is taking decisions here by experience. Each Supply Chain

decision must be backed up well before you implement – that’s why Supply Chain Design extensively uses

Simulation and Modelling tools.

2. The other blunder is blindly implementing a Supply Chain Solution which worked well at another organization. The

36 FEBRUARY 2019


About the Author

Alvis Lazarus is Chief

Executive Officer at Hesol

Consulting, an Award

Winning Supply Chain &

Management Consulting

firm from India. Senior

Leader in Supply Chain &

Logistics with almost two

decades of SCM hands-on

experience in devising

Country Level and Global

Supply chain strategies,

Solutions design and spear

heading Supply chain

Implementation across 10+

Countries. He holds the

distinction of driving Supply

Chain Solution Design &

Implementation across

various industries such as

Automotive, FMCG,

Pharma, Health Care, F&B,

Agriculture and E-

Commerce. Global

Exposure on handling

Operations and leading

Supply chain, Warehousing

& Logistics Projects across

EMEA, APAC & AMERICAS

Regions.

FEBRUARY 2019

37


ssumption is here is it worked well for my competitor and it will work for me as well. It is terribly wrong. Supply

aChain Design and Solutions are developed for an organization and hardly we can replicate it from external source.

This applies for any Supply Chain Design, ERP, Tech Product, Automation, IoT, Processes etc.

The crucial take-away is to stay away from these blunders and build the Supply Chain for your organization to cater to the

demand and expectations of your customers.

Though the detailed explanation of Supply Chain design takes pages, I have consolidated all the nuances in setting up of a

supply chain from scratch into 4 Main steps:

1. Network Modelling

2. Facility Design

3. Process Design

4. Process Controls

Network Modelling

This applies to a new supply chain set up or for an organization which is expanding or entering a new category of business.

Network model is a key exercise which is the base for all the supply chain implementations in an organization. Supply

Chain Network Model takes in the input of demand, supply, service fill, KANO Model (customer needs) and other

parameters to chalk out the Supply Chain Map for the Organization. A Supply Chain Map will have all the detailed ways to

service your customers at the optimum cost such that the business is yielding the targeted profit margins.

Facility Design

Facility Design includes the set up of Manufacturing Hubs, Warehouses, Transit Hubs and all other infra needed as per the

Network Model. Facility Design starts with Space Calculation and delivers Space Utilization to the brim, efficient Product

Flow and Material Handling. Each square foot that is leased is arrived at scientifically and every square foot leased is

designed to the detail on the activities to be done.

Process Design

Unless each step in Supply chain is documented well and presented at POU it is very difficult to train the resources and

standardize the output. Process Design uses the right tools like FDM, VSM or PROCESS FLOW DIAGRAMs to document

the processes. The most efficient form of Process Design is standard work which document the steps, timings, equipment,

method and other useful information.

Process Controls

I still remember what my Quality Guru said – “You can’t control What you don’t Measure”. Process Controls are set at each

crucial node within the Supply Chain. They track performance and report on the same. Basis the report, all the

underperforming areas are acted upon by performing a root cause analysis and setting up an action plan to correct them as

well as prevent the issue from reoccurring.

These 4 Steps applies for a new design as well as existing supply chain improvement projects. In a New design all the 4

Steps are followed to build a Supply Chain and in an existing Supply Chain improvement project, these 4 Steps are

followed to arrive at the gaps and fix them.

Effective Implementation of Supply Chain through these 4 crucial steps will ensure a happy smile on your customers. This

will also give the organizations the much-needed competitive edge which your competitors can’t copy or follow in a short

period of time.

With that I conclude that ‘Supply Chain is the Magic Wand in the current business world ’.

38 FEBRUARY 2019


Empowering Small Businesses with Technology

Shopping or Retail Therapy as

some would like to call it is very

dynamic and trends change with

the customer, country, economic

conditions, technology and more. But

there’s no denying that the Retail

industry is indispensable and a big

contributor to a country’s growth. The

last few years have seen Indian retail

space change significantly with

affordable internet, smartphones and

arrival of online shopping. While the

bigger market players have embraced

the changes, the smaller peers are yet

to change and adapt.

Fixing Small Business’ Big Problem

The technological empowered change

in consumer buying behaviour has left

the micro, small and local businesses

in a fix as they are finding it difficult to

compete with big retailers and are

losing footfall and a repeat business.

Lomoso Solutions Pvt Ltd,

Ahmedabad, is a technology startup

empowering these businesses with

affordable and AI enabled technology

for customer engagement. The local

businesses have a huge market share

but are lagging due to poor customer

engagement outside their business

premises. Lomoso came-up with an

affordable technology solution

Walkins –an AI based, easy to use,

low cost, integrated, data analytics

based customer engagement platform

available on mobile and web.

Lomoso’s Walkins is a brainchild of

Gaurav Sutaria and Taral Shah,

Co-founders and childhood friends

sharing enthusiasm, risk-taking

capacity and passion to help society

and complimenting each other’s

capabilities. Gaurav’s stronghold is

sales and marketing and Taral chips-in

with his expertise in cloud computing

and is an AWS certified system

architect.

Of Hits and Misses

The story of Walkins starts with the

problem of sales in the local business.

The first solution introduced was

OneHop but its market fitment or

acceptance was not as per mark and

was scrapped. Team Lomoso then

leaned down on operations, took no

salaries for months and with high

resilience and conviction, kept

building, motivating everyone,

aligning everyone with company’s goal

and vision, continuously staying in

touch with customers, taking feedback

and making a product and business

roadmap more specific, measurable,

and attainable.

The resultant was Walkins, a powerful

technology platform which provides

various customer engagement tools to

small businesses, simplifies all the

tools and techniques using integrated

technology and helps them connect to

their store walk-ins. It also collects

their store’s data, digitizes and

organizes them and stores it on a

centralized location for reuse. The

beauty is the ePage, a dynamic micro

website with built in SEO and browserbased

notification and a customized

loyalty program, which helps

businesses to reward their customers

on each trade and encourage them for

the repeat visit to their store at the right

moment.

The Industrial Temperament

There is a big opportunity in India for

Retail solutions as shown by statistics

which says there are thirty small and

micro businesses and eleven retailers

amongst thousand citizens. Being

meticulous, Lomoso surveyed the

market to find out the current

challenges and how Walkins can solve

them. They found that small businesses

do not gather store visitor’s

information; have digitized customer

data; use digital medium; adapt to

technology and use business insight.

To solve these issues, the Walkins

platform provides - easy to use, and

affordable solution; collection,

digitization, organization and storage

of store visitor’s info, at a centralized

location; meaningful communication

on customer’s preferred medium;

Business intelligence, providing insight

into business to make future decisions.

Embracing Technology and

Recognition

The company believes in having a

hyper-scalable technology architecture

which is able to meet the changing

requirements and allows plug and play

40 FEBRUARY 2019


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he

Most

Recommended

RETAIL SOLUTION

Providers in 2019


Execution is the

most important

mantra of success

Gaurav Sutaria & Taral Shah

Co-founders


of new features or services with a minimum effort across

the entire customer base. Walkins was created to provide

this convenience to stores. Its focus is on Business Insights,

software integration and use of emerging technology such

as BOT, Artificial Intelligent and Machine learning. The

company has also developed an IP named RoamingSE, for

internal use, created to automate Feet-on-Street process. It

captures all information about sales team from store visit to

follow-ups, meetings, payment, collection and lead

tracking. It believes in automation and has automated all its

process whether it is for monitoring, code management or

deployment, testing, helping it to save lots of efforts and

avoid any human errors.

The company won the Grand Challenge in Vibrant Gujarat

Summit. It has also been recognized as a start-up by the

Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion under

“Start-up India” and as an innovator by “Start-up Gujarat”.

Besides, a prestigious “Trend Setter” certificate by Gujarat

Innovation Society truly defines its success voyage.

Working as a Family

Gaurav and Taral treat employees as colleagues and an

integral part of the start-up, building a team of passionate

and talented dreamers making sure that the team stick

together as a family and support each other during difficult

challenges. Everyone is aware of his or her duties and

works in line with the company’s goal. They sit with

individuals and regularly provide them with feedback on the

area of improvement, discuss their growth and recognize

and reward great performances and successes. Various

events are organized for the whole team and it is made sure

that work-life balance is maintained and that people are

working happily.

Walking Towards Future

Being a startup company and into the entrepreneurial shoes

themselves, Gaurav and Taral advise budding ones to take

some risk, develop a business plan and take a plunge with

full passion. “Just remember three words adaptation,

resilience and conviction”, they added.

Lomoso and Walkins journey to provide ammunition to

small businesses in customer engagement and empower

them with the latest and greatest technologies to fight

against the common issues continues. As a step towards the

future, it has started with the affordable SaaS model for

quick and better adaptation. Its vision is to not only build a

product for its customers but also for the end consumers

and provide them with the better deal at right time on a

right medium and convert it into commerce over

conversation.

trackwalkins.com

FEBRUARY 2019

41


Xtreme Media

Digitizing Retail Advertisement

When someone mentions

Times Square, the first

image that pops in one’s

mind is a cross section bejeweled with

billboards and advertisements. The

flashier they are the better and not to

forget that most of them are digitally

synced with today’s time. Digital

displays might be LCDs, LEDs or

other technologies and display digital

images, mostly advertisements and

information. These are placed at high

vantage points at public places and

other outdoor locations. Digital

signages, as they are popularly called,

is a very visual and effective method

of displaying text, image or video or

all combined.

Promising this razzmatazz of

advertising to the Indian Market is

Xtreme Media Pvt. Ltd., a digital

display solutions company, started in

the year 2009 with the mission of

creating ‘WOW Factor For Brands’. It

is now a leading brand with more than

four-hundred LED displays and is

powering more than twenty-thousand

digital signages across India. It is an

innovator and a front runner with

many innovative projects under its

belt and a trusted brand.

Total Digital Advertising Solutions

Xtreme Media is a total solutions

brand offering hardware, software,

content and services for Digital Out

Of Home (DOOH). It offers varied

solutions under its two flagship

product lines – LED Displays and

Digital Signages. Its products are

custom made to suit the requirement

of industries like retail, smart cities,

corporates, BFSI, advertising,

transportation etc. It provides Indoor

& Outdoor LED video walls with

eleven product series and twelve

different software products. All these

solutions are designed and integrated

as per the particular industry needs. It

designs its own ancillary hardware &

services such as media players for

digital signage and content services

for LED video walls.

From Inspiration to Inception

Sanket Rambhia, Founder and

Director, is a techie turned

entrepreneur. He completed his

Masters in Computer Science from

Drexel University. While in the US,

working for Blackrock for 4 years, he

was inspired by the Times Square to

incept a company which can build a

remarkable digital display landscape.

So he returned to his roots in India to

establish a Digital Display Solutions

company - Xtreme Media. A firstgeneration

entrepreneur; his vision

and passion not only turned this small

project into a company of over a

hundred professionals but also made

Xtreme Media the most preferred

brand in the Indian market.

Retail Advertising: Going Digital

According to Sanket, “Retail is one of

the most lucrative sectors for any

company in the digital display space

and we are no exception.” Many of

Xtreme’s new product launches are

specific to retail which include

transparent LED video wall, an

excellent storefront display. Its crowd

analytics software uses the facial

recognition technology to provide

insights on customers and triggers the

right ad on the digital display.

Interactive Wayfinding Solution by

Xtreme is an instant hit amongst the

malls which helps visitors to navigate

easily and find desired stores. Indian

retail scenario has a lot to catch up to

when compared with the international

market which is quite mature. He

continues, “Retailers need to attract

and engage users to sustain; our

solution is smart, dynamic and eyecatchy

a perfect combination for

retail.” The challenges that are still

prevalent are ‘the expenditure’ and

‘the change in the mindset’ as many

retailers are yet to get comfortable

with their POP and window displays

going digital. Digital displays are a

one-time investment which offers

higher ROI in the longer run with

either no or minimal recurring cost,

which retailers are now accepting

slowly and gradually.

42 FEBRUARY 2019


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he

Most

Recommended

RETAIL SOLUTION

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“ With technologies like

facial recognition,

AR and beacon,

retail will be soon

transformed into

the digitally empowered

world.

Sanket Rambhia

Founder & Director


Ideas Need Efforts

Xtreme Media embraces new technologies for software

with open arms to create new products. It is working on

beacon based indoor navigation system, facial

recognition, machine learning and advanced analytics.

For large format LED video walls, it is bringing the beauty

of various form factors and concepts which can enthrall

the viewers. Its endeavours have won it 1st runner up title

for “CNBC Awaaz Masterpereneur India 2014”, and it

was listed as” Top 50 innovative companies” and ” Top

100 SME’S” by leading media publications.

WOW at Work

Xtreme Media is a young organization and the similar is

reflected in its work culture, where innovation is always

encouraged It believes that “happy employees are the key

to happy customers”, it regularly organizes gaming

session, sports outings and picnics. Xtreme Media is also

associated with few NGO’s through which it arranges

blood donation camps, donations etc. Sanket adds, “We

encourage our employees to strike a balance between

professional life and health, we have yoga and meditation

sessions regularly which keeps the stress level low and

happiness levels high.”

Every startup begins with an idea and transforming that

idea into a successful company depends on its leadership

and team. Sanket advises that having a strong core team is

a must. Every entrepreneur must wear many hats when

they begin, which includes grass root level operations too.

He adds,” What makes a startup stand out is their ability

to change and adapt quickly which becomes a base for

innovation, so don’t hesitate to experiment which is true

for a technology-driven industry like us.”

Pushing Limits to Reach New Heights

For Xtreme Media, retail has been the second most

contributing sector to its revenues, with a majority of the

most innovative projects coming from this sector. It is

expanding its local presence to reach maximum cities

directly rather than through partners. It has many new

products in the pipeline which can contribute positively to

digital display landscape and encourage more and more

brands to accept digital displays as their mainstream

medium to communicate and promote their brand. So the

New Year will see Xtreme Media bringing a new ‘WOW

Factor for several Brands’.

FEBRUARY 2019

43

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