TheNFAPost Podcast

16 out of 36 States and UTs witnessing business activity levels higher than pre-Covid times; 

Karnataka, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Tamilnadu & Delhi are trending at 90-95% of their pre-Covid activity levels; Businesses in tier 2 and tier 3 cities witnessing faster recovery than tier 1 cities. 

• OkCredit witnessed double-digit recovery in business from medical and kirana stores in September 2020.

• More than 5.5 million small business owners across 2800 cities and nearby rural areas today deal in over 100 types of businesses using OkCredit to track their account receivables and payables.

Bengaluru, NFAPost: Business activity among the micro, small and medium enterprise sector which are regarded as the backbone of the Indian economy is fast reaching near normal levels and they are rapidly adopting digital business tools to drive efficiency and growth, reveals data gathered by OkCredit, the pioneers in digital bookkeeping apps which are fast becoming a new rage among hereto unorganised retailers and traders in India. 

According to data gathered by OkCredit, the behaviour of the users, the micro-retail players, are increasingly taking up digital bookkeeping solutions, as it makes their book-keeping task simpler, digitized and secure and there is stronger demand coming from small towns and hinterlands. 

In the unlock phase of Covid pandemic, OkCredit has witnessed strong recovery in demand for its app from tier 3 cities followed by tier 2 and tier 1 cities. OkCredit’s business from tier 3 cities witnessed 33% growth in the period of February – September 2020 while Tier 2 and Tier 1 citiesregistered 30% and 28% growth respectively during the sametime. This is after a dip of 26%, 31% and 38% in business from tier 3, tier 2 and tier 1 cities respectively in April this year. 

Digital book-keeping

On a pan-India basis, data among the digital bookkeeping users point to a sharp recovery with smaller businesses in tier 3 and tier 2 towns growing faster than tier 1 cities. Sixteen of thirty-six states and union territories have recovered to business activity levels that are higher than pre-Covid times. Bihar, Haryana, Assam, Rajasthan, and Himachal are the states where business activity is 10+% higher.

Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattishgarh, Odisha, Jharkhand, Uttarakhand, and Punjab are the others that are already exhibiting higher business activity. Out of the 19 states that are yet to recover, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Tamilnadu & Delhi are trending at 90–95% of their pre-Covid activity levels.   

At a business category level, different magnitude and pace of recovery was observed by OkCredit since February 2020. The company witnessed double-digit growth in business from medical and kirana stores at 21% and 15% respectively in September 2020.

Retail tracking

This was after a dip of 12% in business from medical stores and 22% from kirana stores in April this year. Both mobile recharge and electronics category registered modest growth of 5% in September 2020 after a dip in April this year. 

According to OkCredit Co-founder and CEO Harsh Pokharna the best part for the company today is that it is able to get a pulse of the business situation among the trader segment which have traditionally been off the radar for all other retail tracking studies, as they largely belong to the unorganised cash economy segment of the country.

“It is interesting to note that amid the Covid pandemic, remote towns are emerging as the torchbearers for the digitisation of the MSME segment. And they are showing exciting activity and growth as the economy pushes hard for a V-curve recovery,” said kCredit Co-founder and CEO Harsh Pokharna.

OkCredit Co-founder and CEO Harsh Pokharna also added that the company has solid proof coming from remote regions of the country where OkCredit app is being adopted like never before and is recording strong growth in transactions. 

Pandemic led slowdown

“These trends point to a sharp recovery from pandemic induced slowdown among businesses in tier 2 and tier 3 cities as compared to the tier 1 cities,” added kCredit Co-founder and CEO Harsh Pokharna.

What has been helping OkCredit in its growth journey is its differentiated strategy which has also allowed the pioneer to maintain a lead over its follower competitors. Unlike its competitors, who are burning investors cash on marketing spends to primarily acquire downloads, OkCredit has focused on building a robust, feature rich product that improves the transparency in business transactions and facilitates a higher degree of trust among the participating individuals.

This has helped, OkCredit to not only deliver better customer retention but also generate positive word of mouth through merchants who have found the platform to be simpler and easy to use leading to a strong referral triggered growth pattern. As a result of best-in-class user experience, merchants/retailers today see OkCredit as an integral part of their business. This is further validated by the fact that post-Covid recovery of OkCredit usage has mostly been organic. 

Positive word of mouth by migrant population who have experienced digital tools is driving the adoption of digital bookkeeping tools among small businesses in remote towns of India. This bodes well for India’s digitally connected future and presents a big opportunity to technology service providers to further capitalize on the digital bookkeeping opportunity presented by the MSME segment.

Productive MSMEs

MSMEs are essential to the economy because of their huge commitment to GDP and business, and a solid and productive MSME base which can extend territorially and globally will support broader national economic stability and growth. 

Empowering micro and small businesses are crucial for the next stage of social and economic growth. Given the current scenario due to Covid-19, more and more consumers are looking online, it provides the potential for MSMEs to transform and build on the digitisation of their businesses. This presents a strong market opportunity for pioneers like OkCredit to continue its consistent and sticky growth journey. 

OkCredit – ‘Digital India ka Digital Bahi Khata’, PSI PHI Global Solutions Private Limited’s first launched product, makes the book-keeping task simpler, digitized and secure for small businesses. With a mission to help small businesses grow with simple software products, and digitally empower them, OkCredit was launched in 2017 by three IIT KanpurAlumni; Harsh Pokharna, Gaurav Kumar and Aditya Prasad.

The fintech startup OkCredit has given a complete digital makeover to the traditional register book – ‘Bahi/Udhar Khata’ and made the daily bookkeeping task simpler and effective for millions of small businesses.

Credit transaction

The app not just helps small businesses to keep track of credit transactions – both payments and receivables, it sends timely reminders, and also makes it very easier for them to collect and settle balance amounts quickly and accurately, on a click – with an integrated reminder feature via WhatsApp and SMS. 

With a vision to accelerate the need for digital transformation for small businesses in India, OkCredit app is completely free to access and ensures 100% safety, data security and accuracy.

With only one user in 2017, this dream project of the three like-minded friends has changed lives for millions of users as of today. The app has already more than 20 Mn downloads and can be accessed in more than 10 Indian languages. Currently, it has over 5 million active monthly users which include over 100 types of businesses like Kirana store owners, mobile recharge shops, medical stores, apparels amongst others across PAN India. The venture has raised $83 million from investors to date including from Lightspeed Venture Partners, Tiger Global, and Y Combinator.

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