By 2020, Sulekha’s surveys show that more than 60% of all MSMEs will be using such digital solutions to grow local businesses. Read on...
Similar to the explosive growth of e-commerce seen earlier this decade, local services related to home services, education services and business services are getting digitized at a growth rate of more than 50% per annum.
Nearly 8 million consumers use the internet each month to discover and transact with top service providers’ in-home services (fixing home appliances, cleaning services, pest control, packers and movers etc.), education services (coaching & tuitions, computer training, distance education, overseas education etc.) and business services (security services, office equipment, legal services, financial services etc.).
In conversation with Franchise India, Satya Prabhakar, Founder & CEO, Sulekha.com, one of the leading digital platforms, which provides end-to-end local service need fulfillment, shares their expansion plans and how they have has successfully tapped the tier-II and tier-III cities in India.
How digitalization has affected the growth of the business?
“Sulekha is experiencing more than 80% annual growth in Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities due to the explosive growth of mobile internet penetration in these markets, combined with an increased awareness of digital benefits for consumers.
“Sulekha is enjoying significant growth of both consumers and service providers in Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities due to the number of needs that the platform is able to match & fulfill. For example, more than 3,000 businesses have joined Sulekha in Lucknow and are growing their business organically – though we have just 2 employees serving that city.
“Most consumers and service providers discover Sulekha through other digital platforms like Google and Facebook. The company is also planning to invest significantly in a range of offline advertising to support its growth in the coming months. Sulekha collects 5 million data-points every day since it gets more than 1 million consumers visiting the platform each day, and its 65,000+ paid to service providers login several times a day to check their leads, call consumers, update their profiles, etc.
Sulekha uses a range of big data technologies supported by Amazon, Google and other platforms to get insights and drive superior consumer & service provider experience. It is one of the largest users of the Microsoft Azure platform and has been recognized by Microsoft cloud service team as one of the most innovative technology users.
Future Expansion Plans
Satya shares the future expansion plans of Sulekha.com as: “Sulekha plans to provide end-to-end services in certain categories to make sure user experience is seamless. Sulekha plans to enter other NRI diaspora markets with similar technologies to garner more reach and scale. Sulekha will target more than 30 million NRIs in these markets including across UK, UAE, South Africa, Malaysia, Singapore, Australia and other Middle-Eastern countries.”
By 2020, Sulekha’s surveys show that more than 60% of all MSMEs will be using such digital solutions to grow local businesses. And these could easily provide local employment, besides growing local businesses.