, a SaaS (software as a service) platform for local e-commerce entrepreneurs, has come out with a model to enable independent e-commerce marketplaces in tier-2 and 3 towns which will be wholly-owned by the local community.

Speaking at the launch of ‘Udupi eSamudaay Digital’, a local commerce (LCommerce) company in Udupi on Wednesday, Anup Pai, founder and CEO of eSamudaay, said that eSamudaay is building a network of digital entrepreneurs in small towns to run LCommerce platforms and empower small businesses in their home towns. (Pai had founded the banking analytics firm Fintellix and sold it to the Nasdaq-listed Verisk Analytics in 2017).

He said that eSamudaay aims to reach at least 100 such LCommerce platforms across India in Mysuru, Warangal, Chandigarh, Nashik, Shillong, Patiala, Indore and Varanasi in the next 12 months.

Stating that eSamudaay will create a network of entrepreneurs across the country who will independently run local e-commerce initiatives that will serve producers and consumers in local communities, he said the aim is to empower over 5,000 entrepreneurs to run their own local e-commerce initiatives in the country in the next five years.

How it works

He said that eSamudaay SaaS platform provides business mentors, local e-commerce entrepreneurs, producers, delivery agents and consumers with all the digital tools necessary to run a locally managed business entity.

Through this model, each local community will have its own super app that will bring together producers and consumers and promote digitally-driven commerce in the community. The super app will offer all products and services that are both available and needed in the community, ranging from groceries, kitchen supplies, apparels, services like food, health and wellness, mobility services, home services, etc., he said.

E-Com decentralisation

Stressing the need for the decentralisation of e-commerce when data privacy is of the highest concern, Ravichandan Haldipur, co-founder and CBO of eSamudaay, said that decentralisation of e-commerce can challenge the existing monopoly.

Stating that thelarge conglomerates dominate the current e-commerce narrative, he said models such as eSamudaay can be pivotal in enabling decentralized, self-governed digital marketplaces benefiting every stakeholder in the ecosystem. He said eSamudaay provides a huge opportunity for commerce between communities, empowers small producers and, promote local innovations.

Udupi project

Shivanand Bhat, CEO of Udupi eSamudaay Digital Services Pvt Ltd, who is the first such digital entrepreneur of eSamudaay platform, said that the objective of eSamudaay is to have a sizeable number of businesses, cultural events and community content on the platform that will bring residents of Udupi to interact, engage and conduct commerce on the Udupi eSamudaay LCommerce platform.

He said that his company has on-boarded more than 50 such local businesses on its platform in the last two months, and 35 more have shown interest to join it.

Udupi eSamudaay Digital’s app has grocery services, restaurant food deliveries, farm products and pharmacy service.

Anup Pai said that the firm plans to create at least 20 digital entrepreneurs and enable 800 local businesses to go digital within the next 12 months in Udupi alone.

Biz model

Pai told BusinessLine that eSamudaay charges a monthly rental for its infrastructure for the LCommerce entity.

Bhat said that the vendor is charged a one-time registration fee and commission ranging from 2-10 per cent on the transactions. Compared to some major food delivery companies that charge commission up to 40 per cent, he said this is much lower.