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Sulekha counts on unorganised service sector for growth

LN Revathy Coimbatore | Updated on September 12, 2018

Digital platform Sulekha, which has been helping SMEs grow their business with matched prospects and market intelligence, is now looking to encourage individuals and part-time businesses to pursue their dream.

Satya Prabhakar, founder and Chief Executive of Sulekha, told BusinessLine that the platform has taken a cue from the auto cab industry. “The market has exploded with the advent of cab aggregators such as Ola and Uber. We decided to help individuals who teach music, guitar, painting and so on by encouraging them to list on our platform and find prospects without much of a hassle. We have in the last 18 months listed over 5,000 such service providers on the platform. We charge only when we deliver value,” he said.

Prabhakar, however, could not estimate the size of this market. “Opportunity is huge and growing. We want to focus on servicing the local business, considering that we are in the middle of India’s growth story. The platform supports over 50,000 live businesses (SMEs) in 40 cities at present. Our plan is to extend the service to 60 cities by the close of this fiscal,” he said.

“SMEs are the biggest drivers of our GDP. Despite having 50,000 businesses listed on Sulekha, studies show that more than 70 per cent of SMEs are yet to come online. They need help to grow as SMEs neither enjoy business continuity nor have adequate capital,” he added.

“We on-board them onto the platform and connect them to targeted consumers. They pay only when we connect them to the right consumers. SMEs do not need a sophisticated system to be listed on Sulekha. A smart phone would do to profile their services; the Sulekha Business App would get details of customers who are looking for their services. The App would serve as a CRM,” he explained.

To a query on how Sulekha conducts a check on the genuiness of the service provider (who wants to be listed on the platform) he said “we do a KYC (Know you Customer) check, verify the asset and also rate them to ensure their legitimacy. In fact, we have unlisted at least 50 customers in the last 12 months. Most of them were into travel agency business.”

The platform has registered good growth in tier II cities. Prabhakar said that the company would be roping in sales partners to grow.

Published on September 12, 2018

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