Story of a Merchant and a Start-Up

Welcome to the city of Nawabs, Lucknow! Amidst all the hustle and bustle of the city, Nandan Kumar quietly goes about his daily routine in the bylanes of Aminabad market. He runs a modest shop selling home utilities. Bargaining by customers is a given and running a profitable business that is relatively smaller in size requires just the right blend of astuteness, networking, and street-smart business sense.

Nandan possesses all these qualities and also realises the value of savings for his family’s future. A minor but significant portion of his daily earnings is gulped up by the invaluable “Gullak” (earthen piggy bank) that adorns a place of pride in his quaint shop. He realises the need to find a better way to secure his savings, which fail to break the threshold of the dream called “Provident Fund”. Like him, there are millions of Nandans’ across India who look for safe avenues to deposit their savings, “micro” in the eyes of the world but as good as gold dust for Nandan and his family.

Save Karo is a tech-enabled micro-savings platform, for the underserved masses, that makes it possible to save, starting at Rs. 1. This sounds like the perfect match for people like Nandan to deposit their savings, irrespective of the magnitude, doesn’t it? Well, hold on for a bit, as every match made in heaven requires that touch of finesse from an adept matchmaker.

How Pick My Work worked it’s magic?

Pick My Work (PMW), based out of Gurgaon, enables consumer tech companies like Save Karo to scale-up. PMW does it by using technology to source, train and manage workers for their needs. PMW also takes care of the end-to-end execution of the entire process from merchant acquisition to sales process outsourcing and audits. This is where Pick My Work plays the role of a matchmaker and acts as the perfect partner enabling Save Karo to scale-up and reach out to the millions of Nandans’ across every nook and corner of India to fulfil their dreams of saving for the future.

As they say, numbers tell the story, and in this case, it is a story of resounding success for PMW. More than 5000 verified merchant on-boardings across 28 cities in India in the last 40 days. Inevitably, the struggle is to be experienced before success both in the dictionary and in life. PMW’s journey with Save Karo was no different. On-field challenges were aplenty but PMW was able to overcome all of them. And this was driven by PMW’s superheroes, who do not wear capes i.e., the gig partners.

For any sane person, when it comes to money matters, trust is the most important factor. This is where Save Karo was facing issues in developing a strong bond with the masses. Tech savviness continues to be in the nascent stages in India, especially in the non-urban regions.

Major Challenges Faced by Save Karo

  • Shop owners were hesitant to deposit their savings with Save Karo, as they neither felt the assurance of a bank nor was the name very familiar.
  • Even after installing the Save Karo app, the merchants were skeptical about making repeat transactions due to reasons of safety and lack of awareness.
  • Technology can act funny at times and as expected there were a few glitches from time to time, which had to be resolved with agility.
  • Spurious users installing the app was another major issue.

PMW’s end-to-end execution model backed by AI and ML supported technology and the 100% feet on street model were used to overcome these challenges. Also, PMW’s human touch made a difference and blended beautifully with Save Karo’s technological expertise. Gig partners who were good with sales and man management were identified through training and resource mapping. These gig partners convinced shop owners across cities that they could trust Save Karo’s USP: depositing savings starting from Rs. 1 with flexible plans and availability of regional languages support.

The gig partners ensured that the merchants were made aware of the app’s powerful features and showed them how Save Karo was a lifesaver. A certain Jeff Bezos has said “Word-of-mouth is very powerful”, and it was WOM coupled with PMW’s gig network that led to a sort of domino effect, as merchants experienced how Save Karo could transform their lives.

The Pillars of the Success Story Scripted by Pick My Work

  • A well-trained and connected gig partner network that was able to transcend the barriers between technology and on-field realities to create magic.
  • A real-time and transparent feedback system – this ensured a crystal-clear three-way communication between the merchants, PMW, and Save Karo. It also led to continuous improvement in the entire process and glitches were ironed out with alacrity.
  • A fair and immaculately thought-out incentive structure that led to each partner earning their well-deserved share.
  • The wealth of experience gained by PMW, having worked with clients like GPay, KhataBook and OkCredit came in handy while managing complex situations.
  • A 24X7 support system for both the client and gig network, which was extremely responsive and nipped various problems in the bud.

PMW strives to be the perfect partner for consumer tech companies to scale up their business. We do it by using our vast and efficient gig partner network, which lends a human touch to the tech expertise to weave success stories.

Big numbers may hog all the limelight but ultimately business is all about people, only people!


Update: Save Karo has raised $1 million in seed funding recently to expand its teams, and scale up its tech platforms and initial pilots with partners. Pick My Work will be a very important driver in making the scale-up goal a reality.

PS: The name of people and companies in the above Case Study have been changed to ensure privacy.

Authors

Dipak Shenvi and Juhi Dugar