Ever stuck in a long queue in a supermarket or hypermarket? Ever thought someone should do something and solve the problem of waiting in queues? Not a fan of online shopping? If the answer to these questions is yes, Congratulations! Saketh, Abhinav and Yogesh, the founders at Perpule have heard you.
Perpule, founded by Abhinav Pathak, Saketh BSV, and Yogesh Ghaturle, is a Bangalore based startup which has solved the problem of long queues with their innovative self-checkout solution. Through their platform, you can avoid the long queues without losing on the essence of offline shopping. So, the next time anyone insists you to accompany to a supermarket but you want to avoid the long queues, you now know whom you should look forward to. PERPULE is:
- Democratizing commerce in the new India
- Developing solutions which can work on any form factor thereby, enabling every employee in the store as a power employee.
- Solving real-world problems in offline shopping at a time when the world is all gaga over online.
Black Friday Sale led to the birth of Perpule
The story of the birth of Perpule is an interesting one. The founders were in the US during their stint at Goldman Sachs when the Black Friday sale took place. Having heard of the sale a lot, they went to it only to come back without any shopping due to the painful experience of long queues.
And, as almost every startup is the end-product of a widely faced problem, Perpule came into existence to solve this crisis of offline shopping.
The major challenges faced by the perpule team in the initial stages
Offline shopping and the painful queuing experiences that come along with has been an age-old problem, and to address this issue, it’s important to understand this multi-dimensional issue.
The PERPULE team were uncertain about what is to come and how are they going to face it. But, they knew that it was Persistence which was the key to open this lock. Analysing the entire scenario and looking at the failures of the companies who tried addressing the same issue in the past, the PERPULE team identified two unique challenges.
- Tech Stack: Each Retail channel or offline shopping chain has a different tech stack. Making a product which integrates all different tech stacks with little customisation was the main challenge.
- Pilferage and Theft: Since self-checkout was a very new concept in India and it has innately present risks of Pilferage and theft, solving this was a key challenge too. However, over the years, they have been successful in figuring out a solution to this.
The first few hands which held them
Saketh makes a special mention about Sangam Retail and their then CEO. He(Saketh) emphasises multiple times on how the CEO helped them to pilot their product and how he was pivotal in making Perpule’s initial solution workable.
We rise by lifting others- Robert Ingersoll
He also mentioned about the contribution of Ramesh Menon, the CEO at HyperCity who himself was directly involved with Perpule and contributed significantly towards making the product Go live at a chain like HyperCity.
How difficult was it to get the customers onboard?
Nothing comes easy in this world, and neither do customers. In the initial few days, the founders and the Perpule team were themselves present physically in the store to brief about the app to the customers. At a later stage, they trained the store staff and added Gamification to incentivise the onboarding by the Store Staff.
It didn’t take much longer to get the major players like Sangam Retail, HyperCity, and Vishal Mega Mart on board after that and this kickstarted the journey of Perpule towards revolutionizing the domain of Offline Shopping.
Developing a Self check-out solution meant that PERPULE already has a strong Backend technology at their disposal. They decided to utilize the existing technology to develop other supplementary products. With this vision and a tremendous amount of focus, they developed the Ultra POS Solution which is a faster, more affordable, smarter solution. This turned out to be a masterstroke as this is now bringing laurels to PERPULE from the market.
PERPULE is funded by Kalari Captial and Prime Ventures with both the investors having different styles of working. While Kalari Capital is not in involved in the day-to-day operations, Prime Ventures works very closely with the team at Perpule. However, the common and the most significant thing remains the fact that both the investors are immensely supportive in terms of guidance or leveraging their connects.
What does the future look like for perpule?
The Perpule team has grown a lot over the years and now boasts of a healthy 60 member team. Their immediate goals include:
- Building a stable product which can handle millions of users and work seamlessly with different stacks
- Building a strong sales pipeline which can sustain the business for a long time.
- Increasing the speed of customer onboarding since friction with the tech stacks are not uncommon. This, in turn, causes the onboarding speed to degrade.
- Bringing efficiency and productivity to day-to-day operations of the company.