Startup Circle: How is Dukaan App helping local sellers set up ecommerce stores easily?

Laxitha Mundhra
New Update
Startup Circle: How is Dukaan App helping local sellers set up ecommerce stores easily?

For years, the local stores have provided us with daily necessities, in rural and urban areas alike. But with the COVID-19 induced lockdowns witnessed in the country, small business units saw a surge in innovation and adoption of digital technologies to keep them ahead of the curve. Apps like Dukaan have played an important role in helping such stores go digital.


With CiOL, Mr Suumit Shah, CEO, Dukaan App talks about how they have forayed into helping stores manage eCommerce amid the lockdown. He shares what brought on the idea, and the path ahead for the startup.

What is Dukaan about? Tell us about the team.

Dukaan is a DIY platform that enables merchants with zero programming skills to set up their e-commerce store using their smartphone. We are a small team of around 30 people. The founding team includes Subhash Choudhary and Anuraag Meena and me. We were previously co-founders in a SaaS company called Rankz.


Apart from the co-founders, other core team members have exceptional stories about their motivation for building Dukaan. Mir Dawar, who heads product design, is a 24 years old kid who previously ran his design agency Pixul. He had to shut his company because of frequent internet outages happening in Kashmir. Atul Dubey - an IIT Jodhpur grad previously sold his edtech company to NOF (National Olympiad Foundation). Dipen Bhatt (ex-Samsung employee) have seen how their family businesses are struggling to survive through a black-swan event like COVID. They now handle the engineering at Dukaan.

How did you come up with the idea?

A popular fashion brand outlet sent me a pdf on Whatsapp during peak lockdown which had all the products that they were selling, Here, I was supposed to place my order through Whatsapp text. I quickly realized that this way of buying products online is inefficient since sellers can't keep a track of orders; for example, dispatched orders or delivered orders


I believe, ordering should be as easy as counting 1-2-3. Buyers should be able to buy the products that they want within a few clicks. But when you start accepting orders on Whatsapp, it becomes a long chat. Customers don't like that. So, Dukaan started as a hackathon project. In fact, the name Dukaan was just a placeholder name for the app. But later we realized that the name Dukaan is something people can relate to. SO. we didn’t have to explain what exactly the app does since the name itself is self-explanatory.

The idea was simple - people who don’t have any technical knowledge should be able to launch their e-commerce store in under 30 seconds and should be able to share their store links with their customers easily on Whatsapp and manage their orders efficiently.

What is your business/market growth?


So far over 3 million merchants have opened their digital stores using the Dukaan app. These merchants are located in over 1900 different cities of India. Over 70% of our sellers are from second and third-tier cities of India.

Who are your consumers?

Anyone and everyone - who wants to sell anything on the Internet is our customer. Be it a legacy brand that does 100cr+ annual revenue to a paan shop that does 10-20k rupees per month - both of them are on Dukaan. Over 30% of our users are from the age group of 18-24, typically children helping their parents to digitize their family business.


What are your Post-Covid plans?

We aim to help at least 10 million merchants to open their Digital Store using Dukaan in the next 12 months and move at least 30-40% of their offline business to online. Along with the digital catalogues, Dukaan also plans to expand its services to other key areas such as shipping, payments, marketing and capital for these merchants.


We have raised a seed round of $6 million from Lightspeed Partners India and Matrix Partners India.

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