Varsha worked as an investment banking analyst at Goldman Sachs before switching to journalism. She started off at Business India and later moved to Forbes India where she writes across industries and companies but has a bias towards startups, technology and the FMCG sector. She was a national level athlete and now enjoys running half marathons.
From left: Yogesh Ghaturle, Saketh BSV, Sathya Narayanan and Abhinav Pathak Image: Nishant Ratnakar for Forbes India
Abhinav Pathak| 24 Saketh BSV | 25 Yogesh Ghaturle | 22 Sathya Narayanan | 26 Co-founders, Perpule In 2015, Abhinav Pathak and Saketh BSV, colleagues at Goldman Sachs in Bengaluru, happened to be in New York on Labour Day—a shopping bonanza when retailers offer steep discounts. But instead of returning with a bounty, they came home empty-handed. “The minimum checkout time was 45 minutes,” recalls Pathak. That’s when they thought of creating a DIY checkout solution.
But it wasn’t until another year that they got cracking. With their Perpule 1Pay app, users can scan items in their grocery cart using their smartphones and directly pay for the purchase, circumventing the billing counter.
HyperCity was the first big customer for the Kalaari Capital-funded Perpule. “We thought it was a good innovation for our kind of customer,” says the supermarket chain’s CEO Ramesh Menon. HyperCity has rolled out the solution in all of its 20 outlets across India and also launched the country’s first self-checkout, cashier-less store in Hyderabad. At ₹1,800, average cart sizes are 45 percent more than those of customers who queue up, claims Pathak.
Today, Perpule is in use across chains like More, SPAR Hypermarket and Max Hypermarket, has 100,000 active users growing at 30 percent month-on-month and makes money by charging retailers a fixed fee as well as a percentage of every sale.
The quartet (Yogesh Ghaturle and Sathya Narayanan joined as co-founders shortly after the initial two started out) is now leveraging the customer data it has gathered to make the shopping experience more personalised.
Even as ecommerce sales leap ahead, as Pathak puts it, “offline is a huge opportunity”. And Perpule is just getting started.