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Arzooo revolutionises retail industry, aimed at empowering offline retail stores against giants: Co-founder Rishi Raj Rathore

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The start-up, founded by ex-Flipkart alums Khushnud Khan and Rathore in 2018, is aimed at empowering retailers in their battle against retail giants

New Delhi: Long before big online players challenged offline retailers in the market, buying large appliances was a family affair rooted in personal touch and local shop expertise, recalls Rishi Raj Rathore, co-founder of B2B retail tech platform Arzooo.

The start-up, founded by ex-Flipkart alums Khushnud Khan and Rathore in 2018, is aimed at empowering retailers in their battle against retail giants. With that as the goal, they set out to bridge the gap between tradition and innovation, and bring e-commerce convenience and technology to offline retail stores.

“Arzooo revolutionises the retail industry by offering retailers an unlimited inventory, empowering them with a strong digital presence, and providing them with fintech solutions to overcome financial obstacles,” Rathore told PTI.

Arzooo has also successfully ventured into the commerce, fintech and consumer durable space with its newly-launched brand NU. The platform will soon announce an online e-commerce platform, which will be an online marketplace offering a unique shopping experience for electronics enthusiasts, he said.

Amazon Web Services (AWS) stands out as the clear choice for its cloud infrastructure needs, Rathore said. Ease of deployment and management tools provided by AWS streamline the development process, empowering Arzooo to focus on innovation rather than grappling with intricate technical complexities, he added.

Excerpts from the interview:

Q: What are the key highlights in the journey of Arzooo as a retail tech start-up?

A: In smaller cities, buying large appliances was a family affair, rooted in personal touch and local shop expertise. Offline retailers faced challenges from big online players in the market. Our start-up Arzooo aimed to empower offline retailers, and revolutionise shopping experiences.

With determination, we embarked on our journey back in 2018 to build a bridge between tradition and innovation, ready to transform retail, one store at a time.

With Arzooo, we have been eliminating the limitations of scale, inventory and capital for the retail value chain, creating a system of profitability for over 50,000 retailers pan India.

Regarding expansion, Arzooo has successfully ventured into the commerce, fintech and consumer durable space with its newly launched brand NU.

Q: What are the major challenges faced by offline retailers today and how is Arzooo addressing these issues?

A: Drawing from their extensive industry experience in the consumer durable space, the founders of Arzooo identified key obstacles hindering the growth of offline retailers in this sector.

These deal breakers include online competition, evolving consumer behaviour, high operating costs for offline retailers, limited reach, inventory management, technological adaptation, omnichannel integration and limited access to financial solutions.

Offline retailers must embrace innovation, enhance customer experiences, optimise operations, and forge strategic partnerships to thrive in the dynamic retail landscape. Arzooo has played a pivotal role by providing solutions for inventory stocking, delivery logistics, and payment options, empowering retailers to overcome these challenges and remain competitive with its holistic solutions.

Q: How has the company utilised the funds raised so far to expand its presence?

A: The funds have been used towards an extensive nationwide presence, robust partner network, strengthened brand-retailer connect, and enhanced retailer efficiency.

Arzooo has established a significant footprint across India, operating in tier-1, tier-2, and tier-3 cities, catering to a diverse range of customers.

It has developed a strong network of partner stores, facilitating seamless access to a vast inventory and ensuring efficient delivery and customer service.

Arzooo has fostered strong connections between leading consumer durable brands and retailers, enabling retailers to expand their brand fleet and inventory, and offering a wide range of choices to consumers. Arzooo’s fintech solutions empower retailers to optimise their operations, improve inventory management, and streamline their business processes, ultimately enhancing overall efficiency.

Q: What are the new initiatives planned by the company?

A: The company recently rolled out its financial solution for retailers Arzooo Pro Finance. The salient features include consumer finance-based checkout solutions for high-value retail, exclusive bank offers from renowned institutions to customers. It facilitates easy access to all and can be downloaded on Google Play and the App Store.

The other product that we will be announcing soon will be an online e-commerce platform. It will be an online marketplace that offers a unique shopping experience for electronics enthusiasts. The platform will offer a wide range of electronic gadgets and accessories, ranging from smartphones and laptops to headphones and cameras. It will have dedicated customer support to help customers with their queries.

Q: How does Arzooo differentiate itself from direct competitors in serving its clients?

A: Arzooo aims to empower retailers to compete against retail giants. They achieve this by offering retailers a vast range of consumer durables and electronic products at competitive prices.

In addition to providing access to a diverse inventory, Arzooo relieves retailers from the burden of tying up their working capital. Further, Arzooo facilitates retailers with access to credit at competitive rates and ensures speedy delivery through their express delivery services.

Some USPs that work as a win-win for us and the retailers are unlimited inventory, digital presence and financial solutions for retailers.

In summary, Arzooo revolutionises the retail industry by offering retailers an unlimited inventory, empowering them with a strong digital presence, and providing them with fintech solutions to overcome financial obstacles.

Q: What is the digital/tech infra that powers your operations?

A: Without a doubt, Amazon Web Services (AWS) stands out as the clear choice for our cloud infrastructure needs. AWS emerges as the pre-eminent cloud provider, particularly when facilitating the transformation of start-ups from their initial stages of development to significant growth and expansion. The platform’s suite of services is thoughtfully designed with scalability in mind, addressing the demands of a rapidly evolving business landscape.

A key aspect that sets AWS apart is its unparalleled reliability, instilling confidence in our operations and minimising the risk of downtime. Moreover, the extensive and thriving AWS community offers an abundance of resources, fostering a collaborative environment and providing the necessary support for a seamless cloud experience, further solidifying AWS as the optimal solution.

The ease of deployment and management tools provided by AWS streamline our development process, empowering our team to focus on innovation rather than grappling with intricate technical complexities.

Simultaneously, the robust security measures deployed by AWS ensure the utmost data protection and compliance, granting us and our customers peace of mind.

Q: How has cloud technology and AWS enabled you in your operations?

A: For any Go-To-Market (GTM) startups is the key and if we are successful then scale is the next big thing and all this keeping cost in mind. When we scale, our operations need tech at speed and tech plays a major role in ensuring the right platform is made available.

As a growing company, we will always have new opportunities to explore. For example, it is prudent for Arzooo to build a lending platform to help our retailers compete with muscle players and using AWS services like textract made things easier and build this platform.

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