When the lock down hit the country, as a personal gesture, we at Muthoot Blue started reaching out to its base of close to 5 million customers to enquire their well-being. As this progressed, many of the small businesses we interacted with came back to us with doubts and fears as to what their future was going to be like. Their business had come to a stand-still, they had lost their customers and worst, their livelihood was depleting. While Muthoot Blue helped hand hold many of these small businesses into switching over to a different line of business or setting them up on a digital platform, we realized the problems that small businesses grappled with went beyond what was visible as a consequence of COVID-19. They needed guidance, they needed solutions. Hence Muthoot Blue, with it’s long standing legacy of offering financial solutions to small businesses partnered with INKTalks, India’s foremost innovation ecosystem and ideas accelerator that brings people together through focused and impact driven programs.
We have also collaborated with close to 30 industry stalwarts with expert knowledge in sectors such as healthcare, education, retail, agriculture, marketing, tax, HR and so on. These experts will address the challenges raised by our users and provide information on schemes and initiatives of the government, and on just rebuilding a business. We also host events with our Mentors which are featured live on our social media handles.
Aside from the above, we execute on-ground projects to assist small business. We recently launched a learning project to help small businesses connect and close sales through simple digital tools. The pandemic forced many organizations to digitize faster than they expected – whether it be in remote working, online services, meeting customer needs, out-sourcing of last-mile delivery and eliminating redundancies. When we talk about taking small businesses digital, let’s consider that it means something very different for a nano business. We are training a group of the small business owners we work with to teach them the basic skills to reach out to their customers, to invite orders, to inform customers about offers and marketing of products.
Our vision for #RestartIndia is to own this community of small businesses and nano-retailers and explore how else we can help them grow.