Traditional holds considerable value for Shrilakshmi Acharya, India's first hyperlocal entrepreneur. She runs a successful digital business in Udupi, the coastal Karnataka town known for its quaint old streets and temples that abuts into one of India's well-known educational townships of Manipal. In a matter of just five months, Shrilakshmi has on-boarded over 50 merchants and delivers everything from food to grocery, and sarees to smartphones.
Having forayed into Europe with a secret desire to expand her knowledge of the performing arts, she ended up completing business studies and coming back home. A chance meeting with the eSamudaay founders resulted in her joining the team as a customer experience executive, but with dreams of starting a circle around the traditional art form of Yakshagana and another that would bring Udupi sarees into the mainstream.
"Even my mom, who is from these parts, isn't aware of where to find Udupi sarees. What can be more disconcerting," asks Shrilakshmi while discussing the slow but steady journey that saw the first Local Circle of eSamudaay tie up with both local businesses, and a delivery partner. "It took a bit of convincing but once the local businesses figured out the value, they joined," she says.
And what exactly is the difference between eSamudaay and other delivery apps? For starters, our costs are considerably lower than competition which makes our merchants actually promote us with their customers. Then there is the fact that local data is stored locally. Also, eSamudaay does not build walls between a merchant and her customers, like some other apps do.
When it is brought to her notice that starting November 2020 to now, Udupi eSamudaay Digital Services has traversed a long journey successfully and she has played a key role, Shrilakshmi just shrugs her shoulders. "We have been brought up to live within our means, and do our part of the job with commitment," she says.
eSamudaay's co-founder Anup Pai says his mission going forward is to help Shrilakshmi understand that she needs nobody's permission to dream and that dreams are more like to come true if they're talked about and shared.