THE BUSINESS


Success Stories- Construction & Interior Design

The Founder and Group CMD of Marg

The Founder and Group CMD of Marg, Thakur Anup Singh, is passionate about empowering small stand-alone businesses pitted against the global giants in the Indian market. He has created for them, a conducive ecosystem, the first-of-its-kind digitally integrated interface for providing billing, purchase, delivery and payment solutions and defining a new business category.

What prompted you to establish Marg?

I believe in the incredible and massive potential of the indispensable shop next door or the stand-alone shops, which is highly underrated in the modern milieu. While India has galloped several folds in terms of digitization, we observed that there has been no force to channelize the potential of small businesses on a digital platform. Most of them were either shutting shop or struggling to keep afloat amid competition from global players and emergence of larger players from India, besides the covid pandemic adding to their woes. In India, there are roughly one crore small and medium businesses for whom Marg took the initiative to explore possibilities to ease their cumbersome daily operations such as billing, inventory management, payment, ordering, financing and other solutions so that retailers could focus on leveraging their businesses. We created a holistic digital ecosystem through our unique softwares and services for addressing their livelihood concerns. I take pride in the fact that Marg’s initiatives are also proving to be crucial in safeguarding them in the pandemic times by minimizing human involvement and making the process seamless for bringing in efficiency, speed, back-up and excellent services.

What is the key to Marg’s success in making SMEs sustainable?

Our observation has been that it is not feasible for a small business man to spend a hefty sum on technology like other big players. Even if they are interested in digitizing day-to-day operations, their choices are limited and often end up subscribing to a sub-standard product with poor service quality. Marg’s business model is therefore centered around small business owners with an aim to eliminate the technological handicap and help them to drive growth and higher profitability. Since banks do not lend to small businesses, Marg, has realized the potential and offers financing solutions through tie-ups with NBFCs. The financial solutions range from short-term working capital loans, personal loans, insurance products, and others. This has resulted in Marg, becoming India’s first initiative to bring small businesses on a pan India digital platform giving power to our mission in making small businesses sustainable. It has enabled them to retain their cultural relevance as a neighbourhood shop that offers services in a spirit of compassion and friendliness.

As of date, how would you rate the performance of Marg?

We started with MARG ERP, to digitally solve issues regarding inventory and accounting. I feel proud to say that so far, Marg has equipped over 10 lakh businesses, which annually generate 2000 crore invoices aggregating to a total value of Rs 7 lakh crores. We realized that a business owner faces three significant problems- order, delivery, and payment. Our efforts have been to alleviate the same. I feel happy to say that Marg has strengthened small business men and e order worth Rs. 21,000 crore has been generated through the e order portal. Further the popularity of Marg payment solution can be gauged by the fact that since its launch in October 2020 till date, 15,000+ Pharma & FMCG distributers have been registered and they have uploaded the outstanding of 500,000+ retailers and Marg pay has settled payment transaction worth Rs 500 crs between distributor and retailers, we have tied -up with logistics companies for providing delivery solutions to small business through digital platform. This has resulted in prompt delivery of consignments to retailers and distributors, and further solidified the relationship between the logistics company and their customer. Marg has created a win-win situation for all stakeholders.

What are the growth targets that Marg is aiming at in the near future?

Marg is a zero-debt company and its growth is self-funded because of its smart market strategies, astute handling of finances and intelligent partnerships. These fundamental fair practices make Marg, even by modest claims, a profit-making company. The ‘Marg Model’ of Paas Ki Dukaan is a foolproof and self-sustaining model, which can survive any pitfalls even when the market goes for a dip. By retaining continued and focused pace of growth and development, the company envisages to generate a revenue of Rs 750 crores in the next five years. The company has set its eyes on covering 70-75% of the Pharma and SMEs from diverse sectors across the country in the coming years.