Soptle's Vision is to Make FMCG Distribution Equitable in India: Said The 20-Yr Old Founder
Indian FMCG commerce is a $500 billion industry that is growing at a rate of 10-12% CAGR. Yet across the 12 million Kirana store owners in India, the average sales are only $700 per month. Out of these 12 million Kirana shops across the country, 7-8 million retail stores remain underserved by the majority of consumer brands due to the high-cost structure of traditional distribution networks. Soptle, a manufacturer-centric startup that offers countrywide serviceability through its tech-enabled active S&D channel is solving this fundamental problem of the segment and helping the local manufacturers and distributors with geographic expansion at zero fixed cost.

It enables the FMCG manufacturers to increase their income by providing access to country-wide distributions at zero fixed cost, through our tech-enabled sales & distribution channel-cum-market linkages, which helps them to:
  1. Geographically expand their sales,
  2. Enhance their utilization capacity,
  3. Scale up their business, and
  4. Improve their net margins by 3–4x.
The brainchild of a 20-year-old entrepreneur, Pravas Chandragiri, Soptle is a SaaS platform and mobile application that enable manufacturers to better serve their existing supply chains by providing access to procurement, production, demand generation, distribution, cash collection, and reconciliation in one app. By digitizing and incentivizing the FMCG manufacturer, Soptle has become a one-stop marketplace for the FMCG community in a short span.

Pravas Chandragiri, who comes from the small town of Balasore, Odisha, founded Soptle in 2021 when he was just 19 yrs old. He studied in a government-run school in the area and actively participated in the family-run Kirana Stores and started taking business lessons from his father and uncle when he was only 12 yrs old. He realized a few major pain points of a Kirana store like limited assortment, low margin, zero bargaining power, and so on. The computer gifted by his father gave him exposure to the world of technology, entrepreneurship, and business. He started gaining interest in coding and programming while trying to find a solution to the traditional supply chain issue faced by many local retailers and manufacturers.

At the age of 17, in 2019 he completed schooling and moved to Bhubaneshwar, for IIT-JEE preparation where he attended only for a week and decided to start his entrepreneurial journey with a venture which primarily focused on connecting regional manufacturers to retailers. He was the youngest CEO of that networking platform known as RFT (Rural Future Technology) where he connected 1200 Kirana stores across 9 districts of Odisha and successfully introduced 20+ regional brands from India to them. It was a profitable venture with an annual turnover of Rs. 60 lakhs. He attended various entrepreneurship seminars across India and met several industry experts and successful entrepreneurs to validate his model. Fortunately, during this time, he met with a number of regional manufacturers as well and became aware of their challenges. He even met people like Pirojshaw Sarkari (Gati’s founder), Vaishnav Shetty (All Cargo Group’s founder), Ritesh Ghosal (Ex-CMO, Tata Croma) in those seminars who eventually became his mentors and team members.

With Soptle, Pravas is on a mission to empower and uplevel the lives of 8,000,000+ regional manufacturers and retailers in India. With his journey, he wants to inspire other young entrepreneurs of his age as well as people from small cities/ villages in India to dream big and remain committed to solving the problem they are passionate about.

Answering the question on Soptle's market competitors, Pravas says - "We've a unique distribution approach. We're building a completely new technology model in this space and do not have any direct competitors in India. After reaching a certain stage, a San Francisco-based B2B retail commerce platform, could be our potential competitor."

Briefing about the future plans of Soptle, Pravas says, "We are planning to scale about 100x from here over the next one year, build onto our technology teams and grow our distribution network by 15-20x. Post that the next frontier is going global with our technology and playbook in place by 2024."

The startup has recently closed an angel investment of $300K from Kube VC along with Soonicorn LLP and the founders / CXOs of Dunzo, Gati, Fitso, Google, Unlu and All-Cargo Group.

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