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The Underserved Sector

India is all about the little by lanes and streets, filled with hawkers, food stalls, pan-beedi, and chai kiosks, small Kirana shops, mobile sim cards, and recharge shops and the list goes on… historically this is where India shops for their basic needs for a fulfilled living.

Dharavi spread across almost 550 acres of land, and home to around 1 million people in Asia’s largest slum, which resides in the middle of Mumbai. Don’t be surprised, Dharavi is the hub for small-scale unorganized industries such as the leather industry, waste recycling industry, etc, and exports goods across the globe with an estimated annual turnover of around $ 1 billion. It has approximately 5000 business entities, with 15K in-house single-room factories for production.

All of the above form the unorganized sector. Estimated to be an Rs. 9 Trillion industry contributes to 45% of GDP and 93% of the workforce.

This colossal industry is declining over the last 5 years, thanks to the big giants that have entered India as part of the organized sectors with world-class IT systems, the top-class MBA employees are crushing the unorganized sector. The Government also favors the Giants through encouraging FDI’s, complicated GST, import relaxations, and digitizations, given the enormous tax that it receives apart from the limited employment it provides. Sadly, the unorganized sector is sandwiched between the Giants and the Government.

I wonder why there are no products or services catering to this particular sector. Isn’t it a big opportunity, neither B2B products nor B2B services? This underserved sector is huge whitespace that is waiting to be explored. If one can make this effective, efficient and productive, the 9 trillion industry can single handily boost India’s economy exponentially.

‘Serving the Underserved’ as a concept will pave the way for a great unified collaboration for the small timers to fight the experienced business enterprises and give them tough competition.

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