TheNFAPost Podcast

Bengaluru, NFAPost: Sahara, a hyperlocal-tech startup of the students of the Indian Institute of Technology Guwahati, has developed a mobile application that lets offline business owners create synergy with customers and potential business partners on a global platform with the power of digitalisation.

The members of this strategic vision are Co-Founder and COO Sai Vara Prasad, Co-Founder and CEO Sai Praneeth, Technical Advisor Rahul Nagurtha, Business Advisor Praveen Kumar and Operations Advisor Shiv Kumar.

Inspired by the ‘Atma Nirbhar Bharat’ initiative, this entrepreneurial endeavour is determined to deliver ‘Made in India’ solutions by providing the best services to the people and encouraging existing offline businesses to convert to online business to have diverse opportunities.

With the idea of one-stop solution for everything that people require, from food to shelter, the aim is to provide services that stand up to international quality standards at fairly low costs.

Navigating experience

The features on this app will also guarantee accurate navigating experience, especially to travellers, in the form of local language translation service, security for travellers by providing assistance in establishing contact with respective traveller’s embassy in case of emergency, emergency and SOS service especially for women etc.       

Talking about the features of the application, Sahara Co-Founder and COO Sai Vara Prasad said the only aim of Sahara is to provide the best services whenever users go.

“It’ll be the best app for the whole travel industry, where travellers can indulge in local cultures easily, travel enthusiasts can take their blogging to a whole new level, as they can post media, and can also share to other social media platforms, which will be visible to anyone who visits or search for that place. For the safety of travellers, we have added many features,” said Sahara Co-Founder and COO Sai Vara Prasad

Speaking about the idea behind the application, Sahara Co-Founder and CEO Sai Praneeth said a Neilsen report estimates about 12 million Kirana stores in India, with a humongous 98% share of retail grocery market pumping billions worth monetary transactions into economy.

Unorganised sector

“Sadly, 98% of these establishments fall into unorganised sector because they lack access to basic digital infrastructure secluding them from outreach of potential customers. We are set out to revert this. We will empower them to earn their equity in the booming digital economy. It’s a win-win game. Oligopoly is always a better world. See, buying from local does make a difference, and with Sahara, it’ll be a Great Experience,” said Sahara Co-Founder and CEO Sai Praneeth

In the present scenario, where the pandemic has pushed the global economy into recession due to the lockdown, Sahara focusses on aiding the businesses by providing safe and extensive network operation from their home. This strategic approach tackles the challenges imposed by the lockdown and extends the boundaries for profitable financial recovery. This approach will further strengthen the local economy of a country.

“Our startup’s goal is simple and our vision is brilliant just like our Sahara”, said Sahara Operations Advisor Shiv Kumar.

The Sahara startup app is designed keeping in mind to provide a seamless experience to individuals and retailers who may not have had any prior knowledge of the application. It enables businesses to register through their mobile application in simple and easy steps which includes submission of details related to the consumer/business product, phone-based verification and their respective geolocation.   

Offline business

Considering the operational benefits it can provide and its mission to convert every offline business to online, Sahara app has been launched and is available on the Google Play store.   

Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Guwahati established in 1994 has completed 25 years of glorious existence in 2019. At present, the Institute has eleven departments and five inter-disciplinary academic centres covering all the major engineering, science and humanities disciplines, offering BTech, BDes, MA, MDes, MTech, MSc and PhD programmes.

The institute offers a residential campus to 412 faculty members and more than 6,000 students at present. Besides its laurels in teaching and research, IIT Guwahati has been able to fulfil the aspirations of people of the North East region to a great extent since its inception in 1994. The picturesque campus is on a sprawling 285 hectares plot on the north bank of the Brahmaputra, around 20 kms from the heart of the Guwahati city.

IIT Guwahati is the only academic institution in India that occupied a place among the top 100 world universities – under 50 years of age – ranked by the London-based Times Higher Education (THE) in the year 2014 and continues to maintain its superior position even today in various International Rankings.

QS world ranking

Along with the older IITs and Delhi University, IIT Guwahati has been ranked below 500 in the QS World ranking released recently. IIT Guwahati has retained the 7th position among the best engineering institutions of the country in the ‘India Rankings 2019’ declared by National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF) of the Union ministry of Human Resource Development (HRD).

IIT Guwahati has been also ranked 2nd in the ‘Swachhata Ranking’ conducted by the Govt. of India. Recently, IIT Guwahati has been ranked as the top ranked University in 2019 for IT developers by HackerRank in the Asia-Pacific region.

Among other frontier areas of research and innovation, IIT Guwahati is working towards augmenting critical science research initiatives in Genomics, Developmental Biology, Health Care and Bioinformatics, Flexible Electronics, Advanced Functional Materials, Sustainable Polymers, Rural Technologies, Disaster Resilience and Risk Reduction, and Water Resources and Management. In its silver jubilee year, IIT Guwahati is poised to scale newer heights through all round growth and development.

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