06 January 2016 15:06:58 IST

Honey, we shrunk the queues!

A new start-up looks to reduce waiting time at checkout counters in supermarkets

On an average, most of us wait for 15-20 minutes while waiting to check out from a supermarket. In our increasingly fast-moving life, people are constantly on the lookout to get things done quickly, and shopping for day-to-day stuff tops the list.

Xlogix, a Bengaluru-based company founded by a former Citigroup and SAP employee, is attempting to develop a solution that can empower physical retail stores with the same ammo that online retailers possess. To start with, Xlogix is trying to solve the wait problem of people shopping in physical stores.

“Typically, this wait time has a ripple effect and as a result, people start shopping either online or sometimes even put off some of their purchases to save time,” says Amar Revadi, co-founder of Xlogix. Thus Xlogix came up with a product that can reduce wait time and for stores, it can help them increase business without putting additional pressure on employees. This product called iRetail. Revadi is an MBA from University of Teesside, Durham, and Kaushik is a computer science graduate from Vijaya College, Bengaluru.

The idea for this product came when co-founder Dipak Kaushik’s wife was pregnant and found the checkout wait time painful. “She asked me if I could come up with a tech solution that could assist not just her, but people in general,” he says. So Kaushik, who then was working in SAP, burnt the midnight oil, and over a span of 12 months came up with a prototype. “It was a tough decision to leave SAP as I was doing very well, and had several loans and bills to pay. But after deliberating with the family and Amar, I decided to take the plunge, Kaushik says.

Thus iRetail was born in December 2014.

How it works

How the app works: After a person downloads the app on to the phone, using a scanner already available on the phone, the bar code or QR code of the item to be bought is scanned and the list of items is ‘submitted’. This list of items is then updated on the point of sale (PoS) terminal. This allows the person manning the checkout counter to simply generate the bill – they do not need to scan the items once again. “A lot of times, it also helps in identifying items whose barcodes do not work, which is only checked at the time of checkout, thus adding to the wait time,” says Revadi. The start-up estimates that wait time can be reduced by up to 60 per cent.

Along with iRetail, the company has developed another product called e-receipts which, as the name suggests, enables retailers to provide receipts instantaneously to the consumers through a soft copy. “This will help them in reducing print, paper and electricity costs. Both the technologies use in-store Wi-Fi and donot need an Internet connection, at present,” adds Revadi. The technology it can be deployed within 24 hours, according to the founders.

Since its founding, the going has not been easy, and the founder-duo have faced problems typically faced by start-ups — customer acquisition, coupled with changing mindsets of standalone stores to adopt the solution have been the staple of Xlogix. “This is a hugely unorganised space, and a lot of them are family-run stores who are very opposed to usage of technology,” he explains.

It is common knowledge that transactions in a large number of mom-and-pop stores do not fall under the tax gambit and that is cited by industry watchers as one of the reasons for hesitancy in tech adoption.

So far, the start-up has had decent success. iRetail has partnered with a PoS device maker for the technology which will be deployed across the country in one of India’s leading retail stores. Further, the company is in advanced stages of talks with Future Group and More to deploy the technology across their stores in Bengaluru.

There are also opportunities in up-selling and cross-selling information generated by the app that can be used by FMCG majors to make informed decisions. “A Unilever may know the sales of P&G, but details such as a person picking up a P&G product and then opting to buy a Unilever product are things that they can never be aware of. With our technology, details are captured in our system,” says Revadi.


The company has a vision to take the technology to stores across India, a feat that will be capital intensive, and hence is looking to raise funds.

Xlogix has been bootstrapped till date. What the company has set out to do is to get the pleasure of shopping back to physical stores, at a time when their online brethren are starting to take market share thatis estimated to hit $20 billion by the end of this year. A host of companies such as BigBasket, Grofers, Peppertap and Localbanya, among others are snapping at the heels of physical retailers. Despite this, the numbers are still very heavily stacked against online retailers.

Indian retail is estimated to be around $600 billion, of which only 0.3 per cent was online sales in 2013, according to a Motilal Oswal report. Further, even as a percentage of organized retail, online sales were less than 4 per cent.

Some industry watchers also believe that there could be a shakeout in the Indian e-commerce space. According to Chairman of Manipal Global Education, TV Mohandas Pai, Indian e-commerce players are not building enough loyalty amongst their customers and are resorting to discounting, which cannot continue forever. All this points to growing opportunities in the traditional retail segment, but whether the players are ready to grasp this opportunity will reflect on the fate of start-ups like Xlogix.