This Startup is Taking Digital Services to Every Corner of Rural India
The company is trying to create a network of Digital Runners across villages, who are available on demand to deliver digital services
The Aadhaar card has become one of the most important documents required to establish your identity and for availing various government benefits.
The card has a unique 12 digit identification number issued to all Indian residents based on their biometric and demographic data. However, to get this card, a thorough verification needs to be done.
People in remote corners of India are deprived of the government schemes and other benefits as they don't have the Aadhaar card -- the reason being several glitches in the verification processes. In small towns, it is turning out to be a time-taking and expensive affair for the government.
Indore-based Anaxee Digital Runners came into existence to solve these problems.
Started in April 2016 by Nilesh Maheshwari, Govind Agarwal and Arti Agrawal, Anaxee is tech-enabled last-mile verification and data collection agency with a focus on Tier II, III and IV towns and villages.
Taking Services to Rural India
According to Arti, Anaxee is trying to take the government benefits to people in far off places by providing verification services. It is trying to create a network of people (digital runners) connecting villages. They are available on demand to deliver digital services. For people who live too far away to visit banks, these digital runners are the only connect, who provide them KYC forms and submit the filled-up forms in the banks.
In the same way, they help in availing insurance services, eKYC and even aids in background verification.
A Digital Runner physically visits a household to verify details and collect data as per customers' requirements.
"Several rural and semi-urban parts of India are deprived of essential services like banking and insurance. The companies are hesitant to reach out as they are doubtful whether there is enough market for these services. Even if there is the market, they don't have enough data to know and understand the needs of people in that particular region. The cost of having a fixed infrastructure to address the rural population is very high," explained Agrawal.
Anaxee started because Agarwal and Agarwal have worked in Aadhar ecosystem for eight years.
"While we were doing Aadhar authentication, we thought that we will be able to do this in every part of the country. And then with time all the dots from our previous experiences just connected," she added.
Analyzing Unstructured Address
One of the biggest challenges for the company was to locate addresses. "Addresses in India pose a big problem because people write addresses in different ways. Most places in India have their names derived from local languages. So there is no structured spelling for one place. With the help our tool, we were able to locate particular addresses," said Agrawal
Covering Every Corner of India
So far, Anaxee has covered over 4,000 villages and with 5,500 runners onboard right now. The runners have covered deepest parts of India including Kargil, Andaman and Nicobar, Kashmir and Nepal borders. Most of the business of the company comes from the standard verification request wherein the runners need to visit a place and verify credentials.
"We get paid by our customers on per case basis and going forward we pay our runners on per case basis. So, we have our profit margin in between," said Agrawal
The company plans to onboard 30,000 runners by next year.
"With this number, we will cater to each and every part of India.Today we take pride in saying you give us the address and maximum we will take 7 days to reach your place," Agrawal concluded.