With online e-commerce sites making shopping easy, this start-up provides solutions to offline stores to understand customer behavior
Varun Kashyap and Sridevi Reddy both come from retail backgrounds and met professionally whilst running their respective retail solution start-ups. Going with the notion that two heads are better than one, they put together Zithara as a solution primarily aimed at solving the problem of engaging offline retail customers.
Zithara has positioned itself as a solution provider for mid-segment offline retailers in India, aiming to be the guiding star to help improve retail sales in India and the world. “We envision ourselves as problem solvers, innovators, and path- finders, hence the name, Zithara, a play on the word Sitara, meaning the lucky star,” says Sridevi.
According to the founders, for any offline retailer selling jewelry, clothing, groceries, food, wellness products etc., making marketing or customer engagement decisions is hard as it requires a full understanding of customer behavior and a set of tools. During the pandemic, retailers faced a lull in customer recall, as many businesses shut down and when they reopened, they did not have
the customer data to reconnect with them. That is how Zithara was born on the thought of giving retailers a tool to do business and engage with customers seamlessly.
“Zithara’s key product, Zithara CBP (Customer Behavior Platform), is a customer behavior analysis and augmentation platform that helps businesses implement rewards, referrals and feedback as nudge tools to enhance their marketing and engagement strategy decisions,” explains Sridevi. Varun adds, “What had hitherto been a seller-side push and a relationship of resistance is now set to become a two-way process where Zithara CBP helps businesses understand customer behavior accurately through data. Zithara uses
generative AI and automation for better decision-making. Referrals and rewards are based on deep insights into customer behavior generated through AI-powered algorithms are some of the key features of Zithara CBP.”
Customer data is generated through POS, web, website, digital platforms, walk-in customers, social media campaigns, and more. Businesses capitalizing on this critical data can address the needs and expectations of the customers better and hence earn more revenue and profits. “Getting funding during this so-called funding winter was not easy. We were lucky to have believers like We Hub and SRIX Foundation backing us early on which gave us the runway to build and take the product to the first few customers.
Zithara recently raised Rs 1.8 crore from angel investors. By the end of this financial year, we are looking to raise Rs four crore,” explains Sridevi.
Zithara’s marquee of customers include Bajaj Electronics, PMJ Jewels, Dodla Dairy, Qmart, Meghavi Wellness, Mangatrai Jewellers, Godavari Cuts, and Brown Bear Bakers. Of the future, Varun tells us, “Though our major market is India, we have also entered and onboarded retailers from Sri Lanka, Philippines and other South-East Asian countries. Our primary focus will be India wherein we will be expanding our retailer base by December 2024.”