A B2B Mobile App
For Rural Women
Entrepreneurs

In 2001, our client, an FMCG giant, started a project to financially empower the rural Indian women by generating opportunities for them to sell products and earn a livelihood. The company also appointed rural sales coordinators to manage between these women entrepreneurs and the distributors for order collection and inventory management.

The client approached us to re-do their existing mobile app that would automate their supply chain and ordering process by joining the rural women and distributors onto a single digital platform.

A B2b Mobile App For Rural Women Entrepreneurs

The Problem

While the rural sales coordinators were already using the current app, it lacked the desired adoption rate, so they approached us to re-develop it for them.

They wanted to add more features to not only improve the adoption rate but also to digitally enable the entrepreneurs.

While discussing the required app features like integration with third-party suppliers, real time stock updates and order placement, the client assumed that these features would resolve the friction in the existing customer journey for the rural sales coordinators and be commensurate with the digital literacy levels of the entrepreneurs.

In our initial discussion, we realized that unless we identify the friction in the existing customers' journey and measure the digital literacy levels for these new app users, developing an app would be pointless.

The Solution

To assess the digital readiness of the entrepreneurs and understand the gaps in the journey of the existing app's users (sales coordinators), we applied a design thinking approach and carried out an ethnographic research.

We decided to go spend a day with all stakeholders and identify their issues. Using a design thinking approach, we were able to figure out what features should go in the new app.

The approach helped our client understand that the development should be carried out in a phased manner.

In Phase I, we built an app for the rural sales coordinators including features like real time stock updates and order placement, updates on order deliveries and collection schedules as well as integration with third-party distributors. We also defined a roadmap for digital enablement of the entrepreneurs, recommending trainings and workshops.

For Phase II, we designed an app with tailor-made features for the entrepreneurs. Our research helped the client identify some vital features for the new app. This new app, originally derived from the app designed in Phase I, has a simpler interface specifically designed in view of the low digital literacy of the users. The user interface includes more graphics, bigger buttons, clear call to actions buttons, and regional language support.

Within our design thinking approach, we used ecosystem mapping to understand the context of the existing features of the apps. We then did some ethnographic research to understand real pain points of the stakeholders.

The insights helped us build the customer journey map and identify the gaps within. We found that the process to place orders was manual in spite of the mobile app, and the sales coodinators had been struggling to keep track of their respective delivery statuses.

The Solution

The Result

We not only created a better and effective mobile app for their rural sales coordinators but also improved their original scope by redefining the problem statement for them. The teams at operational levels also created a future roadmap for 'digital empowerment' of the entrepreneurs.

The features like real time stock updates, order placement, updates on order deliveries and collection schedules, and integration with third-party distributors, helped them automate the supply chain and significantly improve their sales and operations.

The Result