Hyderabad: Hyderabad headquartered fintech company Hesa Global, which offers a technology platform to various businesses to reach their respective customers in rural areas, plans to recruit 8,000 to 10,000 agents or Hesathis as they are called in Telangana. They will be provided with a connected device, which can integrate various business offerings.
Speaking to Telangana Today, its co-founder and chief executive officer Vamsi Udayagiri said the effort is to create or enhance livelihood opportunities at the village level. “Our idea is that there should be at least one Hesathi for every 20 km. In some villages, where there are clusters like for example weavers or other trades, there could be more,” he said.
On the problem being addressed, he said, “Many companies want to tap the villages for their products and services. However, unit economics do not work for them due to the small population in the village. We offer our platform to such businesses. They can sell their products or services through us,” he said.
The company gets paid on a per-transaction basis and in turn, shares with the Hesathis or the village-level entrepreneurs who handle them. It now counts dairy firms, microfinance, banking, financial, insurance, FMCGs, and other players among its clients. They offer money withdrawal, cash transfer, insurance, Agri inputs, buy Agri produce, microloan repayments, and more. In all, it offers 300 services and has 18,000 farmers using the platform to sell their agri-produce.
It has been working for the past 12 years and has more than 450 clients. Hesa already is present in more than 7,500 villages in the two Telugu-speaking States including about 3,500 in Telangana. “We are ensuring that the villagers do not have to travel vast distances for simple transactions like withdrawing or transferring cash. We follow a wallet-led model and all transactions are documented for transparency,” he said adding that someone running a Kirana store, or is a progressive farmer in that area, a women’s group, and the like are selected as Hesathis.
The gross revenues for the company have been about Rs 30 crore, he said. On Telangana operations, he said Hesa has been recently shortlisted by T-Hub for its Pre-acceleration programme Lab32 and this will provide the company opportunities to work closely with the Government of Telangana on some of its initiatives. It is also certified as one of the select few startups under the Telangana State Innovation Cell under its Social Impact Bootcamp 2020.
Hesa collaborates with Telangana’s Stree Nidhi, which has over ten lakh women members on board. It is helping rural women groups in digital repayment of microfinance loans, which is powered by Airtel Payments Bank. Hesa through its network is creating awareness about Agri tools and techniques by connecting the farming community with Husqvarna Group’s farming equipment division. It has also partnered with Krishitantra and is enabling 50,000 farmers to access soil testing services across 500 locations in TS and AP.
Hesa is also enabling insurance distribution. Hesa has a strong presence in Adilabad, Nirmal, Nizamabad, Mancherial, Karimnagar, Warangal Urban, Gadwal, Mahabubnagar, Sircilla and other locations. “We are creating or enhancing livelihoods at the village level. Many are able to earn about Rs 5,000 to Rs 6,000 more to their earnings by adding our platform. In some cases, they are earning up to Rs 12,000 to Rs 15,000 as well. We also have about 225 people who have reverse migrated to villages due to Covid. They were working as delivery boys. Now, they are able to get about Rs 10,000 in their own village,” he said. “We have plans to add about 1.2 lakh Heasthis across the country. We are talking about enhancing the livelihood of these many people by improving their efficiency,” he said about the social impact it will create.
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