Future, as it may happen
Year 2023. It is estimated that more than 80% of information search will happen online using a voice-based robot-like Alexa. With increasing smartphone penetration, masses would get used to Phone assistants carrying out basic activities for them. While it would be simple and easy for large players like Amazon and Flipkart to capitalize on this change, small businesses would suffer. Millions of small businesses do not have digital presence, and hence will never be found by likes of Alexa. Even if they maintain Facebook, Insta, website and multiple other pages, their online presence is cluttered, spread over multiple platforms and at times can be confused with mentions on third party blogs. In such times, if someone asks anything to Alexa, the default answer would be an Amazon or Flipkart.
Add to it the complexity of common names for businesses, like Aggarwal Sweets. Future may not seem as bright for a small businessman.
Is there a solution?
Power of information is infinite. Small businesses have known it for years and hence you can find them sharing visiting cards, pamphlets, or posters to let customers know more about their businesses. However, with ecosystem evolving drastically with the advent of smartphones, all businesses need to have a very simple, yet exhaustive digital presence that they can easily share with their users. This online digital presence must also be unique and easy to remember so that it is easily identifiable and searchable.
Taking this as a premise, i2e1 (Information To Every One), a company working towards solving for information inequality, has designed a new product for the small businesses, Linq. Incubated at IIT Delhi and run by IIT- IIM graduates, i2e1 aspires to impact the lives of 500 million people by 2022.
Linq is the new age digital identity and presence for businesses that puts all information about business in one place. In case small businesses do not have a digital presence, Linq can also help them to create an online presence within minutes by filling up a simple form. It does not require any technical expertise and just takes 2 minutes. Businesses can add information like name, contact details, pictures, live google map directions, offers, or even all their social media feeds in a Linq. Once created, this information can be easily shared with customers in just one click.
The best part about Linq is the fact that the customer does not require any app. They can just get the specific information they are looking for, while having the flexibility of exploring everything about businesses. This is designed beautifully to provide strong esthetic appeal.
With a successful pilot with 25,000 businesses in the last 3 months, Linq is now ready to expand with more features to reach out to the 280 million small business and offer them the simplest and fastest way to organise and share their business information. Linq will be absolutely free for businesses. These features were showcased by the team at their inaugural event ‘Anant’ at The Westin, Gurgaon on Oct 19, 2019. The event was attended by business influencers, media and other external stakeholders.
Along with this, a revolutionary feature got unveiled where a businessman could map all his business information to his Linq just by uploading 2 photos; one of his visiting card and another of his outlet. All information automatically gets fetched with the help of artificial intelligence and machine learning.
Satyam Darmora, Founder, i2e1 demonstrated this featured and showcased how simple it is to use Linq app. He further added that the best part is how Linq app provides wings to imagination of small merchants, by including personalised greeting cards, business videos, personalised posters etc.
As they say that tomorrow of India is not going to be Amazon but defined by small businessman like Amar Jain & Sons.