Insights from the World of Kiranas | Sept’23

September 2023

Hey there 👋 

Welcome to the latest edition of Kirana Club Insider - your monthly dose of insights from kiranas of India. A must for every FMCG enthusiast!

Kirana Club is like LinkedIn, but exclusively for kiranas. We are India's Largest Kirana Community where the kirana owners create and consume content of fellow owners to make better business decisions.

The Kirana Club App has onboarded more than 15 Lakh kiranas to date and is the perfect platform for FMCG brands to come in and influence the kiranas at SCALE resulting in increased preference and trust in the kirana channel leading to ‘share of shelf’ gains. 📈

Let’s dive, shall we?

Retailer’s Top Picks

Parle leads the kirana conversations on the back of biscuits

Parle took the spotlight of the month by receiving a staggering 5,42,113 organic impressions from kirana owners. As expected, 80% of the conversations around Parle was dominated by their household favorite biscuit products.

September also saw a lot of kiranas creating content on brands in personal care and hygiene. Patanjali led from the front with 3,94,872 impressions, with Patanjali Dant Kanti and Kesh Kanti enjoying more than 50% of the total conversations on Patanjali. Dabur also made a significant impact, amassing 3,18,752 impressions, on the back of its well-know hair oil brands Dabur Amla and Dabur Almond, which accounted for 45% of total impressions.

Kirana Ki Adalat

Nestle’s Maggi is kirana channels’ favourite brand of the month

Leading with its iconic 2-minute noodles, Maggi’s newly launched ₹10 (40 gms) noodles pack was a hit among kiranas last month. 

There seems to be a big push for small size SKUs when it comes to Maggi. We saw lot of UGC on both retailer and end consumer schemes of different Maggi products - 1 pack free for retailers on purchase of 5 units of Maggi pouches and ₹5 Magic-Masala pouch free for end consumers with Maggi Pichkoo (small size ketchup SKU). Looks like kiranas have given a thumbs-up to these moves by Maggi.

Emerging Brands

Emerging brands see up to 2X increase in impressions

Certain brands enjoyed an unprecedented increase in the number of organic impressions in the month of September compared to August. The criteria of selection was brands that garnered a minimum of 10K organic impressions in August and saw the biggest jump in the month of September.

This was led by Tata on the back of its household staples, Tata Tea and Tata Salt, both the brands capturing more than 60% of the total impressions. Balaji and Haldiram specifically saw an increase in impressions in the states of Bihar, Maharashtra and Haryana.

KC Initiatives

Presenting Indian Kirana League (IKL) - India's Biggest Kirana Quiz Competition

In our ongoing efforts to deliver more value to our users i.e. kirana owners, we designed a novel concept called the Indian Kirana League (IKL) - the quest for finding India's sharpest kirana minds!

We know that running a kirana store is no small feat and needs a lot of skill, knowledge, and determination. From industry insights and negotiation skills to sales expertise, lightning-fast mental maths, kirana owners are true wizards in their domain.

Think about it for a moment - these kirana owners need to be experts in their knowledge of brands and their variants, sizes, shelf life, MRPs, margins and so much more. At Kirana Club, we noticed kiranas take a lot of pride in their knowledge about FMCG brands.

The idea behind IKL was to give our users an engaging way to test their knowledge of the business they are in and in the process help them add to their social capital in less than a month i.e. fame among their own community.

Here’s how IKL became a game-changer on the Kirana Club App:

  • The app based qualifying round saw participation from more than 1.5 lakh kiranas from across the country.

  • The top 60 then had a face off round in round-2 followed by the top 10 having a face-off in the semifinals.

  • Top 2 went head-to-head in the grand finale.

  • The entire competition was watched by more than 3.5 lakh kiranas.

We can proudly claim that IKL is the only platform in the country that gives kiranas a platform to showcase knowledge of the business they are in. The only platform that recognizes and celebrates the brilliance of kirana owners.

To give you an example, runner-up Gulab Chand Ji, a 60 year old from Jodhpur, Rajasthan running his kirana business for more than 4 decades, aced the Math round in all the stages by answering all questions correctly. The fellow kiranas were amazed at the speed with which he was calculating every time. We have lovingly given him the title of ‘human-calculator’

Our winner Ritesh Ji from Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh who took home cash prize of INR 51,000 beautifully captures the vision and emotion behind IKL:

‘Until IKL happened, kirana owners like us never got such an opportunity to showcase our skill and talent. Thanks to Kirana Club I will now be known in the entire kirana community. This is like a Diwali coming early for me and my family.’

Motivated by the success of Indian Kirana League, we are launching ‘Diwali with Kiranas' to help brands ace the festive season. Find more details below.

Survey Insights

Are FMCG brands right in introducing more small size SKUs?

Recently there was news of distributors pushing back FMCG brands on the launch of small-size to combat regional low-price competition. Distributors want brands to stick to only four different-sized SKUs for more efficient inventory management at their end. Obviously, brands have dismissed this suggestion.

We at Kirana Club thought of getting the kirana owners’ view on this matter by running a platform wide survey. We asked kirana owners if they had seen an increase in demand for small size SKUs in recent times. The survey received 10,000+ responses and reveals some interesting insights.

Kirana owners as we know will only stock brands and SKUs which have high demand. For them stock turnover should be fast so that they can pay distributors in time and replenish quickly.

71% kiranas validated the fact that in recent weeks the demand for small size SKUs has gone up especially in categories like snacks (namkeens and chips), biscuits, soft drinks and branded spices.

“Mere yahan Haldiram ke namkeen ke, Kurkure ke 5 aur 10 wale packs, Britannia aur Parle ke 5/10 wale packs, masala brands jaise Everest aur Rajesh ke 5 wale packs ki sale badhi hai” — Retailer from Vadodara

“Jeera wala cold drink, Frooti ke 10 wale packs, namkeen aur chips ke 5/10 wale packs ki sale badhi hai” — Retailer from Nashik

Retailers also mentioned categories like toothpaste, detergents and bathing soap where they were seeing increase in demand for small size SKUs.

Our dipstick in a way does indicate that at ground level there is a definite increase in demand for smaller ticket size SKUs in a lot of categories. It will be interesting to see how this plays out in the next few months.


Introducing ‘Diwali with Kiranas’

As part of festival season activations, Kirana Club is excited to announce the launch of 'Diwali with Kiranas' - an activation programme designed for brands to boost their in-store visibility across thousands of stores during the peak Dussehra to Diwali season.

It will be a digital only activation with no involvement of sales and merchandising teams. The entire activation is designed like a contest wherein the kiranas will create interesting festive displays using products of partner brands.

Here’s how it will work:

  • Kiranas decorate shelves using partner brand products & post on Kirana Club app

  • Best decorated shelves get rewarded every week by the brand

  • Lakhs of other kiranas get motivated to stock & sell brand’s products

Some of the most renowned FMCG brands have shown keen interest to partner with us for this mega festive brand activation.

KC x Brand

Kirana Club powered a leading oats brand to increase the ‘share of shelf’ in the kirana channel

In the fiercely competitive breakfast cereal sector, securing prominent shelf space in kirana stores can significantly impact offtake numbers and market share. This case study delves into how a leading oats brand managed to gain an increased ‘share of shelf’ in the markets of Delhi, Mumbai and Bengaluru on the back of an activation idea devised and deployed by Kirana Club.


The brand aimed to increase its visibility and gain additional shelf space within kirana stores in the highly competitive metro markets. The brand believed that an increase in shelf space would translate into higher sales and market share.


To drive an additional share of shelf gain for a well-known brand is not easy, especially given that the brand already enjoyed a history of more than a decade in the market. Given the difficulty of the task, we had to think very differently.

We needed to give kiranas a bait that would make them give the brand the extra shelf space for at least 3-4 weeks and if the end customer response was good, the kiranas would be happy to let the brand enjoy additional space for longer.

We designed an activation on the lines of ‘Stock More, Win Big’, wherein kiranas competed with each other to win cash prizes

The construct of the activation:

  • Every day, kiranas had to send us a picture of the shelf with the brand’s SKUs on it

  • Every valid image i.e. a minimum of 6 packets would earn them coins and a small cash reward

  • At the end of 4 weeks, the top 10 kiranas with the highest number of coins collected would earn cash rewards with the top performer winning Rs.10,000


Increased Brand Visibility: Kirana store owners responded enthusiastically to the campaign, stocking more SKUs of the brand in a bid to earn additional coins and improve their rankings. This led to a noticeable increase in the brand's visibility on the shelves of participating stores.

Increased share of shelf: The brand successfully displaced competing brands, gaining more shelf space and pushing them to less prominent positions.

In conclusion, this case study highlights the impact Kirana Club can deliver being India's biggest kirana community, by directly influencing the influencer i.e. the kiranas.


Welcoming Coca-Cola India and Wipro Consumer Care to Kirana Club 🔥

We are absolutely thrilled to announce that Kirana Club has successfully onboarded two industry giants onto our platform. This marks a pivotal moment in our journey.

The partnership with Coca-Cola India is for powering its new and upcoming drink brand Thums Up Charged in the kirana channel. With Wipro Consumer Care the partnership is for India’s Biggest Soap Brand Santoor.

Their presence opens up exciting opportunities for collaborations, promotions, and special offers that will directly benefit kirana owners and consumers at large.

Kirana Influencer of The month

Why Shubham Sharma loves being part of the Kirana Club Community?

We had a free wheeling chat with one of our most engaged ‘kirana-saathi’, Shubham Sharma Ji. Originally from Ghaziabad (UP), now handling the reins of his 36 years old kirana business started by his father.

Shubham completed his M.Com in 2017 and then tried multiple times to get a government job by attempting various entrance exams. He missed getting in the merit list, undeterred by failures he decided to join his father’s kirana business when the COVID pandemic struck.

He spoke to us on how he had to learn quickly and how COVID forced him to think differently to keep the family business afloat in difficult times. Here are some excerpts from the chat (translated into English):

Q: What is your ambition for your business?

From the small store that I have today I want to turn it into a big supermarket, one that will be famous with people in the range of 3-4 sq. km. I want the business to be so big that I buy in bulk directly from the company and not go to the wholesalers. When this happens I can give good discounts to my customers which will make me very famous.

Q: What do you like most about your business?

The fact that I get to learn something new, tips, tricks, ideas, everyday not just from my father but also customers, wholesalers, salesmen and also my next door competition

Q: What are some of the essential qualities for a kirana owner to succeed?

A kirana business owner needs to have patience ‘sahansheelta’ and should be calm and composed in any situation. Only with such qualities one can make correct decisions and choices most of the time. In our business 'relationship-building’ is also very important, be it with customers or with suppliers.

Q: After taking over from your father what new ideas have you brought into your business?

My father was really good at the business and he single handedly scaled our business to great heights but then COVID happened and for the first time I saw him worried. I knew that it was time to do things we had not done before. Being from a generation that has grown up using the internet, I decided to use it for business.

I saw a big trend in customers buying from online apps like BigBasket and then I realized that because they drive big business for brands, they are able to get stocks at steep discounts which they pass on to their customers. I then started using such apps to buy my stocks from them at rates better than even the wholesaler and pass on the discounts to my customers.

I also realized that as a small kirana owner, the best I could do is try to have every possible product at my store and get my hands on the latest schemes brands are running for retailers or customers. I started following Instagram pages of brands to know about new launches, everyday track apps like BigBasket to know the schemes and offers they are running.

Q: How has been your experience of Kirana Club

After joining Kirana Club my knowledge of various brands, their new products, margins, schemes, discounts has gone up manifold. Because of Kirana Club I am able to make much better stocking decisions and I am able to negotiate with wholesalers confidently. Before going to the market to buy stock, I check on Kirana Club, I Whatsapp myself all the relevant posts and then negotiate hard with wholesalers. I even give them information about certain schemes that they might not be aware of.

Q: How being part of the kirana community benefited you?

I am an active contributor in the community. The kind of respect ‘sammann’ that Kirana Club has given me is something that I have never received anywhere else. I am now friends with kirana owners from across the country and they value my ideas and suggestions which I post on the app. Thousands of kirana owners know Shubham Sharma, thanks to Kirana Club.

Kirana Club in Media

Kirana Club recognized as one of the top retail-tech startups by Retail Association of India (RAI)

In September, we had the privilege of presenting Kirana Club at the prestigious ReTechCon event held at JW Marriott, Mumbai. As part of the event, Kirana Club was also recognized as one of the top retail-tech startups in India by RAI.

This only reaffirms our dedication to shaping the future of the retail industry in India and our mission to empower kirana owners. We extend our heartfelt gratitude to our incredible community of FMCG professionals and kirana retailers for being an integral part of this remarkable journey.

Feedback & Support

Got a minute? We’d love to hear your thoughts!

We are so excited to see your overwhelming response and feedback. Thank you for fuelling our fire to create the best content for you.

Reply to this email with your suggestions, ideas or feedback and help us make this an even better read for you. We’ll be back with more insights and learnings from our exciting Kirana community.

Until next month,
Team Kirana Club