Zakya Multi Branch SupportZoho Corporation has launched Zakya, a unified retail solution that will enable SMEs to manage their operation, including POS, inventory and shipping. There are also integrations to shipping carriers, social media channels, payment gateways, Zoho Commerce and Zoho Books. The solution also enables firms to grow with support for additional registers, branches, and warehouses. The new Zakya solution is available now and supports English and ten local Indian languages.

Zakya emerges

Zakya believes that once purchased, its solution can be up and running in under an hour, even for businesses with thousands of items in their inventory. There may, however, be some prep work to achieve this, depending upon the scale of the business, how many SKUs and what electronic information is available. The brand is initially launching in India only.

What is, perhaps, a little surprising is that Zoho did not create a complete retail industry bundle for Zakya, instead chose to keep Zoho Books and Zoho Commerce as separate solutions. However, the application is a freemium product, allowing organisations to complete 60 point-of-sale transactions monthly. Users can trial the standard version for 15 days, which includes 5 users and unlimited POS transactions, as well as several other enhancements for INR 649 /month (under US$8 per month), billed annually. Full pricing information is available here.

Jayagopal Theranikal, Chief Evangelist Zakya. Image credit - LinkedIn
Jayagopal Theranikal, Chief Evangelist, Zakya

Jayagopal Theranikal, Chief Evangelist at Zakya, commented, “As consumers turn to online shopping, there is an increasing demand for digital solutions among retailers who want to stay competitive. However, the current solutions in the market either lack the necessary features to support retailers in their day-to-day operations or they are legacy software that are complex, rigid, and have a steep learning curve. Zakya bridges this gap by offering an easy-to-use solution that can be deployed quickly, lowering the barrier to technology adoption for small businesses.”

The brand name Zakya is derived from the Sanskrit word “sakya”, which means “possible”, according to the company. Wisdom Library notes other definitions of the word. It defined the word “Śakya” as being “that which is easily attainable”. Like other Zoho applications, this seems a better definition of the ethos of the software.

What is Zakya

At the heart of Zakya is a native POS billing application that is available for Windows, iOS, and Android devices. The application supports an offline mode, which means that retailers can continue to conduct business even when their internet connection is down. During business times, sales assistants can use mobile phones to bill customers for goods allowing stores to reduce the wait time for customers looking to purchase items.

The POS application supports 17 different languages, including Arabic, French, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish and 10 Indian languages.

The POS application can also integrate into some of the commonly used hardware devices used by retailers. These items include a barcode scanner, weighing scale, receipt printer, pole display and cash drawers. What isn’t clear is whether Zakya provides these devices, or which manufacturers are compatible.

Zakya Mobile application, (c) ZOHO
Zakya Mobile application

Zakya also includes a custom mobile application that enables customers to browse and purchase items on their smartphones. They can then pick up the item at the store or even request a delivery.

The back-end Zakya application provides store owners with an integrated system for inventory management and customer information, including sales, supplier management, vendor information, purchasing requests and bills. The system supports different user levels, from owner to admin to basic user, enabling retailers to delegate relevant tasks.

The system comes with business intelligence in the form of analytics reports for sales and other business metrics, including inventory, receivables, payables, and purchases. User-friendly dashboards deliver quick insights into sales activity, inventory, and more.

On integrations

The platform has a wealth of integrations, some of which are available out of the box. Payment integration partners are included as part of the Zoho Books integration. Which, once connected, enables firms to process payments through payment vendors such as Eazypay, Razorpay, Paytm, PayPal, and 2Checkout. Likely, Zoho will also offer its payment solution later this year. Integration to books also helps organisations stay GST compliant, ensuring that the transactions are recorded correctly on an accounting system.

Zakya can also integrate with shipping solutions such as AfterShip and EasyPost to fulfil customer orders. There is also a native integration with Zoho Commerce to help create a more sophisticated online store.

Integrations to communications platforms are also available. Using integration with Twilio, business owners can support SMS messaging, while integration to WhatsApp allows stores to send messages for invoices, sales orders, and payment receipts from the system directly.

One customer story amongst many

Zoho also released findings from a significant survey of over 1,000 retail respondents. The key finding was that about 95% of the respondents who are currently billing manually would like to switch to a modern POS solution by 2029. This seems a long way away, and yet Zakya could provide a solution that is at the right price point for them to automate their business now. Importantly, it could enable individuals with a side hustle to build a business with the free version before investing and support growing the business. With the Indian retail sector expected to reach ~$2 trillion by 2032, according to research by BCG and the Retailers Association of India, Zakya is emerging at the right time.

As with most other products Zoho launches, the solution has already been operating across multiple businesses. Zakya is already powering over 170 retail stores across India. Businesses are using the software in Nagpur, Pune, Aurangabad, Bandhavgarh, Coimbatore, Tiruchirappalli, Nagercoil, and others.

Bharathi Kannan, Co-founder, Fresh Mills. “We used three different software before Zakya, and each transition took almost 20 days, employee training took two to three days, and then a minimum of 40 or 50 customer bills to get accustomed to the software. With Zakya’s seamless transition and user-friendly interface, training became unnecessary. Our employees started using it effortlessly from the moment of implementation.”

It is not just the short implementation time that is attractive. The onboarding time for new employees also makes a huge difference as it means in businesses, with high employee churn, the ability to get new employees working quickly is important. In 2020, an AON India survey (paywall) identified an attrition rate of 20.5% within retail.

Enterprise Times: What does this mean

This appears to be one of the first industry vertical solutions that Zoho has created.  Interestingly, it has decided to create and bring a new brand to market. However, requirements in retail are very different from many other businesses, and the decision makes sense.

It is attacking the low end of the market but has the capability, with support from other Zoho applications, to help retail businesses scale up considerably. Zakya supports multi-branch and multiple warehouse organisations. That the POS element supports 17 applications already is an indication that the company is looking to expand this further afield than India.

It will be interesting to see how quickly it manages to do this and also how it introduces its payment capability into the platform. With 170 businesses already using the application it will help to further expand that. Hopefully, the international roll-out will not take long as there is a huge appetite in other countries for small cottage industry retailers looking for a solution to start with that; if their business takes off, they can grow with it. With the freemium option available, Zakya could grow to become a significant proportion of Zoho’s revenues.

The short implementation time allows stores to start using the POS system in an hour, and the ease of use allows them to train their employees quickly. As the retail segment has high employee churn, the shorter learning curve becomes a key factor driving Zakya’s growth.

Additional information

Enterprise Times asked Zakya about launching internationally. Jayagopal Theranikal, Chief Evangelist, Zakya replied, “We plan to launch Zakya in other countries soon. However, this will involve country-specific localisation efforts to handle taxes, currency, integrations with regional payment gateways, hardware integrations, weighing scale certifications, etc. Therefore, we cannot commit to any timeline.” (Posted 1st March 2024)


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