In the past week, social media was stormed by the "Baba Ka Dhaba" story. Baba ka Dhaba, a food stall at Malviya Nagar in South Delhi where an old couple was struggling to sell food became viral on social media after being shot by blogger Gaurav Vasan. The video narrates the post COVID struggles of the tearful owner Kanta Prasad in his own words. #BabaKaDhaba became the top trending story on Indian social media as netizens and celebrities poured in support. The virality ensured that the next reports showed people crowding on the small food stall and an elated Kanta Prasad thanking all.
However, this is not the "Happy Ending" all are fantasising, we all know that life for Kanta Prasad will be back to the one of hardship as the limelight fades and his acche din nears expiry. The small business with little or no resources has been the hardest hit in the pandemic, leaving scores of families in the low-income group with unimaginable distress.
The irony here is, India being the second-largest incubator of tech startups, has not been able to penetrate and problem-solve for these businesses. We can see Kanta Prasad wearing a FoodPanda T-Shirt in the video; however, there was no aggregator service available to him till the next day when Zomato cashed in on the social media frenzy. The same was with PayTM as they twitted "Baba, keep going strong! India's best wishes are with you" with photographs of the QR Cards.
In a world where Jio and the Tata's are talking of a SuperApp, these businesses perhaps need MiniApps. Easy to use, basic CRMs, integrated with WhatsApp that will keep them connected to the customers they have already transacted with.
A problem to solve, are Indian StratUps listening?