IIT Guwahati students’ start-up, Sahara, develops mobile application for offline to online business services

Guwahati: Sahara, a hyperlocal-tech startup of the students of the Indian Institute of Technology Guwahati, have developed a mobile application that lets offline business owners create synergy with customers and potential business partners on a global platform with the power of digitalisation. The members of this strategic vision are Mr. Sai Vara Prasad, Co-Founder and COO; Mr. Sai Praneeth, Co-Founder and CEO; Mr. Rahul Nagurtha, Technical Advisor; Mr. Praveen Kumar, Business Advisor; and Mr. Shiv Kumar, Operations Advisor.


Inspired by the ‘Atma Nirbhar Bharat’ initiative, this entrepreneurial endeavour is determined to deliver ‘Made in India’ solutions by providing the best services to the people and encouraging existing offline businesses to convert to online business to have diverse opportunities. With the idea of one-stop solution for everything that people require, from food to shelter, the aim is to provide services that stand up to international quality standards at fairly low costs. The features on this app will also guarantee accurate navigating experience, especially to travellers, in the form of local language translation service, security for travellers by providing assistance in establishing contact with respective traveller’s embassy in case of emergency, emergency and SOS service especially for women etc.

Talking about the features of the application, Mr. Sai Vara Prasad, said, “The only aim of Sahara is to provide you best services whenever you go. It’ll be the best app for the whole travel industry, where travellers can indulge in local cultures easily, travel enthusiasts can take their blogging to a whole new level, as they can post media, and can also share to other social media platforms, which will be visible to anyone who visits or search for that place. For the safety of travellers, we have added many features”.

Speaking about the idea behind the application, Mr. Sai Praneeth, said, “A Neilsen report estimates about 12 million Kirana stores in India, with a humongous 98% share of retail grocery market pumping billions worth monetary transactions into economy. Sadly, 98% of these establishments fall into unorganised sector because they lack access to basic digital infrastructure secluding them from outreach of potential customers. We are set out to revert this. We will empower them to earn their equity in the booming digital economy. It’s a win-win game. Oligopoly is always a better world. See, buying from local does make a difference, and with Sahara, it’ll be a Great Experience.”

In the present scenario, where the pandemic has pushed the global economy into recession due to the lockdown, Sahara focusses on aiding the businesses by providing safe and extensive network operation from their home. This strategic approach tackles the challenges imposed by the lockdown and extends the boundaries for profitable financial recovery. This approach will further strengthen the local economy of a country.

“Our goal is simple and our vision is brilliant just like our Sahara”, said, Mr. Shiv Kumar.

The Sahara start-up app is designed keeping in mind to provide a seamless experience to individuals and retailers who may not have had any prior knowledge of the application. It enables businesses to register through their mobile application in simple and easy steps which includes submission of details related to the consumer/business product, phone-based verification and their respective geolocation.

Considering the operational benefits it can provide and its mission to convert every offline business to online, Sahara app has been launched and is available on the Google Play store.