Hesa - A Startup that Aims to be the Amazon of Rural India

Chayanika Goswami Chayanika Goswami
Apr 8, 2022 8 min read
Hesa - A Startup that Aims to be the Amazon of Rural India

Company Profile is an initiative by StartupTalky to publish verified information on different startups and organizations. The content in this post has been approved by Hesa.

The number of internet users in rural India is on a steady rise. In a report published in June 2021 by the Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) and consulting firm Kantar, it was revealed that in 2019-2020, while the internet users increased by 4% in urban India, in rural India, the growth is 13%. However, despite this increasing number of internet users, the majority of the rural population is still deprived of e-commerce and e-banking facilities. While the rural population is comfortable using the internet for entertainment, communication, and for accessing social media platforms, ย many village dwellers are yet not comfortable with making online payments. Also, it is not easy for businesses like e-commerce companies and e-banking and financial service providers to deliver their products and services to rural areas due to the lack of infrastructure. Vamsi Udayagiri understood these issues and came up with a solution- HESA. Today HESA is helping thousands of villagers take advantage of not just e-commerce and e-banking facilities but much more. By offering a platform that lets the rural population buy and sell products via e-commerce, Hesa aims to become the Amazon of rural India. Here is the story of the Indian agri-tech startup, HESA.

Hesa - Company Highlights

Startup Name Hesa
Headquarters Telengana, India
Sector Rural Tech
Founders Vamsi Udayagiri and Hema Nandiraju
Founded 2012
Website hesaglobal.com

About Hesa
Hesa - Founders
Hesa - Startup Story
Hesa - Mission and Vision
Hesa - Tagline and Logo
Hesa - Business Model & Revenue Model
Hesa - Funding and Investors
Hesa - Growth & Future Plans

About Hesa

HESA is a platform that is all set to revolutionize the lives of rural Indians. This platform serves as a bridge between the rural population of our country and various businesses, Corporates, SMEs, Banks, governments, and NGOs. HESA has a lot to offer. HESA helps e-commerce companies by managing the supply chain at the village level, helps the villagers in accessing e-banking facilities, helps the village farmers sell their agro products, and also helps brands with product promotions and surveys.

HESA ย has a network of on-ground workers known as Hesaathis, who act as the go-to persons who help the villagers access various products and services online. Any individual from the village who has an entrepreneurial mindset and who is tech-savvy enough to use the HESA app is eligible to join HESA as a Hesaathi. ย 

Here is a detailed look at the services offered by HESA:

Villagers can easily access any banking and financial service with the help of the HESA platform. One just needs to visit the Hesaathi ( an 0n-groud HESA worker), who logs into the HESA platform and helps the villagers avail of the required financial solutions. Cash withdrawals, deposits, loans, and insurance, all financial services can be availed online via the HESA app.

Ecommerce solutions

HESA serves as a bridge between e-commerce companies and rural customers. It manages the supply chain, promotes the products of its partner brands to the villagers, and conducts consumer surveys on behalf of its partner brands. HESA also offers assisted buying and selling services to rural consumers.

Agro-Based Solutions

HESA offers complete solutions to access and transact with the farming community. HESA helps farmers access various information and marketing facilities with the help of technology. Hesaathis help farmers sell their products on various online Agri marketplaces like BigHaat

NGO & CSR

HESA makes the rural population more accessible to NGOs and for CSR activities, which helps in the overall development of the rural population and rural economy.


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Hesa - Founders and Team

HESA was founded in 2012 by couple entrepreneurs Vamsi Udayagiri and Hema Nandiraju.

Hesa founders, Vamsi Udayagiri and Hema Nandiraju
Hesa founders, Vamsi Udayagiri and Hema Nandiraju

Vamsi Udayagiri

A mechanical engineer by qualification, Vamsi Udayagiri's field of expertise includes Supply Chain Management, Sales and Customer Management, Livelihood and Skill Development, and Rural Marketing and Promotion. Vamsi worked with several companies like Ramco Systems, and Entercoms where he handled Sales, Customer Management, and Supply Chain Management. Prior to HESA, Vamsi also co-founded IT startup 'Riddles n Clues' in the year 2000, which was sold in 2006. Vamsi always had a love for rural India, which made him start 'Rural Yellow Times' in 2010. 'Rural Yellow Times' focussed on bridging the demand-supply gap in rural areas. 'Rural Yellow Times' was later rebranded as HESA. Vamsi is also the co-founder of 'Hesa Events', a full-service sales and marketing agency.

Hema Nandiraju

Hesa co-founder Hema Nadiraju has spent years in the rural areas of Telangana dedicating her time to various training and development-related activities. ย 

Hesa - Startup Story

Hesa founder Vamsi Udayagiri had an entrepreneurial mindset, which inspired him to leave his job, and search for his passion. Vamsi had a love for rural India, and he was sure he wanted to do something for the betterment of rural India. ย In 2010, after leaving his job as the Regional Manager for Entercoms, Vamsi started exploring the Indian Villages. He visited 4000+ villages across India to understand the rural market and the gaps that existed in the market. After almost 2 years Vamsi was clear that managing the supply chain in the rural areas is what he wanted to do. This led to the starting up of Rural Yellow Times in April 2012. This startup focused on supply chain management in villages. Rural Yellow Times was rebranded as Hesa and new services were included on the platform.


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Hesa - Mission and Vision

Hesa's Mission is " to be the preferred last-mile rural commerce platform by connecting over 650K villages across India."

Hesa envisions to grow into rural India's largest integrated marketplace and bring about ease of commerce in Indian Villages.

Hesa's tagline is, 'Connecting Bharat Phygitally'. True to its tagline, Hesa is connecting rural India to the more developed parts of the country both physically with the help of its on-ground workforce, the Hesaathis, and also via the Hesa platform. ย 

Hesa Logo
Hesa Logo

Hesa - Business Model & Revenue Model

The Hesa platform has a plethora of offerings. One can buy and sell products, pay bills, and avail of financial services. Hesa also conducts promotional activities and surveys for its partner brands. As it has multiple services to offer, Hesa has multiple sources of revenue. The platform mostly earns revenue from all the transactions that happen through the platform like buying, selling, bill payment, etc. Hesa also makes money from the on-ground activities like promotions, surveys, etc. that it does for its clients.

Hesa - Funding and Investors

Hesa raised total funding worth $4 Million in over 4 funding rounds. Below are Hesa Funding details

Date Stage Amount Leading Investors
December,2021 Seed $1.5 Million Venture Catalysts
October,2021 Grant $450k NABARD
July,2021 Seed - Thirteen Initiatives
June,2021 Seed $2 Million Venture Catalysts

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Hesa - Growth & Future Plans

Hesa is doing a meaningful job, and hence is receiving a good response in the villages it is operating in. Currently, Hesa is offering its services in 11 districts in the 4 states of Andhra Pradesh, Telengana, Karnataka & Maharashtra. As per the website, more than 17 lakh rural consumers have availed of Hesa's services/products to date, and over 30,000 Hesaathis are associated with the platfrom, of which a sizeable chunk is women.

With 65+ B2B partnerships across industries and sectors, Hesa has a lot to offer to the rural population. Hesa's partner brands include well-known ones like Himalaya, P&G, Mahindra, Reliance General Insurance, HDFC Life, and Wipro.

As of December 2020, Hesa reported Rs 22 crore revenue (Rs 75 crore GMV).

Hesa's efforts toward the improvement of the lives of rural people are also being recognized. In March 2021, Hesa won the โ€˜Road to Elevate Competitionโ€™ held by IIT Madrasโ€™ Entrepreneurship Cell, among 200+ startups. In 2021 itself, Hesa was also judged to be among the Top 5 Startups among 1000+ national and international startups at the Innopreneurs Startup Contest.

Just making revenue is not what Hesa aims at, and the startup has really given back to society. Amidst Covid 19 crisis, Hesa provided employment opportunities to many ย who have lost their jobs, under its #savinglivelihood initiative

From Delivering ration kits to ensuring that the villagers get the benefit of the Central and State Government announced Covid Insurance, Hesaathis have taken lots of responsibilities during the crisis. As revealed by the founders, Hesaathis have been selling over 4000 Covid insurance policies every month.

Hesa also helped farmers in small villages in selling their products during the Lockdown. โ€œFarmers in small villages have not been able to sell their produce due to lockdown restrictions. Hesa has helped in reselling produce such as onion, ginger, potatoes, paddy worth Rs 7-8 lakh,โ€ says Vamsi,

The startup also helped many rural customers with vaccine registration.

Hesa aims to reach 50,000 villages by 2023, thereby impacting 50,000 + rural livelihoods. The company is looking forward to achieving over Rs 2000 Crore in GMV by 2022. ย 

Hesa - FAQs

What is Hesa Global?

Hesa Global is a platform that connects the rural population with the Government, NGOs, and brands. Hesa has partnered with various brands, NGOs, and Government bodies, and the rural population can avail of the products and services of these partner organizations via the Hesa app. From accessing financial services to buying and selling products, Hesa empowers the less tech-savvy village population to take advantage of all online facilities. Besides Hesa also helps brands, Government bodies, and NGOs reach out to the rural population.

What is Hesa App?

The Hesa App helps businesses, NGOs, Government bodies, and financial institutions reach out to the rural population for buying, selling, promotion, or for social causes. Hesa's ground work force called Hesaathis also uses the Hesa App for helping the less tech-savvy rural population for buying and selling goods online, and for accessing various products and services online.

Who is the founder of Hesa?

Couple entrepreneurs Vamsi Udayagiri and Hema Nandiraju, are the founders of Hesa.

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