Guess what? Now you could prepay for liquor online

In a move to reach liquor fast to the eager alcoholic, HipBar, a RBI-certified liquor-booking app initiated by Prasanna Natarajan, a Chennai-based entrepreneur is likely to create much uproar among the Bangaloreans who surely enjoy their drink, according to Economic Times report.

"After my decade-long experience in the liquor business, I came to the understanding that its biggest challenge is getting through to the consumer," says Prasanna Natarajan, who has a firm footing in the production and sale of premium liquor with his first venture, Sipping Spirits. "The industry's over-reliance on demographics and ignorance of technology may explain away some of the gaps in this trade," he adds.

However, the Chennai-based entrepreneur has stirred up a unique solution to this problem. Christened 'HipBar', his second venture may be at an infancy stage today, but the services it offers promises to shake up an industry that is ripe for disruption. The venture opened about a month ago, it enables people to reserve bottles of their favourite liquor online through an app, which can then be redeemed - in serving sizes or in full - at partner restaurants, bars, craft brew pubs as well as retail stores that stock the brand, according to ET report.
The beauty of the wallet is that it uses the semi-closed Pre-Paid Instrument provisions to carry out transactions. While you cannot buy liquor online, under a semi-closed prepaid wallet, it can be used for purchase of liquor from a group of clearly identified merchant locations/ establishments which have a specific contract with Hipbar to accept the payment instruments. This means, once you load money, you have prepaid for a bottle of liquor from any vendor or redeem the money for a drink at a bar. Natarajan says he has defended his wallet during multiple cases and he now has a system that can legally work across India.

"So a user who has booked a bottle of whiskey 'on the cloud' will pay for the portion consumed using the app, which will immediately update the volume left for later consumption," says Natarajan. "As of now, the corresponding prices of these portions are jointly decided by us with the outlet based on the market value of the liquor, but we will soon give restaurant managers access to a digital portal where this can be managed independently by them," he added.
Furthermore, HipBar customers also get discounts that are borne by these establishments. "This will bring down the prices of alcohol on the platform by nearly 20-25%, compared to what consumers will have to dish out using plastic money or cash," says Natarajan.


Source: The Economic Times

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