While e-commerce giants in India were busy solving issues related to the offline retail world, Grofers, an on demand delivery service start up has been focusing on simplifying the process of delivering low margin products quickly and conveniently to a larger chunk of people who struggle with their domestic chores. A recent study by CB insights, has picked Grofers to be in the top 50 companies that have the potential to be among the next set of start-up unicorns.
Grofers was launched in 2013 by Saurabh Kumar and Albinder Dhindsa and were among the early entrants in the online hyperlocal space. What started off as a platform to improve delivery experience through technology, has today evolved into a business of building a network involving shopkeepers and consumers. “We realised that the ordering process from local shops was still unreliable, offline and unorganised. Hence, we decided to build a front end system to help consumers order conveniently and quickly,” says Albinder Dindsa, co-founder and CEO of Grofers . Initially the company dealt with delivery of groceries in Delhi NCR and now they have expanded to other categories like bakery items, pet care, baby care and personal care products. “We recently entered the electronics, home appliances, sports and fitness category and launched in 16 additional cities to take our total to 26,” adds Dhindsa.
Backed by Sequoia and Tiger Global, the company has raised $46.5 million after three rounds of funding so far.
According to the company, the growth has been tremendous in the last few months with the addition of new categories which fetches them over 25,000 orders a day. However Dhindsa agrees that in the beginning it was a tedious task to get people use to the online platform when people have already accustomed themselves to the traditional habits of grocery shopping in spite of the complications related to it. “Our customer service is what drives us and is responsible for where we are today. The best service provider wins the customer’s loyalty and we have been constantly working towards improving our customer service which differentiates us from our competitors,” says Dhindsa.
Recently the company has been making waves in the industry by announcing that soon they will be shifting their base to Singapore. According to Dhindsa registering in Singapore is done with the motive to eventually help the company expand globally. “It is easier to do this now when we are a small organisation. Having said that, we are very much focused on India operations and this is our key market with our team still based here,” adds Dhindsa.
In terms of competition, the company hardly focuses on competition and is completely a growth driven platform. “In hyperlocal, we compete with a very few big players but lately a lot of online marketplaces are trying to make their way into hyperlocal.We believe that the service that gives a great experience to the consumer, will win at the end of the day” said Dhindsa.
The biggest challenge that lies in front of them is to ensure the shortest possible turnaround time (TAT) for their customers. Dhindsa said, “We aspire to get TAT under an hour and also,as we expand operations and add newer categories, we also have the responsibility to educate our not so tech savvy partner merchants to come onboard.” The company’s goal is to quadruple their daily orders in existing markets by the end of this year.