For a brief period of 8-10 days immediately post the announcement of Lockdown 1.0, we saw a 2.4-2.5 times spike in daily demand; that obviously put a lot of stress on the entire supply chain.
As people stay confined to their houses to check the spread of the novel coronavirus, e-grocers and kirana stores across the country have kept the household basket of essentials stocked up. Anant Goel, CEO and co-founder at grocery delivery start-up Milkbasket, talks to FE’s Asmita Dey about consumer demand, pattern of consumption and the firm’s business plans. Excerpts:
How has the pattern of consumer consumption changed through the lockdown?
From a spike in stock-up categories like staples during Lockdown 1.0, to more than 200% increase in snacks and packaged food categories during subsequent two phases of lockdowns, we witnessed different patterns through the lockdown. While daily-essential categories like milk and other dairy products did not see any major variations, sales for fresh fruits and vegetables saw a significant jump.
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To what extent did you see a spike in demand compared to pre-Covid days?
For a brief period of 8-10 days immediately post the announcement of Lockdown 1.0, we saw a 2.4-2.5 times spike in daily demand; that obviously put a lot of stress on the entire supply chain. As things started to settle down towards the early part of April, daily demand on our platform settled at 1.7-1.8 times higher versus pre-Covid days.
Are any fundraising plans on the anvil to support growth plans?
We are on our path to profitability in 2020, which is now accelerated basis the increased demand over the last couple of months. We will only look for subsequent fund raise basis the right investor with a vision to help us in our journey to IPO (initial public offering) in a couple of years.
How do you plan to scale up your business going ahead?
Business strategy continues to remain the same — to keep servicing daily consumption needs in the most user-friendly and efficient manner. While we do that, in this new world it puts a lot more responsibility on us, be it the best-in-class safety precautions that we are undertaking in our back-end supply chain, or being much more agile with our product assortment.
Are you open to acquisition by bigger players?
We are right now in a very solid position and look forward to being profitable and independent for years to come.