The change to mobile-first is already happening: Albinder Dhindsa, Co-founder of Grofers
According to PwC, the e-commerce industry in India is pegged to grow to 21.3 billion USD by the end of 2015, where as the e-tail sector would contribute 6 billion USD. Unarguably, India is in the midst of an e-commerce boom, which is only set to surge further as more and more homes have access to the internet and to smartphones. While debates around internet penetration, smartphone adoption, the e-commerce bubble, offline vs. online, valuations etc. lingers on, the hyper-local segment in India has been hotting-up. The emergence of hyper-local startups like Jugnoo, Zopper, Grofers and PepperTap, hasn’t just managed to augment the supply chain and boost delivery networks, they’ve also put the offline vs. online debate to rest by marrying the both, to provide customers the best of both worlds.
We caught up with Albinder Dhindsa, Co-founder of Grofers – one of the fastest growing hyper-local start-ups in India – for a quick chat about the company, the industry, mobility and more.
Q. Grofers started off as a B2B hyper-local logistics service that would allow merchants to deliver orders to their customers; what made you rethink your business model and what prompted the foray into the B2C space?
Grofers was established in December 2013. We worked on a B2B model for a few months, started the B2C business and then launched our app in December 2014. This is when we started catering to end consumers directly. The gradual change in consumer behavior and technology complemented the concept of online grocery shopping. Also, the mobile friendly audience base contributed to the transition.
Q. One of the USPs of the Grofers business model is the 90-minutes (express) delivery promise. But is this a sustainable model in the long run, especially when the brand is looking to scale aggressively? Also, do you have plans to set-up your own warehouses?
We are an on-demand hyperlocal delivery service. Quick delivery is our USP. Our model is dynamic and allows us to customise delivery time depending on the location and demand. With growth, it becomes easier to deliver in less than 90 minutes also due to network effects.
Q. You recently bought out My Green Box – a leader in the grocery vertical – which has helped you strengthen your delivery operations in the Delhi NCR region; are there more acquisitions on the cards in other cities?
Yes, My Green Box merged with us in April 2015. It did strengthen different functions. Varun Khurana joined us as the CTO.
Q. The line between e-tail and e-commerce in India is gradually blurring, and everybody is vying to cater to the same set of customers, offering very similar services. In such a scenario, how does Grofers intend to set itself apart from the competition?
Customer service. The best service provider wins the customer’s loyalty. We have been working on our services and good customer service has differentiated us from our competitors.
Q. As of today, how many orders do you process through your iOS and Android apps respectively?
We service over 25,000 orders every day. Customers get to choose from 40,000+ products by 5,000+ merchants who are listed on Grofers.
Q. Why are Windows phone users getting the step-motherly treatment? Do you have plans to launch an app for the Windows mobile platform soon?
Windows is on our roadmap. We are building a team to develop and manage the Windows platform.
Q. Do you think the e-commerce industry in India will witness a mobile-first revolution – where mobile will be the top priority for brands?
The change to mobile-first is already happening. As the penetration of smartphones and internet is increasing along with the changing shopping behaviors, the mobile revolution is here to stay. Also, with the transition of preferences to shopping on the go, mobile is already the top priority for everyone.
Q. Do you foresee mobile transactions accounting for a larger chunk of the e commerce revenue compared to web-based orders, in the near future?
Yes. This is already true for a majority of the e-commerce companies in India.
Q. What is your long-term vision for Grofers?
We are here to change the way people shop for their daily needs. We plan to reach as many customers as possible and make their daily shopping experience easy. We started with delivering groceries and other daily needs in Delhi-NCR only. We have now expanded to 27 cities with over 5,000 merchants on-board providing 40,000 products. Welcome to the future of shopping!
Q. What advice do you have to share with budding Indian entrepreneurs?
Two key points: Persistence and logic. They help you sustain and win in the longer run!
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