The online F&G delivery market alone is estimated to be around $600 million in India and is expected to touch $5 billion by 2020 at a CAGR of 72%.
The Indian food and grocery market is believed to be the sixth largest in the world, with retail comprising 70% of sales. Following rapid urbanisation, there has been a significant consumption of packaged and ready-to-eat foods by Indian consumers.
BigBasket, one of the top players in F&G delivery has been the game changer of online F&G in India. We got the opportunity to get in touch with Meera Iyer, the head of marketing at BigBasket. Here is what she told us about the journey to the success of BigBasket.
Q1.Could you brief us about how your business model works
Our service is that of delivering a wide range of groceries to end customers. We operate an inventory model & there are 3 critical parts of the model –
- A Sourcing team that gets together and manages a range of fresh, short life perishables, chilled & frozen products & the regular long shelf life products.
- A Technology team that enables both backend processes & front-end consumer product – the app & website where people can place the order
- The Operations team that manages the warehousing & final mile delivery of over 55000 orders per day to customers
Q2.Which key strategy you keep in mind and share your success mantra?
The mantra that has enabled us to become India’s largest online grocer is simply a maniacal focus on customer service. Our customer-facing metrics are best in class in the world – 99% on-time delivery, 98% fill rate, less than 1% returns, 95% 1st call issue resolution are some things that we are proud of and keep working to get even better on.
Q3. “The industry brims with theories on what makes millennials tick.” To what point you agree with this with your business?
We are not millennial-focused. Our audiences are slightly more mature. And there will always be theories & models that will change every once a while for specific target groups.
Q4.Do you plan to expand your brand presence across other regions?
No. We are happy to stay focused on the 25 cities we are currently operational in.
Q5.Share the biggest achievement of your company to date?
We have demonstrated a viable business model to grow online grocery business & broken even in 2 large markets Bangalore & Hyderabad – also our first 2 cities. It’s been done in the shortest time & in a remarkable way with excellent process & customer metrics. We came up tops in Forrester’s CX findings.
Q6.Where do you see your industry going in next five years?
It’s going North. Grocery is the single largest sector of retail in the country. With busier lifestyles, entry of more large players, we see this business accelerating in the next 5 years.
Q7.What makes you different from your competitors?
- Our model of sourcing, especially fresh produce is a differentiator. Today we have a network of 5000+ farmers coming & selling their produce to us daily across our 25 collection centres in the country. That’s a tough ecosystem to replicate. It gives us great control on supply as well as quality
- Our share of private labels to overall biz (today it’s over a third of revenue) is a competitive advantage. It bolsters GM & also helps in retentions.
- Finally, our business model based on inventory with excellent tech-enabled processes that lead to fantastic efficiencies in cost as well as precise execution really differentiates us.
Q8. Two suggestions for the aspiring entrepreneur and upcoming startups?
- Get your model right. Be realistic & be honest on (a) what truly will differentiate you & (b) do you have a viable business model to deliver
- Get the right people. It’s not happening if your team is not right.