"Acquiring local merchant toughest in online grocery"

According to a research conducted by Kotak Institutional Equities, the tight funding environment in India has led to consolidation and hyperlocal grocery/delivery segment seems to be worst-hit by the development.
Amit Singh, Founder & CEO of AllSuperMart.com

The food and grocery industry in India is now worth $383 billion and is expected to touch $1 trillion by 2020, according to a study by advisory firm Technopak.

According to a research conducted by Kotak Institutional Equities, the tight funding environment in India has led to consolidation and hyperlocal grocery/delivery segment seems to be worst-hit by the development. Hyperlocal grocery delivery company, Peppertap has shut its grocery delivery business and is now focusing only on logistics business, and hyperlocal delivery company, Roadrunnr is merging with food-ordering app Tinyowl.

While the numbers suggest that it may be end of the road for hyper-local grocery delivery start-ups, the demand for online grocery is hitting the sweet spot with some initial troubles like building partnerships with retailers and wholesalers, and ensuring quality of the products. Amit Singh, Founder & CEO of AllSuperMart.com – an online marketplace where hyperlocal vendors can sell their products online and gain virtual presence – is not only actively talking to local retailers about the viable model but also ensuring quality of the product during transit. Read on!  

How was the idea of your start-up conceptualised in a space which isn’t actually doing that well?
While shopping, when I was speaking to the merchant he was discussing how online market has impacted his business and how people come to his shop and compared prices with online grocery portals. So casually, when I asked if he was interested to sell his products online, he readily said ‘Yes’. This is how AllSuperMart was conceptualised. Today, the need of the hour is quality and trust on products with speedy delivery. With this hyper-local venture, I would be addressing these needs in the market.

What is your Business Model?
We are charging a certain percentage on total billing to merchants for the sales done on our website. It is solely founded by me. We currently have 20,000 products on display, but going down the line we will rack up to a total of 1 lakh products. We have products in categories such as grocery, electronics, farmfresh, meat, kitchen ware, hygiene and health care products. We also look to add more categories to that sooner.

Who is your target consumer?
We target crowds between 18 to 45 years of age, including working professionals, students and young, working parents.

How may people do you manage your business with?
We have a team of ten managers taking care of our backend, and a team of 30 that manages sales and customer services on field. We have fun-loving, highly motivated and dynamic youngsters who form the core of the teams. We believe in team work, and that’s our culture.

Isn’t acquisition of local merchants challenging?
Absolutely! Our biggest challenge was acquisition of local merchants. When we went into the market, we faced a lot of issues to make them understand about our products and offerings. It was a difficult task to convince them to get associated with our portal. We have a team of 30 trained sales guys in Pune. We took many sales workshops before they went into the market and actually conversed with the local merchants. Things have stabilised now and are moving smoothly.

What are your future scale-up plans?
In the first phase, we are covering Pune area and in the second phase, we are covering Mumbai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Chennai. Third phase will start and expand in Gurgaon, Noida, Delhi and Chandigarh.

Amit Singh
 
 
 
 
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