On-Demand Logistics Services Startup: Grofers
Grofers recently expanded its operations to Bangalore. It currently employs over 200 people across Bangalore, Delhi NCR and Mumbai. The enthusiast duo has recently launched an Android app that allows users to place an order from merchants around them and get it delivered at their doorstep within 90 mins.
I got opportunity to talk about the venture, their aspirations and the brand new mobile app. Here is what they have to say:
Q: What’s the story behind the startup?
Grofers: We are a part of a huge market. Almost every urban household orders home deliveries, whether it’s from stores or restaurants. We want to be the service of choice making these deliveries happen. We saw an opportunity in the industry, as we were aware of the bad state of home delivery market in India. A lot of issues came from the disorganized nature of the sector and no technology based solutions coming in the space. As such, we started with our business model and kept tinkering it with along the way.
Today, we are a hyper-local delivery solution. We can pick up and deliver products from one location to another within the city in a couple of hours. We have an android app that lets you order a pick up or delivery – and also track your deliveries.
Q: What is your business model?
Grofers: Drop shipping is our primary and only business. We get paid for every delivery we make – and have had great uptake in the service from businesses.
We were profitable early on but we are heavily investing in our expansion and building tech platform for consumers. We don’t expect the investment phase to get over anytime soon, so we don’t expect to be actually profitable for the foreseeable future.
Q: what is the new mobile app all about?
Grofers: The new app is an easy to use mobile platform for the end consumers. Based on the user’s location, the app shows a list of merchants around him. These merchants range from grocery stores and bakeries to baby and flower shops.
The user can place an order with a few taps, choose to pay by cash or card and also track the order in real time. We guarantee the order delivery in less than 90 minutes. The app is currently available only for people living in Delhi NCR.
Q: Are you considering any strategic alliance to scale up the venture?
Grofers: We are currently working with big retailers like Marche, Needs and Spencers and QuikrX and working hard to expand our network to bolster our grocery segment. Similarly, we have ties up with the biggest pharmacy and stationery players in the market as well.
Q: How is the company being funded?
Grofers: We have already raised our first round of capital form Sequoia Capital.
Q: What kind of domain expertise, and attitudinal aspects are you looking for in your employees?
Grofers: The only trait we look for in employees is the habit of doing something well. They have to great at one thing – that might be playing the guitar or writing code – but they have to be great at it.
Q: What are your future plans?
Grofers: We aim to become the delivery service of choice for local customers and merchants. Shoppers will be able to order everything from groceries to stationery items from your smartphone and Grofers will be bringing them to your doorstep within minutes.