Startups hop on the e-grocer bandwagon in India as online majors flounder

Photo by Laurentiu Morariu on Unsplash

E -grocers, such as StoreSe, HousejoyMart and Near.store, have seen demand growth as much as five-fold during the 57-day nationwide lockdown, as established online retailers and grocery stores struggled to cope with supply disruptions and labour shortages. To cash in on the growing demand for daily needs, they tied up with offline retailers and kirana stores to deliver essentials at the customer’s doorstep.

StoreSe, which launched its online grocery platform in Bengaluru in March, adopted an asset-light model with a strong network of stock partners, supply chain and delivery fleet. It has partnered with both kiranas and large-format retail stores such as Vishal Mega Mart, Modern Bazaar, METRO Cash and Carry, and MORE. For delivery, StoreSe’s partners include cab aggregators Ola and Meru, while it tied up with MyGate to ensure contactless delivery service of essentials. “We have witnessed sales growing 20% on a weekly basis since our launch in March,” said Abhinav Pathak, CEO and co-founder, StoreSe.

During the lockdown, the startup also expanded its services in Delhi-NCR. In May alone, it witnessed order a fulfilment rate of 90%. StoreSe will soon roll out its services in Hyderabad, Jaipur, Pune and Mumbai, besides tier-2 cities as it seeks to make use of the opportunity amid the coronavirus outbreak.

“Covid-19 has completely changed the world and everything is getting fast-tracked. Since e-commerce is becoming mainstream, thousands of new users are trying it out for the first time. StoreSe will handhold those customers and give them an online shopping experience on behalf of all our store partners and retailers,” added Pathak.

Mumbai-based Near.Store, too, started delivering groceries and other household items in March, with its instant plug-and-play solution to create a digital presence for retailers.

Once physical stores connect their billing system with a Near.Store device, it creates a unique online opportunity for them. “This enables a mom-n-pop shop to be discovered online, generate online sales, attract new customers and build loyalty with the existing consumer base,” said Ashish Kumar, co-founder and CEO, Near.Store.

The startup has tied up with kiranas and fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) companies directly, and delivers products using a third-party fleet. It has partnered with top brands such as Cadbury, Marico, ITC, P&G, Mamaearth, Epigamia and Raw Pressery.

The article was first published livemint.com

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.