Albinder Dhindsa grew up in Patiala, Punjab and went ahead for studies at IIT Delhi. Post graduation, he went on to work in the US where he had met Saurabh Kumar, co-founder of Grofers, a hyperlocal logistics startup. When we had earlier written about Grofers, this news was still under the wraps. Albinder and Saurabh used to work in the Transportation and Logistics field and worked on quite a few projects together. Albinder left his job to get an MBA at Columbia and then joined Zomato. For the last three years, he has been at Zomato, helping establish its international presence. All this while, the duo has been in touch but now, Albinder has decided to join Grofers full time in the capacity of a co-founder and take the company to the next level. This move is newsworthy considering the stage in which Zomato is right now and the rate at which it is growing, Grofers would have something strong on its side to have tilted the balance for Albinder. Here, we get in a conversation with Albinder to know more:
YS: What prompted this decision? Why move out of Zomato at this juncture?
Albinder: Saurabh and I started working on this idea back in December 2013 with the objective that I will eventually join full time. I wasn’t looking at moving out of Zomato but the opportunity in hyper-local was very intriguing and I definitely wanted to try and build something in the area. The entire Zomato team was very supportive and helped make the transition very smooth.
Once we started operations in January, things escalated very quickly and we saw a lot of traction from local merchants. By the time May rolled around we were doing close to 500 deliveries a day and had very clear validation that we are addressing a market need. This also meant we had to learn to scale very quickly. Now, we are also launching Noida on June 1st with our first two clients in the area which will increase our total number of stations in Delhi NCR to 8.
YS: What excited you about Grofers?
Albinder: There is tremendous opportunity in the hyper-local space where a lot of transactions between the consumers and merchants are still very disorganised. Right from knowledge about inventory of merchants to questions about the quality of their service, there are a whole lot of issues where the transactions can be smoothened. We decided to pick up the delivery end because it seemed like the one that the merchants struggled with every day. They have established customer bases and want to provide a higher quality and reliable service, but just don’t have the scale to be able to build the infrastructure.
The really exciting thing about Grofers was that the possibilities of utilising a hyper-local delivery network are endless. It turns the traditional logistics model around, where we are building micro-networks in every locality supported by local businesses. Any business that wants door to door drop-shipping can be plugged into our infrastructure, experience higher reliability and reduced costs.
YS: What is the current traction for Grofers?
Albinder: Currently, we have 7 stations in Gurgaon which fulfil over 3000 orders every week. We continue to sign new clients and are currently processing deliveries for over 50 clients in Gurgaon alone. Our clientele includes grocery shops, pharmacy stores, bakeries, stationery shops and electronics stores. Our promised delivery time is 90 minutes or less, however our average delivery time is less than 40 minutes right now.
Grofers before the pivot: Onenumber: Building a one-stop solution for customers’ local delivery needs