Saurabh Kumar is an entrepreneur at heart. After graduation, he went on to work in a few corporate setups before jumping boat to enter the startup world with Rasilant. Laying the foundation for his startup, he started with Onenumber in 2013. The initial idea was to provide an on-demand pick up and drop service from neighbourhood shops for a customer. They started out with pharmacy shops, grocery shops and restaurants but quickly dropped restaurants as there was enough competition in the market already.
Based out of Gurgaon, Saurabh talked with a lot of merchants and also realized the pain points these shops had with delivery logistics. “I was surprised to know that local pharmacies did 50-60 home deliveries in a day within three to four km radius!” says Saurabh. Taking a cue from this, the team quickly pivoted and has now rebranded as Grofers, a hyperlocal logistics company. Grofers provides logistics solutions in Delhi NCR by allowing merchants to make same day deliveries. “We have a 90 minute promise as the customers need instant delivery,” says Saurabh.
Pharmacy stores are their strong point as they already have a network, but grocery, bakery, stationery, hardware, and other general stores are also using Grofers in Gurgaon. “We have seen a great response to our service in a short time. We are currently operating with 50+ clients and 500+ deliveries a day,” says Saurabh.
Grofers manages this with a fleet of 20 delivery boys and an in-house dynamic delivery assignment and tracking application. The aim is to have stations in various parts of the city from where delivery boys can pick up orders from nearby stations and deliver quickly. It is also a better solution in terms of optimization because now every merchant doesn’t have to worry about recruiting delivery boys. A central authority can co-ordinate the logistics. Grofer tried using manpower recruiting agencies but didn’t find it useful. “Hiring ourselves helps us keep better control and maintain the standard,” says Saurabh.
Logistics as a sector is picking up speed and there are a lot of holes which startups are trying to fill in. More and more solutions using technology will come in to optimize and quicken up the supply chain. Grofers claims to be the first mover in this particular model of operation but there a few bigger players like Delhivery and Tradus who’re also toying with the idea.
Grofers is doing a good number of deliveries and is on the verge of breaking even at the current stage in terms of revenues. “We’re now investing in setting up a strong tech platform so that we can track our deliveries real time and provide insights from the data we gather to the merchant,” says Saurabh. Sustaining on the revenues and the initial seed amount till date, Grofers is also looking to expand services in Noida and Delhi within the next month for which they’re looking to raise funds.
Tell us what do you think about logistics in India? Where can the startups come in to plug the gap?