FamilyKart.com was conceived, in December 2011, with one simple objective in mind: to offer busy people a true alternative to going to the market/kirana stores, every week.FamilyKart addresses the needs of people who face a lack of time and look to take the short route, whenever they can. They have quickened the process of shopping for groceries from the supermarket shelf, by offering to deliver the groceries coming from their warehouse, directly at the customer’s doorstep. Their warehouses, they say, are equipped with the latest technologies to track inventory and fulfill orders within the shortest possible time. The household utilities offered, include toilet papers, buckets, garbage bags, electrical items, stationery and kitchenware. They have consciously not added fresh vegetables and fruits as a category, primarily because of the low shelf life of these products.
“We’re not perfect but we know we are changing people's habits with the wonderful convenience of being able to get what they want, when they want it. We have built this business to assist people without compromising on the dedication to customer care and service that people expected in the past,” said Vaibhav Goel, Co-Founder, FamilyKart.com.
Once an order is received, it is processed immediately. This involves putting the order items in a carton box, which ensures that items are not damaged during transportation. The carton box is then taped and sealed to ensure that there is no tampering. An invoice is generated automatically according to the items packed.
“What differentiates us, is the use of technology for tracking inventory and processing orders. We have an inventory turnaround cycle of 7 days, which is phenomenal. This means that we don’t stock more than 7 days of inventory and, procure just in time. This allows us to work with limited working capital and takes care of issues such as expiry,” said Vaibhav.
FamilyKart.com was started by a team of MBA graduates, from the ISB and the IIMs, with a rich experience in e-commerce, marketing, supply chain and operations. The team also comprises of technocrats with multiple patents who believe in the use of technology to revolutionize grocery shopping and backend logistics.
Vaibhav Goel, Co-Founder of FamilyKart.com, manages strategic relationships, product and expansion plans for FamilyKart.com. An engineer from NSIT, Delhi and an MBA from ISB, Hyderabad, Vaibhav was a part of the core team of the NIIT e-learning retail business and has also worked for Abobe in the past. With multiple research publications and a patent to his name, Vaibhav brings 7 years of rich experience in product management, online marketing and new business creation to FamilyKart.
FamilyKart’s current market focus is on Delhi NCR, with a population of 3 crores, which is expected to cross 5 crores by 2015. With 1 million households in Delhi NCR already having internet access, the market appears to be huge. The market is bound to grow in the next 5 years, with internet penetration, double income families and fuel prices increasing, and with people getting busier with their professional lives. “We expect that in a market such as Delhi NCR, 10-15% of the households will order groceries online by 2017, which is a very good number,” said Vaibhav.
“As a conscious strategy we don’t want to add a lot of cities. Retail success depends on economies of scale and when one market has huge untapped potential it doesn’t make sense to move to another market and increase overheads,” said Vaibhav. They plan to continue operations in Delhi NCR over the next 1-2 years, expand to Chennai/Pune thereafter, and eventually, operate in 4 major metros in India, in the next 5 years.
With around 30,000 UVs per month, FamilyKart receives an average order size of Rs 1200 (the minimum is Rs 1000, which is sometimes lowered for specific promotions) which is expected to rise as they add more SKUs. With margins in the tune of 15-18% on grocery and 20-25% on household utilities, they believe that they need to stick to their fundamentals such as a minimum order limit, to stay profitable. “Margins in grocery are less but we have added household utilities and stationery to compensate for that- a strategy which has worked well for us,” said Vaibhav. They currently don’t charge for home delivery.
FamilyKart has its share of challenges. Some of them include:
• High number of SKUs
• Diverse customer requirements
• Moving working professionals in the 25-35 age group online, as normally, grocery shopping for them is done by their parents
• Customers looking for deals and discounts along with a free home delivery within 2 hours
• Customers still feel that supermarkets nearby offer huge discounts which is actually not the case
Despite these challenges, FamilyKart has maintained a positive approach thus far, and promises to continue to do so. We, at YourStory, wish them good luck.
For more on FamilyKart, visit their website, http://www.familykart.com/