Fresh Veg Store: A FarmVille Inspired Online Vegetable Store
Fresh Veg Store is an online portal for ordering freshly plucked vegetables directly from a farm. As of now, their focus is to relieve the biggest pain area in today's urban kitchen i.e. availability of fresh quality vegetables. The store aims to offer convenience of online, custom built orders with no minimum commitments to its members.They offer online ordering from an exhaustive list of vegetables directly supplied from their farms located in the vicinity of NCR with a road map to add SKUs up in the value chain. They are also offering selected seasonal fruits with plans to introduce dry groceries starting with brown basmati rice, white basmati rice, wheat flour, heath flour (combination of wheat, gram and soya), pulses, chic peas, masalas like haldi etc. All these are being supplied under the brand name Bhu-Vidhi.
“At Freshvegstore we align ourselves to the needs of our members. We offer services twice a week on a fixed schedule, which is in alignment of typical green grocery requirements of households in general. Further, we have improvised on our logistics process to suit the needs of the customers,” says Co-founder Nitish Vij.
Their rates are assumed to be directly linked to the market rates based on the average price of the same quality produce available in the local market. Prices are updated as and when required, which happens almost on a daily basis. They also claim to take bench mark pricing from established retail outlets (Govt/Non Govt)
The current market is unorganized with profit shared at various layers and value or cost versioning at each step. Freshvegstore is a direct F2H (Farm to Home) channel with no middle men, no pilferage and no rotting of produce.
Margins of Farmer + Wholesaler + Commission Agent + Retailer = Their Margin.
Additionally = No Rotting
They are Agriculturists = Tax Free Green Income
As per their plan, they target to be in the range of 30-40% gross margins in the next one year of operations.
Shortly, they will also introduce premium services of providing ready to cook/eat sliced/diced/pealed vegetables/ fruits; and letting you make your own vegetable garden. “We will manage your remote kitchen garden as per your specifications. We are located 45 kms from Delhi so our members can enjoy a field trip with us,” says Nitish.
Every household is their potential customer; mostly working women, nuclear families, families with young children and working class with no time. To ensure that operations are profitable, they are targeting NCR (Delhi, Gurgaon, Noida) as the first step and then moving to the metros next.
They have immediate access to approx. 300,000 households (approx 1.5 Million) in their target area i.e. East Delhi periphery, with an average household spend of Rs. 2000 per month, with them.
Freshvegstore has been operational since December 2010 on production. They went live in the market in May 2011 and started their online operations in November 2011. They don’t have many vendors on board, but only for things that cannot be produced in season in their facilities. They are currently in the Proof of Concept phase and have started their services in Delhi/Ghaziabad.
The core team of Freshvegstore comprises Nitish Vij, Tarun Vij, Ramit Bhutani, Shyam Dhingra and Rakesh Sharma. They also have some strategic thinkers, including some IIT/IIM/Stanford grads on their team.
Playing Farmville, the team thought about materialising it. Self Funded for the current operations and scale, they are on a lookout for potential investors. Their initial challenges were lack of background, unavailability of infrastructure and creating customer awareness.
“Freshvegstore is the concept to win the hearts of people and provide them with a single stop shop for all their grocery requirements including wet and dry. In the same line we are coming up with our dairy farms, that has dual benefits. Firstly, it meets customer needs and secondly, operations are smoother; waste farm produce goes as fodder and waste dairy comes as manure.
Traditional consumers want to touch, feel, haggle on the price and then buy, but over a period of time, they are realising the benefits associated with Freshvegstore and are enthusiastic about the same,” concludes Nitish.