Grocery In a Box: BCom graduate aims to recreate Boxed Wholesale in India

By Sindhu Kashyaap|28th Mar 2015
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The booming space of e-commerce and e-tailing have redefined shopping and consumer behaviour. The convenience and ease of online shopping has made it easier especially grocery shopping. With BigBasket, Zopnow and several others like Nature's Basket, groceries are selected, picked and dropped at your doorstep. However, these do not bring in the benefits of a retailer like Metro, where you get your groceries and daily-need products at wholesale prices.

While in the US there is Boxed Wholesale, in India the idea of groceries sold at wholesale prices to the end consumer is slowly catching up. There are websites like Indiaathome that are slowly catching up with this game. Amongst these recent entrants is Firstprice, an online wholesale grocery store based out of Hyderabad.


Image credit "Shutterstock"

Background

Started by a BCom graduate Sameer Vanje, the idea of Firstprice came to him when he was shopping with his father at Metro. "My father has a business and has a Metro card. One day, whilehe had to pick some things up from there, we went along to pick out groceries as well. I saw the prices there and thought even the end consumer should be able to reap the benefits of these prices," says Sameer.

Then Sameer had just finished his 12th grade. " I started freshbazaar.com, but we had to shut it down because of operational issues and time constraints," says Sameer. So he continued with his education and began a course in CA. "But I gave it upas I just wasn't interested. The idea of a wholesale online grocery store was something I really wanted to do," says Sameer.

Re-starting as First Price

After going back to the drawing board, Sameer started Firstprice. "I put in more understanding and learning this time. With the help of web developers, we developed a new backend and a better user interface and renamed the site Firstprice," says Sameer. After several tests and other runs the site was opened out to users on the 18th of March.

"The traction is slowly building up and we are looking at targeting Hyderabad initially before moving on to the next city," says Sameer. Currently, Firstprice is running on a very basic model. "I have tied up with my father for pickup and delivery of the products. So every time there is an order, a pickup vehicle is sent. I then send the products to the consumer’s home," says Sameer.

The margins and prices in this model are generally higher. Citing an example Sameer says,"If you take in one pack of toothpaste the margin is let's say 10 percent, but if you have a bundled set of 3-4 tubes then the margin is close to 15-20 percent. So invariably you save more."

While comparing themselves withother online grocerystores, Sameer says, "We have discounts that start from 7-10 percent and range up to 25 percent, while most do not offer more than 5 percent. We are directly giving in the benefit of the cash-and-carry stores to the end consumer. The only extra charge we put in is that of the delivery charges of Rs.39. Also we have reduced the margins no more than 1-2 percent.This is done to manage the price fluctuations."

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Way forward

Currently, they are working like any other business owner. Firstprice takes in goods from the cash-and-carry outlets. "But we are looking for stronger tie-ups with these outlets so that we can receive and also give better margins. We are present only in Hyderabad currently, but we are looking at a national reach in a few years’ time. As I mentioned I want FirstPrice to be what Boxed is for the US," concludes Sameer.

Web url: http://www.firstprice.co/