Noida-based startup's core differentiator is its micro-delivery model, which focuses on optimising the supply chain and slashing delivery costs; MrNeeds, which launched operations in October 2016, now delivers up to 1,200 orders per day.
Caught in the relentless cycle of work, commute and other responsibilities, more and more urban Indians are turning to online shopping to simplify their life. And it’s not just for apparel, electronics or luggage. The virtual supermarket offers everything, be it baked goods, fresh fruits and vegetables, dairy products or staples like pulses, at extremely competitive rates.
There are plenty of big players in the market, but MrNeeds, a Noida-based micro-delivery startup, stands out as an app-based subscription service that delivers daily needs such as milk, bread, eggs and other groceries to customers.
The brainchild of Hitashi Garg, 31, Ravi Wadhwa, 51, Ravi Verma, 28, and Yogesh Garg, 39, MrNeeds was incorporated as a company in December 2015. Operations were launched in October 2016 and MrNeeds now delivers up to 1,200 orders per day.
Ravi Verma says, “We have focussed on a micro-delivery model and have worked at optimising the supply chain and reducing delivery costs. We have drastically cut down our per-delivery cost by restricting all deliveries only to customers living in high-rise complexes, and making all deliveries between 6 am and 9 am.”
MrNeeds currently serves only select neighbourhoods in Noida and has broken even in some clusters. Eight months after its operational launch, the startup delivers 1,100-1,200 orders every day and has over 9,000 subscribers. The average order size ranges from Rs 120 to Rs 140. MrNeeds levies no delivery charges and does not specify a minimum order value for its customers. Moreover, as the focus is on delivering perishable items like milk and bread that needs to be consumed daily or several times a week, MrNeeds offers dependability.
The startup has raised angel funding of $500,000 and is soon expanding its operations to other parts of Delhi-NCR, including Dwarka, Indirapuram and Gurugram.
We are hoping to tap the market opportunity of US$10 billion for daily essentials in India.
Hitashi and Ravi Verma worked together in their last venture, and had worked with Ravi Wadhwa and Yogesh Garg in the past. Together, they discussed the idea of micro-deliveries and shared ideas on emerging business models and opportunities in the Indian startup ecosystem. Their mutual interests and complementary skills in operations, finance, technology and marketing eventually brought them together to work towards building a micro-delivery business.
They presented their idea to Umesh Arora, who has been a mentor and investor in MrNeeds.
So what sets MrNeeds apart from online grocery startups like a BigBasket or Grofers?
Firstly, MrNeeds only serves customers of high-rises and apartment complexes. In order to serve these customers better, and still run a profitable and sustainable business, they do not levy any delivery charges and have no minimum delivery value.
This means, a customer could order even a single pack of biscuits or a packet of milk and we would deliver it the next morning.
Secondly, not many of the current market players offer a fixed time of delivery; in fact, some take a long time to deliver orders.
“They often have tie-ups with local shops, and more often than not when these local shops run out of the desired products, the customer is forced to either accept an alternate variant or miss it altogether,” Ravi says.
MrNeeds is only operational in select pockets of Noida and Ghaziabad at the moment and is already serving up to 1,200 orders a day within a three-hour delivery window.
According to the MrNeeds team, their fulfilment rate is unmatched – it stands at 98 per cent as of today and they are working towards achieving 100 per cent.
The team plans to start expanding and serve other locations in the Delhi-NCR region by next year. The current team size is over 80 people. A majority of these are field staff, while a 20-member team takes care of core business functions out of their offices and warehouses.
They are already profitable in several areas of Noida and hope to increase that significantly once they scale up to a larger customer base and geographies.
But since every household’s spend on grocery and daily essentials is the largest and most consistent share of the monthly budget, it represents a huge opportunity. One that MrNeeds is tapping by focusing on a select customer base.