From farm to doorstep - Freshokartz supplies fresh fruits and vegetables on demandNeha Jain
Freshokartz Agri Products is an ecommerce marketplace for fruits and vegetable in Jaipur. It works on an on-demand procurement model to provide fresh fruits and vegetables that are directly procured from farms.
At a glance
Founders: Rajendra Lora and Nagendra Yadav
Year it was founded: 2016
Where it is based: Jaipur
Problem it solves: Connects farmers and consumers directly through tech-enabled online platform.
Funding raised: Undisclosed Amount - Incubated by Rajasthan Government
When Rajendra Lora, 25, and Nagendra Yadav, 25, left their village for high education and to pursue a career, they remained true to their roots - early days in their farms, their agricultural background, and the house they were born in. Their focus was clear – after completing their education, they wanted to do something for farmers and in the agriculture sector.
Rajendra’s family grew onions at their farm in Nagour district in Rajasthan. After finishing his secondary education, Rajendra completed his graduation from IIIT Jabalpur, and later moved to Mumbai for work.
Nagendra did his schooling from his village near Gorakhpur in Uttar Pradesh. He worked with the MNC SAS Institute in various countries in the Middle East and in Australia as a techno-functional consultant.
It’s interesting to note how the duo started up. Rajendra recalls, “While buying onions in Mumbai, I noticed the prices were very high. I immediately called my father to check on the prices in my village. The difference was as high as 100 percent. I called Nagendra (a friend from college) and told him about this huge difference in price. After a long discussion, we realised this problem arose because of mediators in the market and the mandi factor, which is highly unorganised.”
The duo decided to target Tier-II cities first. Rajendra says, “We visited Jaipur and researched the market there. The problem was real there was a huge price difference in various fruits/vegetables with no particular standards followed when it comes to quality. There were many layers of mediators. Everyone kept their own margins.”
This laid the foundation for FreshoKartz Agri Products in 2016, an ecommerce marketplace for fruits and vegetable in Jaipur. It works on an on-demand procurement model to provide fresh fruits and vegetables that are directly procured from farms.
Freshokartz Agri Products Pvt Ltd connects farmers and consumers directly through this tech-enabled online platform.
It has a mobile application and website through which orders can be placed.
The second problem the duo faced was where to sell all fruits and vegetables, which they could procure from farmers. It decided to target all big clients first. Its main clientele include hotels, restaurants, cafés, retailers and caterers.
Rajendra says, “Our vision is to minimise the wastage in supply chain in fruits and vegetables sector which is currently around 35 percent post-harvest in India. We are focusing on bringing technology to manage this complicated supply chain to reduce this waste and bring it below 5 percent across the country.”
On the process, Rajendra says, “We have built a technology-powered supply chain that supports the reduction of wastage and provide farm fresh produce to various clients. By reducing the number of middlemen in the whole supply chain system, we are able to offer better prices to both farmers and consumers.”
Freshokartz claims to have connected with over 200 farmers and served over 100 customers in the B2B sector including big names like ITC Hotels, Hilton Jaipur, Kanha Sweets, among others.
Profitable within a year
Bootstrapped, Freshokartz claims to have touched the Rs 2 crore mark in just a year of operations.
“Our monthly revenue is around Rs 25 lakh and we are already profitable,” remarks Rajendra.
iStart (an incubator run by the Rajasthan government to support startups) has supported Freshokartz by providing a co-working space, mentorship by best industry experts and working with them to connect with VCs and angel investors. The government also awarded Freshokartz the Bhamasaha techno fund worth Rs 20 lakh and a marking assistance fund of 10 lakhs.
Freshokartz runs from a central warehouse located in Jaipur. “Currently, we are adding 15-20 customers in a month and plan to touch Rs 10 crore in the next year,” Rajendra says. It has a team of 20 people.
Agriculture plays a vital role in India’s economy. India is a $100 billion-plus market of fruits and vegetables. Commercial kitchens contribute around 40 percent of the total consumption.
Other players in the place include Ninjacart and Door 2 Door Organics.
So what differentiates them from the others in the market? Rajendra explains, “We keep 30 percent margins on purchase rate and our net profit is six to seven percent. Our sourcing capabilities are the strongest among the competition. We focused on a Tier-II city where the cost was minimal. After scaling in this city we will expand to Tier-I cities. We believe in delivering good quality fruits and vegetables to our customers.”
Talking about the company’s future plans, Rajendra says, “Our plans for the next two years is to do a business of Rs 60 crore and open collection centres in nearby villages. Our main focus would be set up a supply chain in this unorganised field. In the next five years, we want to become a one-stop solution for all fruits and vegetable needs of hotels.”