Why bootstrapped startup MilkyMorning believes evening slots can be a game changer in micro-delivery
Like many startup founders, friends Ghanesh Prasad and Anshul Singh got talking about starting up during dinner. Ghanesh spoke about the problems he faced while buying fresh milk for his one-year-old daughter every day.
Often, fresh milk wouldn’t be available, preferred brands were not in stock, and shopkeepers overpriced every packet. And, there wasn’t any trusted delivery partner.
By the end of that discussion, the duo decided to set up a startup for online daily milk home delivery. With Rs 10 lakh in hand, they launched BuyMilkOnline in February 2015 in BTM Layout, Bengaluru. They were supported by their wives, Yogita Gautam and Garima Singh, respectively.
Within three months of launch, BuyMilkOnline started supplying fresh milk and dairy products to more than 500 families.
In November 2015, the startup was acquired by Noida-based firm Ananda Dairy in an undisclosed, all-cash deal. The duo went on to work at Ananda Dairy in Delhi for two years.
Why start up in milk again?
Despite the acquisition of their earlier startup, Ghanesh and Anshul felt that the daily grocery needs problem still remained unresolved. They realised that the many high-rise societies located on the outskirts of the city were far from the market and shopping for daily essentials like milk, bread, fruits, vegetables, and other grocery items was a challenge for residents.
It made sense to start up in the space again, and they started MilkyMorning this year in Delhi-NCR. The startup delivers milk, bread, eggs, and other daily need items twice every day - 7 am and 7 pm.
“We selected Crossings Republik Ghaziabad as our first service location because it has more than 25 societies and 15,000 families residing. In the next four months, we extended our services to Greater Noida West to 60 more societies. Currently, we are serving more than 80 societies within a radius of 10 km from our operational warehouse. We are in the process of expanding our services to 50 more societies by end of October,” Anshul says.
Within six months of launch, the team size has increased from six to 30. This includes the daily operations management team and delivery staff.
The Ananda experience
Having started up and worked in a similar space helped the founding duo to easily set up operations for MilkyMorning. The duo was part of the core team that launched 105 Ananda Retail stores in a single day.
“We understood and studied all the challenges faced by Ananda on a day-to-day operational level. We designed and developed a robust system for Ananda Distributors by the name of Ananda ADO. This Android app helped to overcome many challenges like daily demand collection, payment collection, supply chain management, and distributor complaint handling, and gave better transparency in sales and purchase to the distributor,” Anshul explains.
Working for the Ananda Retail Chain helped them gain a deeper understanding of sales, retail management, service expansion, supply chain management, customer acquisition, brand building, staff hiring and management.
“After leaving Ananda in November 2018, we both worked on product design, development, finalising SoP of each workflow, and shortlisting of candidates. In February 2019, we founded Milky Morning Services Private Limited. It became operational in March 2019 from Crossing Republik Ghaziabad with two operational management executives and five delivery associates,” Anshul says.
How does the platform work?
The user can create an account on the app or website. Once the account is created, they need to top up the MilkyMorning wallet. The wallet can be recharged using a debit card, credit card, net banking, UPI or Paytm. The user can also select cash collection wherein the staff visits their home and recharges the account after collecting the money.
There is no minimum order limit and no delivery charges, so the user can even order a 500 ml pouch of milk.
“Placing an order on our platform is very easy as there no checkout option. Our app has two carts, one for the morning slot and second for the evening slot. When the user clicks on the add button, they can choose from the next delivery slots – morning or evening,” Anshul says.
The operations team starts packaging all the orders received for the morning slot between 12 am and 4 am, after which the delivery team reaches the societies by 5 am and finishes all deliveries by 7 am.
After the delivery, the order amount value is debited from the customer’s MilkyMorning wallet. An SMS notification is sent to the customer, on the spend and the amount left in their wallet.
The evening differentiator
Bootstrapped MilkyMorning competes with the likes of startups like Kalaari Capital-backed MilkBasket, which also recently acquired a Bengaluru-based PSR supply chain, and Matrix Partners-backed DailyNinja. Apart from that, foodtech unicorn Swiggy acquired Supr Daily, while BigBasket launched Daily.
But the founders believe that their “evening service makes us different from our competitors”.
“We are the only company that accepts orders for the morning and evening slots. Our competitors like Milkbasket, Bigbasket Daily, Supr Daily, and Daily Ninja take orders for the morning slot but do not offer services in the evening. This provides more flexibility to users; they don’t need to wait till the next day if they missed placing an order for the morning slot or need something on an urgent basis,” Anshul says.
He adds that both the morning and evening slots have multiple delivery modes - drop outside and ring the doorbell, drop outside and don’t ring the bell, and in-hand delivery.
“We also have a dedicated support team especially for offline customers who are not tech-savvy and live alone,” Anshul says.
Explaining the model, he says daily milk delivery opens up an opportunity to create a strong relation with the customer. This, in turn, helps generate sales of other products.
The revenue and future
“As per current statistics, we are generating 60 percent revenue from items other than milk. Our average basket size for each individual customer is Rs 110. We have around 2,000 different products and we are in the process of adding more products, based on customer feedback and requirement. Our next target is to increase the average basket size of each customer from Rs 110 to Rs 200 on a daily basis. We will meet our operational breakeven in November,” Anshul says.
The team is planning to launch their service in every area of Noida, Greater Noida, and Ghaziabad in this financial year, and is targeting 5,000 orders per day.
“We are enhancing our system for B2B customers so that kiranas, and vegetable vendors can also avail similar service. We are also working on the launch of a MilkyMorning retail chain, which will be open 24X7. Users can visit the store and shop, or they can place orders online and collect from the store,” Anshul says.
(Edited by Teja Lele Desai)