The meat and sea food e-commerce startup is eyeing major expansions both inside and outside the country. Getting Ranveer Singh on board as the brand ambassador is the beginning of their multifold growth plan for the year.
How far would you go to get your fish curry and rice right? Some like Shan Kadavil start their own company to do so. Co-founder at FreshToHome, Kadavil started the meat and sea food e-commerce platform when his regular supplier of fish shut shop. Since then he’s promised to make fresh non-veg available at every corner of the country. He now wants to make the story bigger.
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In an exclusive chat with Storyboard18, Kadavil shares the company’s plans for expansion, reducing delivery time, focusing on ready to eat options and of course going big with the new Ranveer Singh campaign.
Tell us about the #NoShortcuts campaign? How is getting Ranveer Singh on board helping?
We began our journey with the desire to find safe and hygienic fish and meat to consume. We take no shortcuts and deliver only 100 percent fresh and 0 percent chemical products to the consumer. That's what the ‘No Shortcuts’ campaign is all about.
While online ordering has seen a huge surge during the pandemic the other thing that has come to focus is health and safety. Our efforts are also in the same direction and to amplify it we want to showcase the source of our products and confidently put up certifications for anything our customers buy because we get it straight from the source with no middlemen involved.
We wanted someone with a huge following and credibility to spread this message across and we couldn’t think of a better name than Ranveer Singh. With his comic timing and immense fan following he has made our #NoShortcuts campaign a huge hit. Within five days of the campaign going live we saw the traffic on our platform hitting an all-time high. There was up to 50 percent traffic uptick compared to the same time the week before.
With e-commerce these days, especially those in the food business the new fad is to deliver orders as quickly as possible. We know you already have a 90 minute delivery option but are you planning to get in the race of being not just fresher but faster?
The 90 minute delivery is a hit on our platforms and while we do not want to enter the 15 minute or even 30 minute game we are definitely looking at reducing the 90 minute option to be able to deliver fresh sea-food and meat quicker. We want to reduce the express delivery time to 60 minutes and the target is to do it in a year’s time.
The metros have always been quick to adopt. But what about the newer markets you have expanded in? How has the response been? Are people open to buying non-veg online in smaller markets?
It is surprising how smaller cities and towns have taken to ordering non-veg online. For instance, when my team suggested entering the Warangal market in Telangana I thought it was a bad idea. But I was clearly wrong.
Within three months of starting operations we started closing four hundred orders per day. Similarly, there are also very tiny markets that have seen surprising turn around. Kottayam in Kerala is an example again where we entered being skeptic because of the sheer size of the market.
We were not sure how a small place like Kottayam would open up to ordering seafood and fish online. But again, we were surprised. In no time we started getting 100 to 200 orders per day. We have been witnessing 6X growth in non-metros alone in the last quarter.
Alongside markets there have been other interesting trends too in terms of consumption. Like the Green Mussel, a shellfish native to New Zealand but adopted by Indian, was the fastest to fly off the shelves soon after being launched on the FreshToHome platform.
FreshToHome clocked more than 2 Million orders per month by 2021. In addition to this, the brand added 8 lakh plus new meat lovers in 2021. Basically the consumers are opening up to exploring new things.
You have been on a massive expansion spree. What is next?
We supply fresh produce to 200 cities, spanning over 2800+ pin codes, including Delhi, NCR, Panchkula, Lucknow, Dehradun, Bangalore, Mumbai, Pune, Kerala, Hyderabad, Tamil Nadu, among others. We are also planning to go big internationally. While we are already operational in Dubai and now we want to take FreshToHome to other Gulf countries as well.
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So there’s working on delivery time reduction and expansion, what else are you planning for the year?
Expansion and 60 minute delivery apart, we would want to focus on the ready to eat segment. We also want to double the number of offline outlets. That apart we will be strongly focused on branding and marketing initiatives. Our annualized revenue run rate is close to Rs 1200 crore, roughly about 25 percent goes into marketing. We plan to keep at it. We have plans to go live with one campaign every quarter. Getting Ranveer Singh as our brand ambassador is one of the first steps taken towards making the FreshToHome story bigger.