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December 05, 2018 05:26 PM | Entrepreneurship

The story behind BigBasket’s rise to becoming India’s most coveted online supermarket


In December 2011, BigBasket shook the market by launching India’s largest food and grocery company. They brought the convenience of buying groceries to your doorstep with just a few mere clicks of the mouse on the then desktop. From dairy personal care products to fruits and vegetables, your shopping cart can now be laden with over 20,000 products and over 1000 brands in 25 cities in India in an app on your phone.

The team behind this game-changing idea, Vipul Parekh, Abhinay Choudhari and VS Sudhakar, led by Hari Menon, have raised an investment of over $500 million till date. They are committed to consistently boost their business and further improve their marketing, infrastructure and technology to ensure they reach even more customers across the country and provide them with the best products in the shortest time span.

Edited excerpts from the interview:

Nithya: You said initially it was restricted only to Bangalore, how many users did you cater to then and how many stores did you partner with then as compared to now; and what's the kind of clientele you have?

Hari: I don't actually recall the number of customers we had then. We probably started out with just 4000-5000 customers compared to the 10 million customers we have today. And this was just on the desktop, as we didn't have an app back then. Though today, it is a different scenario, where 75 per cent of the business is generated through the app. So, at that time, we were only catering to the desktop and we had scaled Bangalore quite rapidly. We had achieved Rs 30 crore of business in only six-seven months, which in our earlier avatar (Fabmall) taken us five years. This really elevated our confidence and showed us that there was a market for our brand; encouraging us to move forward full throttle.

Nithya: How do you cater to your customers and ensure they have the best user experience?

Hari: We follow three big metrics:

  • Fill rate: If a customer orders 10 pieces, he must get 10 pieces. In the online business, if you supply 9 instead of 10, the customer has to go to the store for that one piece, which is very upsetting for him/her. So, we have now reached a fill rate level of 99.5-99.9 per cent, which means if I order 100 items, I will get 99.5 delivered. We have consistently managed this for the past seven years and are continuously improving on it.

  • On-time delivery: If I order something in a particular slot, I want it to arrive in that slot itself. So, we have got to 99 per cent on-time delivery by using technology, auto-routing, among other things to ensure we are able to predict the routes even in traffic-laden cities like Bangalore.

  • In stock: We want to ensure that when a customer comes on our site, he/she sees as few items as possible out of stock, which we currently run at 96 per cent.

Watch the complete episode here to find out more about BigBasket’s incredible journey as CNBC-TV18’s Disruptors.
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