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An Interview with the Assistant Vice President of Grofers- Sharad Harjai.

08/05/2015
open talk-dsim
Sharad Harjai- AVP Grofers

Open Talk @DSIM

An Interview with Assistant Vice President Marketing of Grofers, Mr Sharad Harjai.
Hyper local delivery startup Grofers is an on-demand delivery service. Grofers was founded by Albinder Dhindsa and Saurabh Kumar in 2013. It connects offline retailers with the customers through its service and makes the local shopping experience of consumers easy and pleasant through an easy to use mobile platform.

Q1.Tell us something about Grofers? 
Ans. Grofers is an e-commerce marketplace for your daily shopping. Shop from your favorite store in your neighborhood and get delivery to your doorstep within 90 minutes.Grofers aims to make the local shopping experience of consumers easy and pleasant by connecting them to the store in their neighborhood through an easy to use mobile platform. You can shop for Grocery, Bakery items, Flowers, Fruits & Vegetables, Meats and Baby Care products with a few taps and get everything delivered instantly or schedule it for a convenient time later. Choose your preferred mode of payment – Card, Cash-on-Delivery (for those who love the sound or coins) or e-wallet.
Q2. Ok great Sharad. What spurred you to start this business?
Ans. The concept was built on a very basic problem that we have to go to a store nearby for daily needs. The problem led to the business model that we are currently working on.
Q3. Ooo Waoo! You grabbed the market from this basic business model. Great. Let the others know about your business model and marketing strategy what you are following to reach to your target customers?

Ans. Our business model generates revenue for us through merchants. We charge a small percentage for every sale we get for them. For our consumers, the delivery is free of cost if their order is more than 250. Else, we charge them 49. For marketing we do have our budgets set for digital with prime target being mobile as it has become core of any marketing strategy now days.
Q4. That’s really awesome. But in your initial time you must have faced some hurdles. What was it and how you overcame it?

Ans. Our consumers and merchants were never using such a service. Convincing the merchants about the value which we bring for them was one of the biggest challenge for us. Over a period of time, they have built trust in us and they have started understanding the value in our service.
Q5. What according to you is the biggest benefit of partnering with Grofers?
 
Ans. For any merchant, the reach to customers is limited to a radius of 2-3 kms. Partnering with us gets them access to customers beyond their reach. Also, we solve one of the biggest problems for them i.e. managing delivery boys/manpower.
Q6. Yes that was a big problem which the merchants were facing for delivering the products. Can you tell us something about the Grofers working team?
Ans. We are a team of around 250 people, 200 of them are on-field delivery boys and others are in tech, operation and marketing units. The team is passionate about changing the way our whole retail sector works. Our offline commerce has been working the same way since last 3-4 decades and they are facing serious competition from e-commerce players. We, as a team want to empower them.
Q7. What services are you currently providing to your customers and can we see your company expanding the services in the coming time?
Ans. We are basically working to save your time that you spend in buying anything from a local market nearby you. Currently we are working in 6 categories: Grocery, fruits & vegetables, meats, pet care, flowers, bakery. We are also planning to other categories very soon such as Pharmacy, electronics and cosmetics.
Q8. Really it was nice to know the various categories. Now I will also use Grofers for these categories of products. [Laughter] We heard from some sources that you are being funded by the investors. Let us know more about the company’s funding?
Ans. We have been fortunate to have people show trust in our business model. Our investors have been really supportive to us and have played an important role in our growth. We have already raised our first round of capital from Sequoia Capital and Zomato’s Deepinder Goyal in September 2014. Seeing our growth, we soon in February this year raised Series A round of funding of $10 million from Tiger Global Management and returning investor Sequoia Capital. The same investor again came up in April to invest $35 million in Series B round of funding. The funds will go towards expansion across categories and geographies.

Q9. Superb! You are doing great job. Let us know your future plans and where can we see you in the upcoming time?

We are planning to expand in new geographies such as Pune, Hyderabad, Chandigarh, Ahmedabad and Jaipur. We are also planning to add other categories very soon such as pharmacy, electronics and cosmetics to our store.

Q10. It was a very healthy talk with you. Anything you would like to say to the emerging startups?It’s great to see so many startups blooming in Indian startup ecosystem. We would love to see more people come up with amazing ideas and make it a better Silicon Valley.

 

 

Q11. Thanks for your time Sharad and hope to see Grofers on a new height soon.

This was the talk with Mr Sharad Harjai, AVP Marketing, Grofers in which he told us everything about the company, its growth, funding and about all this and that.

Let us tell you one more thing that last month this hyper local delivery startup Grofers has acquired mobile grocery My Green Box with an undisclosed amount. All the 15 members of My Green Box have joined Grofers after the acquisition and Varun Khurana, founder of My Green Box has been posted as the CTO of Grofers. Grofers plans to build depth in their grocery vertical, which it claims where 60% of their business comes from.

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