Indbazaar: Emerging Online Food & Grocery Store

Dhanasekaran, Founder and Director,RajarajanDhanasekaran, CEO & Director

Dhanasekaran, Founder and Director

RajarajanDhanasekaran, CEO & Director

The lifestyles at metro cities are no longer the same as it was 10 years ago. With high disposable incomes, changing habits and changing consumer behaviour for purchasing, everything has witnessed modifications in this internet-driven world.

The stressful, long stretched office hours followed by heavy metro traffics has left no flesh and blood to shop household essentials. People are exploiting all opportunities to save their valuable time and energy from tiring household works. Such people with high disposable income and self-pampering attitude have been an important factor for online grocery companies, as these are the potential customers. Despite the strong foothold of kirana stores in India which continues to be a dominant format, online grocery is been recognized as an important distribution channel.

Having a platform where one can place orders for daily or weekly household needs and get it delivered at the doorstep is a good value proposition. Identifying an opportune space in the market, many new players have joined the bandwagon.

One such emerging online food and grocery store is Indbazaar catering to the daily needs of customers in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry. Recognized as a one-stop destination for all family needs, the company offers a wide range of products - right from confectioneries to cosmetics, beverages, health and personal care products, groceries, and all household FMCG products. Simply put, it offers products which are consumed or used on monthly basis by kids, elderly and all age group in between. "We offer products for all age groups and all classes of people. So, our target audience is people who stays nearby our store (around 10 km from our store). We help elderly people by delivering products to their home post shopping," explicates Dhanasekaran, Founder and Director, Indbazaar.

Besides, using the app, customers visiting the store can scan the products available in the store and find out its price, nutrition information, and others. This feature is useful for health-conscious customers who like to find out more information about the products. "We have a section in the app known as `My List'. It smartly aggregates all their previous purchases which they made in online store and all our retail stores. Overall, this helps the customers to complete the entire purchase within a very short span using My List," he says.

The Uniqueness of the Platform
Indbazaar aims to provide next-generation shopping experience in India. The team ardently believes that the future of retail is all about integrating two channels - online and offline as seamlessly as possible and bringing the goodness of both of the world. Indbazaar app, website and store visits are the primary connecting point for customers. When customer places order online, the algorithm automatically assigns the order to nearest Indbazaar store. Orders are then assigned to employees who then roams around store filling bags. The picked-up products are then billed and dispatched from the store to the respective addresses. Throwing light on the mechanism, Rajarajan, CEO & Director, Indbazaar, explains, "Our app only shows products which are available in the nearest outlets. It might sound easy on paper but in order to achieve that, we have developed an entire software ecosystem by ourselves from Point of Sale software to app which displays the items. One of our major
focus areas is the product delivery time. We are able to deliver the order as fast as within 30 minutes to delivering within same day whereas other e-commerce giants like Amazon and Flipkart takes about 2-7 days for delivery. Not only this, we also offer free delivery over the order of Rs.250. Overall, our customers have immense faith on us and we as a team leave no stone unturned to serve them better."

To automate large chunk of work, the company has developed a system called Auto PO for which system arrives PO quantity for all products based various parameters such Sales, Stock, Number of days stock can be kept in the shelf, and others. It has We also developed exclusive mobile app for the delivery person. Notification is sent to delivery executive when the order is ready to pick from the store. Orders are assigned to delivery person by the dispatcher. Customers have the option to Pay on delivery by card, Cash or UPI payment methods.

The Mechanism
Indbazaar since its initial days has endeavoured to build a omnichannel store and give customers a seamless omnichannel experience. In the beginning, the company outsourced software, but eventually ended up developing an exclusive software to ensure consistency. "We have no plans to integrate e-commerce in our already existing grocery stores. It would be quite a task for existing local players to integrate online store into their existing retail store. Having said that, operating an exclusive online grocery store is even harder," he adds.

Behind the concept of Indabazaar is a well-researched and well-planned thought. It was around 2015 when Dhanasekaran realized the true potential of online grocery store and its subsequent impacts

Further, the company does not operate on marketplace model. "Inventory is completely owned by us so essentially; we are the sellers. Supply chain is controlled by us right from sourcing grocery from farmers, quality checking, cleaning, packaging, transporting to stores and all the way to delivering that product in hands of the customer. This model gives us a great control but making it quite challenging at the same time," he further adds.

The Stepping Stone
Behind the concept of Indabazaar is a well-researched and well-planned thought. It was around 2015 when Dhanasekaran realized the true potential of online grocery store and its subsequent impacts. After a thorough market study, he zeroed in upon creating an omni-channel store to offer customer convenience as well as great customer experience. During that time, Rajarajan was pursuing computer systems engineering with business Management in UK. "One day we discussed about Indbazaar over the phone call and slowly started researching about this. Given my background in programming and business, Indbazaar was a natural fit for me. I came back from UK in September 2016 and launched our first store in December 2016," he mentions.

The first store was set up in a small town called Villupuram. With no stellar experience in running a retail and online store, the team began poring over the nitty-gritty of the business. The first year went on like this. Once, they learnt the basics of running a grocery store, they launched the second store in November 2017. "This time, we launched our app simultaneously with our store launch. In the next couple of years, our app played a crucial role in bringing in online sales. Eventually the, Pondicherry store helped us to learn and equipped us to handle large number of orders on day to day basis," he informs.

Between 2018-2019, Indbazaar launched three more stores in Chennai; all of them strategically located to deliver to as many areas as possible. Rajarajan avers, "Currently, we deliver to about half of Chennai. We believe once we add another four stores, we should be able of deliver across the entire city."

A Bright Future Awaits
Over the years, the company has come a long way from where it began. It has registered a two-fold increase in its revenue every fiscal year. In terms of manpower, it has employed around over 150 people and further plans to provide employment opportunity to large number of people. "Our investor and mentor, especially for me at Indbazaar, is my father. Since this is my first real job straight out of college, I have learnt a lot under his guidance," he smiles.

With such positivity, team Indbazaar, in the coming years, envisions setting an industry standard for great omni-channel shopping experience.

Rajarajan Dhanasekaran, CEO & Director
Rajarajan Has Done Computer Systems Engineering With Business Management From University Of Birmingham In UK. Post This, He Joined Indbazaar As The CEO To Explore Entrepreneurship Opportunities. With Sheer Dedication And Hard Work, He Is Working Towards Making Indbazaar A Great Omni-Channel Shopping Store Among The Consumers.

Dhanasekaran, Founder And Director
Dhanasekaran Is The Brain Behind Indbazaar. He Is A Successful Entrepreneur Who Currently Runs An Educational Institution Called Mailam Engineering College. Under His Leadership, Indbazaar Has Carved A Niche In The Industry.