Brownbag: Reinventing Shopping Experience

Srikant Ranjan & Garima Singal, Co-FoundersBrownbag is a brain child of Srikant Ranjan and Garima Singal. Srikant, being a B. Tech IIT Kharagpur alumnus, MS & PhD from University of Florida, had a strong desire to create something, which would impact masses. Garima, on the other hand, an MBA in Finance from IP University, experienced professional of marketing, finance & operations had all the tools required to manage a business. After their graduation, both worked in the US before coming back to India in 2012. During this particular phase, there was a bit of a slack when it came to purchasing grocery items. They had to visit nearly ten different stores to pick up a single item. When they confronted this to their neighbours and friends, with open arms they helped them out to get the products. But, on the contrary, it was not amiable to rely on them, every time they needed some help. So, what the duo did next defines the true nature of entrepreneurial spirit. And, this was the start of Brownbag's ideation.

Connecting the dots, what started as a product information centre which provides customers the where abouts of products and retail outlets nearby, over the years has evolved into a full- fledged eCommerce platform that directly delivers specific products to customer's doorstep. And, the duo did a pretty neat job in conceptualizing the idea and building a sustainable model that paves a perfect pathway to the cartless shopping experience, both online & offline.

Reviving the nostalgic feel of ‘Khakhi Lifafas and friendly neighbourhood Kirana shop', the company is all set to redefine the shopping experience to its end-customers & local vendors across India. "Every other retailer player in the space either favours the customers or the vendors. There is no platform that focuses on
providing unified services that delivers quality products, quickness, flexible payment solutions, and optimization of resources, especially in grocery delivery" avers Srikant.

"Brownbag is known for its vast selection of products, low price, fast and reliable delivery, quality control, and a trusted brand in providing convenient experience for all"

The Start of Hybrid-setup in the Retail Ecosystem
In August 2016, when the husband wife duo started Brownbag, they spent a quint essential amount of time creating high-quality inventory database system that is beneficial for both vendors & customers, where vendors can sell their products, and customers can find the products based on personal choices, like the allergic constraints, diet specific and others. "We took more than six months to create special content driven commerce, where we integrated technology and commerce more periodically into customer’s omnichannel experiences,"speaks Garima.

Today, Brownbag offers a gamut of products on their platform, where they have partnered with more than 7+ vendors, and have close to 400+ repeat customers using the platform. Unique to Brownbag is ‘Pickup in Store' shopping feature, which enables the customer to order online and pickup in store in as little time as 15 min. This system helps those customers who cannot wait at home for delivery or who want the items quickly but don't want to spend time in store. Simply put it is ‘Drive thru' grocery shopping.

"While there are platforms which are of a global kind, we, on the other hand, are completely inclined to promote local vendors and attract local customers. More than anything, we want to make sure both the buyers and sellers are happy," states Srikant.

Further adding to this, Garima says "Our clients include house wife's, who are creating their own customized cakes, fresh home made chocolates, cookies etc." In fact, Brownbag is the only platform that provides an opportunity for a genuine seller to sell his/her products to local customers.

The Roadmap Ahead of Brownbag Based in Dwarka, Delhi, Brownbag is growing exponentially every month. With a lean team of 13+ members, the company is on a mission to reach newer milestones each passing day. The company envisions providing services to tier 1, and tier 2 cities across India soon. Srikant explaining the roadmap ahead says, "We have built our base strong. In the near future, we are not only going to connect to B2C, we will be offering services to B2B clients as well."

Adding to this, Garima concludes "At the end of the day, we want to reduce the effort of both the seller as well as the user. Be it, shopping at the super market, or eCommerce site and mobile platform. We want to enhance the overall experience of shopping for all."