The Business of Customer Convenience is Hot in India & Here's Why Investors Are Pouring in Funding
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Anant Goel and his team of founders are on a mission.
The mission was to enter into a business of customer convenience. The intent was clear – solve the problem of fulfilling an individual’s day-to-day’s personal needs in the least troublesome manner. In this pursuit, the first focus area for them became milk.
“I tell you why we picked up milk because where I was living we had a big problem with milk. Milk is a totally unorganised and chaotic sector, there are no regulations. Second there is no reliability of the quality that doodhwalas supply. There is the big problem, from quality or adulteration because milk is prone to adulteration,” Anant Goel told Entrepreneur India.
Goel pegs Gurgaon, the area where Milkbasket operates in, a billion-dollar market and says only a very small basic scratching of the surface is done. “First we would like to take care of those customers and then only think about something else,” Goel said.
When Milkbasket was started, milk was not a target area for the company. The Gurgaon-based startup was looking to solve the pain area that one had to go to their local shops at least three to four times a week.
“You have to go and buy sometimes vegetables, fruits, etc and in a busy life you do not have time for that, sometimes it is too hot, rainy or too cold. If kids are sleeping at home you cannot go, you send a maid; they don’t pick the right quality product. No matter how much you plan you cannot buy it from higher market because if you go to higher market once a month or twice a month. So you buy from your local ecosystem but that has its own challenges because the quality is not assured or you do not have time to do it again,” says Goel.
So the company started their operations and within less than 4 years has now raised Series A funding to expand its business. In a chat, Goel revealed 3 strengths on which Milkbasket played so far in closing Series A.
You need to know your business in and out. When I say you need to know your business, you also need to have a very strong opinion on that business. For example, knowing how the industry works to knowing how a customer behaves, where and why they are spending their money because unless you know it, you will not be able to convince anyone. We compete with the Birlas to the Ambanis to the Tatas, Bigbasket, everybody is in grocery business. From a local shop to the all the way to Tatas, everybody wants to supply grocery. You need to say that this what I am doing and this is why it is going to succeed and that could be one way to get it.
Second, I think for Series A, you need to also demonstrate that you have built up a team that is ready to hit the ground running. So it’s not just a founder but you need to have a solid team of builders because that shows the capability to hire as well as retain. At the end of the day, every business depends on people you are able to hire, convince people to work with you where you cannot pay them enough salary so they are just working with you because of the sheer passion that you demands for it. I think that is important.
Third thing is I think the model itself. What you are doing and why you are doing and a very important thing within the model is that you need to improvise on a very concentrated. When I say improvise I don’t mean pivot. Pivoting is actually a problem because when you are pivoting it means that you are not sure what you are doing and you are just trying to experiment. So, one very important thing about us is that from day one when we launched Milkbasket till today we are exactly on the same model. We are trying to say the same things and we deliver the same promise to the customer. So having that focus on that particular thing, I believe it is very important and it played a critical role for us. Multiple models of groceries have come and gone while we have just furthered to say that this is the right thing to do and this is the right time.
Vision for next five years is keep selling to the customers reliable, convenient and in a consistent manner stresses Goel. “In terms of business, our target would be to present in ten to twelve cities of India and our mission is to serve a million orders a day across the cities in India.”