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  • Tanutejas Saraswat

ShopKirana raises $2Mn Questions?

Updated: Jun 6, 2019

December 2018, we raised $2Mn~ Investment in a Series A round which was lead by Info Edge & participated by Incubate fund, Akatsuki Inc, Better capital & others.


It looked like a piece of news from the outside world but internally, for us, there are $2Mn questions, which need to be answered as soon as possible!

Questions are :

1) SPEED?

Speed to launch ShopKirana in new citiesSpeed to capture 5% category marketshare

Do we have the speed to launch ShopKirana in new cities & capture atleast 5% category/brands market share without burning money on discounts in lightening speed? Can we replicate what we learned till now? We believe in replication, not copy & paste. Replicate means all the cities should do approx the same numbers. Need to break the 80/20 rule where 2 cities contribute 80% of sales & 8 cities contribute 20% of sales.

2) CONTROLLING?

Can we control what we are building? Most of the startups fail because they don't have any control over the things they build. There are many holes in a startup. If you are not aware of it, you can never fix it. It's very difficult to manage millions & billions of dollars of business without highly intelligent software or human department which keeps a track on different parts of the business.

3) SOLVING BIG PROBLEMS?

Build Brands

Farm to Retail

Build Brands- India is a place of entrepreneurs & so does ShopKirana. Can we create an incubation centre for entrepreneurs who have a desire to build brands in Detergent, Biscuits, Spices etc, in Retail. Can we help companies/brands by using ShopKirana platform, data, insights & intelligence & marketing support to reach thousands of retail stores by working closely with them on the ground & in a drawing room? Can we build Indian Brands reaching billions of Indian consumers? It's a $100Bn Industry.

Farm to Retail. The second big problem is farm produce. When a product leaves the farm, it reaches to many middle chains which gain more margin than the farmer himself. The DAAL (pulses, staples etc) you ate yesterday, you don't even remember the name of the brand who packed it because there is no brand working for farmers. Can we solve this? Farm to retail is $140Bn industry. Can we make it organised with a proper quality check up? Can we bring directly from nature? Can we give fresh & high-quality products to consumers? Can we solve it by using the leanest supply chain? Can we allow minimum human hands usage till the time it reaches to direct end consumers? Can we?

Speed, Control & Solving Problems are part of a human belief system, which can be an illusion for some & reality for others & it differs from one person to another person, one team from another team, hence one company from another company.

 Flashback- The Year 2016 December

ShopKirana raises seed round from Incubate fund. Lead angels & others



When we raised seed round 2 years back, we asked ourself 2 questions which we promised ourself to answer before even thinking about the growth for the company. Instead of celebrating over beer, we asked each other?

QUESTIONS THEN-

a) Can we become the FMCG categoryMarketshare Leader in 1 city ?

b) Can we become Operating margin Positive?

BATTLES WE FOUGHT & WON BEFORE SERIES A INVESTMENT

We picked up our three-dimensional sword - Strategy, Execution & Courage.

Business battles are won by “Right strategy, great execution strength & courage to accept the failure on the face”. We had all three inserted as DNA in our team.


KEY ACHIEVEMENTS

1. ShopKirana is operating margin positive (first company in this space to breakeven) with the lowest supply chain cost in the industry.


2. ShopKirana is the only company to command 5+% market share in every category on our platform ( All e-commerce combined do 1% market share & modern retailers hold 6% approx)Highest engagement and monthly reliance - our top retailers are ordering 20 times a month.


3. We generate a lot of data: sitting in my office I can tell you which street of the city you are more likely to sell a glucose biscuit or a cream biscuit.


4. There are few distributors who were not happy with us. So we made a commitment to fight with them over service level instead of discounting products.


5. We won after 2 years. Cuz we come to an office to empower retailers, they come to sell out stock from their inventory.



6. Britannia was launching a new biscuit range. They shared their expectation to sell 100 cases of biscuits & our AI-driven system asked us to buy 400 cases. So we trusted our system & did an exclusive deal with Britannia, purchased all of their cases & sold in 8 hours. Our AI driven tech told us the demand points in a city & it took us less than 8 hrs to sell off the month’s target of Britannia.


7. Retailers are non-tech savvy & don’t use an app- We felt like a father who needed to empower their kids, to stay relevant in this competitive market. So we behaved liked one with our retailers & trained them, scolded them & educated them. Today they use our app more than 20 times/month to make an order. Conviction wins.


8. Retailers buy only in credit- We couldn’t digest this fact. We offer Cash on Delivery with online payment options. Today we are the largest player in town doing such transactions of oldest & biggest brands without giving credits. We believed - Service first, credit later. It worked.


9. We built a single button dispatch programme in our hub, which helps to dispatch thousands of delivery, crores of value with a help of single person handling single dispatch counter which is similar like a billing counter. In Modern retail stores, you see 10+ billing counters for the same value. We have just one person handling such crores of transactions, smoothly.


10. We have become the city largest B2B M-commerce company.


11. We sold more SOAPS & BISCUITS than Metro, Best Price(Wallmart), D-mart & Reliance sold combinedly.


12. We deliver more orders to retailers than any other company in the segment.


13. Our logistic vehicles are delivering 3x more in terms of goods value than the industry standards.


14. We have 30% population reach in a city.


15. We are the fastest GTM for fmcg brands by committing & contributing more than 7% marketshare within 3 months of a new brand launch.


16. We got the biggest single order in M-commerce. Our retailer ordered more than 150 items in a single invoice. It used to take him 7 days & 25+ distributors earlier to buy those items which he ordered in 15 minutes.


 WHAT'S HAPPENING AFTER SERIES A INVESTMENT

It's been 3 months we closed our series A investment- We have shown crazy GETTING THINGS DONE strength. If earlier we made 10 mistakes, we are making 40 now. We accelerated the speed of our learning. Here are few achievements.


SPEED : We reached out to 7000+ people, shortlisted 700 & on-boarded 70+ on a job. HR department worked how HR company works.



We created SHOPKIRANA HQ- One of the coolest place to work in Indore & we created everything from ground 0 to this in 12 days-

We launched 6 HUBS of ShopKirana in 60 days. First, we launched in Bhopal within just 12 days. From an idea to invoice, it took us less than 2 weeks to set up the whole operations in a new city & start a business.



We launched ShopKirana in Jaipur after 30 days of starting Bhopal operations. Got delayed because one of the local govt licenses got stuck (but I can live with that..)

We did more than a million sales in Jaipur on the first day of its launch.



We clocked more than 1 crore sales within 17 days of starting operations in Jaipur.

We sold more than 70 lac+ qty of in February.

More than 10,000+ retailers signed up!

We are now live in 3 cities. Indore, Jaipur & Bhopal.

Numbers which we achieved in 8 months of starting, taking 15 days to achieve in a new city now.


2) Can we CONTROL?



We created a CONTROL ROOM in HQ, which is controlling all the hubs in a different city from Indore. It's like a stock exchange of FMCG. Data shown in an image below is dummy data for obvious reasons. But it's fun to see blinking numbers whenever you do an important & worth noting transactions. Along with it, we created an IC team- Internal Control team. These are amazing people, they are like FBI- keeps an eye by following proper guided systems & processes & if see anything suspicious, raise a red flag to the concerned person. They do Audit. It's like someone raided a warehouse or central team. We are learning & doing what to control & how? Sales, Purchase, Accounts, Dispatch, Service, Inventory, HR etc.

BUT,

The questions still remain UNANSWERED even after months of Hustle..



1) Can we show SPEED?

2) Can we SOLVE BIG PROBLEMS?

3) Can we CONTROL

These are questions which we don't have any answer today but our heads are down, sleeves are rolled up & we are working all hours to come back with an answer. We are seeing the spark eveyrday, but distraction is far away..

What do you believe? Suggest or help? Are we going to achieve what we desire? 




About us:

ShopKirana is a B2B - commerce company focused on technology and supply chain innovation that aims to empower retailers to be competitive by providing technology, operational expertise and scale advantage. Idea is to partner with millions of retailers (by becoming part of their supply chain) and making it the biggest and quickest go-to-market channel for products and services. ShopKirana directly works with brands to give them a boost on the demand side and reach to masses with transparency and deep market intelligence.

Funding Round: Series A : $2Mn | December 2018




Founders(L-R) : Deepak Dhanotiya, Tanutejas Saraswat, Sumit Ghoratwat.

Investors

Info Edge | Incubate Fund, Japan| AET fund, Akatsuki, Japan | Better Capital AngelList syndicate

Existing Investors: Incubate Fund- Japan; Lead Angels - Individual Angels (veterans from the FMCG and startup space)

Background:

ShopKirana is a b2b platform, started with a vision to empower millions of retailers which connects 1.2 Bn+ population of India in terms of trade. Even after ages of Internet in India, small mom pop stores holds more than 90% of all India retail trade & are the backbone of our economy.

We connect retailers directly with brands with the help of technology & supply chain innovation to source products within 48 hrs. Our "execution on ideas" journey started in 2015...We started very first fmcg/grocery b2b multibrand platform for unorganised kirana stores in India.

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