Our civilisation thrives on its capacity to delegate lesser tasks. And what can be more commonplace than having to walk a few steps to grab a bag of groceries? While the importance of this can’t be denied, it is this very opportunity that Grofers has taken hold of.
With its inception in the imagination of Saurabh Kumar and Albinder Dhindsa, Grofers has now gained a firm foothold as an online delivery system for groceries and other day-to-day items at low prices. They now operate in numerous cities in India, such as Agra, Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Bhopal, Bhubaneswar, Chandigarh, Chennai, Delhi, Gurugram, Hyderabad, Indore, Jaipur, Kanpur, Kochi, Kolkata, Lucknow, Ludhiana, Nagpur, Noida, Madurai, Mumbai, Pune, Ranchi, Surat and Vadodara.
The name Grofers is a portmanteau for Grocer and Gopher; the latter being a colloquial term for an errand boy in the United States. Incidentally, it was during their time in the States that the founders struck upon an idea to improve on the merchant-customer arrangement. Many a time, it so happened that even in the presence of a bankable customer base, merchants were unable to provide higher quality and reliable service. This potential is what Grofers tapped into. Founders Saurabh Kumar and Albinder Dhindsa happened to take note of the fact that several pharmacies were already delivering 50-60 medicines per day within a 3-4 km radius. In December 2013, the founders established Onenumber which later becomes Grofers; a hyper-local logistics company that delivered within 90 minutes. Initially, operations were restricted to Delhi NCR, with their headquarters in Gurgaon.
Grofers has in place an inventory of merchants and their stocks. Consumers may book their orders via the mobile app or the website. This took care of the worries of merchants who couldn’t do deliveries and didn’t have the infrastructure to start the service. Also, it may so happen that the product in demand is not available with them, and customers have to visit more than one shop to get what they want. This is taken care of by Grofers, which delivers from a pool of all accessible local merchants. Hence, this is a win-win for all.
Grovers’s technological framework is constituted by a dedicated team of engineers who build and maintain robust platforms to support their purpose. With a unique management philosophy that encourages ideas from all the members of the team, this enterprise has an entrepreneurship culture woven into its DNA.
As of today, Grofers has raised about $226.5 million from investors including SoftBank, Tiger Global and Sequoia Capital. It has also acquired Mygreenbox, Town rush and SpoonJoy. Grofers was named one of the top 10 startups in Delhi by Yourstory in 2014 and amongst the top ten Gurgaon-based startups by Indianweb2.com in 2014.
Grofers over the past few years has brought in a commendable e-commerce initiative in a highly competitive space. Hailed as one of the next possible unicorns in India, this would merchants and consumers alike and usher in a very revolutionary shift in the way we view shopping for groceries.