Online grocery firm Grofers said Monday it is partnering with local entrepreneurs to help with last mile delivery, a model that it expects will be used to deliver half of its overall order volumes.
Under its ‘Grofers Service Partners’ Programme (GSP), the SoftBank-backed company has already signed up over 600 delivery partners in Delhi-NCR, Mumbai, Bengaluru and Kolkata, it said in a statement.
“The programme, which includes collaboration with local entrepreneurs, who are well versed with the neighbourhood, will help the brand create a supreme delivery experience for consumers with better efficiency and scalability in last leg of the delivery,” it added.
Grofers said it aims to enrol over 2,000 local businesses and store owners under the programme by the end of the year and eventually expand it to all its 13 operational markets.
“At present, 16 percent of daily orders are being delivered by Grofers Service Partners and we are planning to increase it to 50 percent of our overall orders by 2018 end,” Yeshu Bansal, VP Operations at Grofers, said.
Grofers claimed that its delivery programme has been creating additional income opportunities for small business owners.
“This programme is expected to not only take us a step closer to our customers, but also to create extra income opportunities for small business owners,” Albinder Dhindsa, Co-founder and CEO, Grofers, said.
Grofers, which counts names like SoftBank, Tiger Global and Apoletto Asia among its investors, expects its revenue to cross Rs 2,500 crore this fiscal. Its average daily order volumes were over 35,000 per day in June this year.
With people becoming comfortable buying even milk and bread online, the online grocery segment is projected to witness a strong growth over the next few years in India.
As per the estimates, e-tail is just 0.5 percent of the total grocery market in India, which is pegged at US$ 400 billion, or 70 percent of all retail.
With e-commerce giants like Walmart-backed Flipkart and Amazon India ramping up efforts and pumping in funds to strengthen their position in the online grocery category, existing players like Grofers and BigBasket are focussed on offering a differentiated experience to its customers.