Balaji Grand Bazar’s first store, spanning 360 sq. ft, was launched in 1958. The brand has come a long way since then – from just one shop to multiple stores in Hyderabad. Balaji Grand Bazar, which pioneered private label products in stores, is synonymous with customer delight and satisfaction.
Today, it is one of the most well-established departmental stores in Hyderabad, offering an ideal mix of the traditional and the modern, a range of varied products from leading Indian and International brands under one roof.
Every Balaji Grand Bazar store is classy, elegant and spacious with exquisite interiors and pleasant decorations focusing on the concepts of high quality’, ‘freshness’ and ‘friendly service’. The product range is diverse from groceries to fresh fruits and vegetables, toiletries, cosmetics, dry fruits, food grains, edible oils, organic and herbal products, biscuits and chocolates, etc, from leading Indian and international brands.
Currently, the brand, which is led by Sunil Agarwal and assisted by Prateek Agarwal and Darpan Agarwal, has 11 stores and plans to add 5 more stores by the end of this financial year.
In an interaction with Progressive Grocer Bureau, Sunil Agarwal, Managing Director, Balaji Grand Bazar shares the USP of the brand, its strategies, future plans and a lot more…
Excerpts from the Interview:
– How is Balaji Grand Bazar different from others in the same category?
Balaji Grand Bazar has a central distribution system which ensures that the shelves are always filled with options for consumers. Our warehouse, situated at Puppalaguda-Manikonda-Narsingi Road in Hyderabad and spanning 25,000 sq. ft, is equipped with all modern amenities. Aside from a variety of products catering to a wide audience range, we’re also upgrading our upcoming stores with multiple floors for shoppers to browse and buy from, as well as ample parking space.
– What is the location strategy for your stores? Which locations do you prefer and what part do they play in your store sales?
Our stores are only located on premium, high-end streets as well as in premium gated societies, since most of our customers belong to the upper crust of the society – the Sec A+ /A of society.
At present, 8 stores are in the premium gated societies where we are servicing more than 10,000 families. There are 3 more, which are located on premium high streets.
– Share your omnichannel strategy with us.
Aside from coming to our stores – which are following all COVID protocols – Balaji Grand Bazar has its own app through on customers can place their orders. To enhance consumer experience, we have gone deeper digitally with tie ups with brands like Dunzo and Swiggy.
Aside from this, we are working to swiftly introduce customer rewards and loyalty points for our regular customers.
PRODUCTS & CATEGORIES
– What is the range of products that you offer? Which is the fastest moving of these? How many SKUs do you have on offer?
Our stores offer more than 20,000 SKUs comprising of food and non-food options, specialty fruits and vegetables, herbal and organic products and imported merchandise. We also have special counters for sweets and savouries, chaat and refreshment, and home furnishing to name a few.
– Tell us about your private label products. How much do they contribute to the overall revenue?
Our stores are known for our private label products in categories like staples, pulses and dry fruits to name a few. In the coming few days, we are planning to launch private label products in the FMCG segment like jams, sauces, etc.
– Food or non-food – which category is a winner at Balaji Grand Bazar and why?
The ratio of food and non-food category at Balaji Grand Bazar is 60:40. We are hopeful that food category will grow in the coming days.
– Which are the new emerging categories at your stores?
With the onset of the pandemic and even before that, we had observed that consumers were getting into more healthy and specialty categories. Towards this, we worked towards introducing organic products, herbal products and specialty products.
STRATEGIES & LEARNINGS
– Share some key learnings that you have gleaned over the years in this business?
‘Customer satisfaction and delight’ is our motto. We always ensure to provide best services, superior quality products at affordable prices.
– Any noticeable consumption trends over the years?
The food category has grown exponentially as compared to the non-food category. Staples, pulses, flours, ready-to-eat, frozen food and beverages have seen an uptick in demand. In the non-food category, the demand for cleaning and hygiene products has increased.
– What are your top 3 technologies.
Our warehouses and stores are connected with live data management systems. Recently, we have introduced GPS tracking for tracking all our deliveries, ensuring they reach the correct address within a stipulated time period.
Over the next one few months, we are working to improve our app, make it even more consumer friendly. We are also revamping our website to offer superior services.
– What are your plans and targets for the future?
This financial year, we are planning to add 5 more stores and we are also looking forward to extending backend support to offer a better shopping experience to consumers.
– Any plans to explore any new market?
We are planning to open more stores in Telangana, Hyderabad and Secundrabad.
– What is the next big change that you see in grocery retail in the wake of the pandemic?
E-commerce players offering discounts are a threat for retailers like us. The monthly shopping basket of our consumers has already shrunk as compared to what they buy from e-commerce players. These days consumers are visiting the stores only to buy basic essential like pulses, staples, fruits and vegetables. However, we are countering this through exciting offers which will keep our regular consumers coming to us as well as attract new consumers.
Aside from this, we have a very clearly defined roadmap in place to cope with the pandemic, which includes ensuring the provision of the best quality service at competitive prices to our customers.