Jagan Mohan Rao Murakonda, Director, Vijetha Supermarkets talks about how the 24-year-old business has managed to grow and evolve with the times to become one of the most popular retail chains in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh with 105 stores
New Delhi: Vijetha Supermarkets Pvt. Ltd., the brainchild of Jagan Mohan Rao, started its journey in March 1999 from a single store in Chandanagar (Hyderabad). Over the years, the business has grown in every aspect and currently covers a selling area of 5,00,000 sq. ft. It has 5 lakh dedicated customers, 105 stores, each clocking an average annual turnover of Rs 8 crore.
Vijetha Supermarkets target customers from urban and semi urban areas and major categories at a store include groceries, FMCG, apparel, fruits & vegetables, gifts & novelties.
The company recorded an annual turnover of Rs 750 crore in the previous financial year and is aiming to reach the Rs 1000 crore mark by the end of current financial year.
By providing employment to more than 2000 employees and another 2000 families associated directly with the company, the company is planning to enter hotels, cold chains, hospitality services, bakery and confectionary businesses.
In an exclusive interaction with Images Retail, Jagan Mohan Rao Murakonda, Director, Vijetha Supermarkets talks about the brand’s journey, growth, vision and expansion plans.
What sets the brand apart from competitors in terms of products and services?
The Vijetha brand is a consumer favourite. Out of our 105 stors, 25 are in gated communities.
Also, the quality of products is our strength. We procure the best quality products in every segment. For instance, agriculture-based products are procured from farmers and big vendors. FMCG products are supplied by company distributors or directly from company stock points. We procure kirana and groceries in bulk and the packaging and processing is done at our end. The goods are further supplied to the stores. We take utmost care while packing and processing.
As an ongoing process segregation and grading is done by experienced staff—goods are rejected if they don’t meet our stringent selection process.
Do you offer special programs or promotions for loyal customers?
We run a ‘Customer Royalty Programme’ at our stores. We also run special promos to attract shoppers every month. Special offers are extended on holidays and special occasions as well to meet the competition from the market.
How do you stay competitive?
We believe in competitive pricing to attract customers and to increase the turnover. To stay competitive in the market, we have a dedicated marketing strategy and growth plan.
We release advertisements in local papers and on hoardings, we distribute flyers, we conduct sampling of products, we issue privileged cards to esteemed customers, we offer home delivery and ordering through WhatsApp, we are available online on our app, website and on service providers like Dunzo.
In addition, we have an attractive display of products with floor stacking and bins. We offer attractive pricing, and prompt service with a short delivery time in addition to fresh and healthy products.
We have introduced an artificial intelligence powered robot at our stores which is popular among children and acts like a magnet and helps in bump up sales.
What are you doing to strengthen your online footprint?
We have a dedicated team running the online operations (e-commerce) for the brand. We also plan monthly some aggressive offers to online customers and continuously enroll the new customers with advertisement and special drives to increase the volumes and size of e commerce platform.
How do you handle food safety and hygiene in your stores?
We conduct regular pest control service at our stores. We have a trained staff to handle products. We keep non-food and food at items in different racks and monitor them for expiry.
Our stores are fully air-conditioned and all perishable products are kept in freezers/deep freezers depending on the nature of the product.
We churn products by first in, first out (FIFO) method with freshness of stocks being the main criteria. All expired and near expiry stock is removed from racks and sent back to our warehouse.
What are your expansion plans?
As of now, we are planning to open bigger formats with good assortment of categories and spreading to different regions with more in number of stores.
How has the been the year for the brand on ground of growth and revenue?
The year 2022–23 has been good as the market has completely opened up in the post pandemic era. We have picked up sales across all categories. The purchasing power has gone up and normalcy prevails in the market. We have grown by 14.2% over last year.
VIJETHA Supermarket: At a Glance
|Total number of stores in India||105|
|Average store size||4,500 sq. ft|
|Regions covered so far||Telangana and Andhra Pradesh|
|Key categories||FMCG Food & Non Food, F&B, Groceries, Imported Products, Bakery, Sweets|
|Total number of staff in flagship stores||2000 employees|
|Meet Viru: The Robot
Vijetha Supermarket has recently introduced a robot named ‘Viru’ in some of the stores. Viru is a user-friendly robot, built with Artificial Intelligence (AI) and is working well in terms of display of key products, announcement of offers and helping customer to locate the products at store.
It acts based on commands issued which have been programmed as per the store requirements. The robot’s main job is to promote products, help customers in locating products and overall improve store management. It is also the centre of attraction especially for children and they enjoy the company of a robot and it helps in increasing the walk-ins and sales of categories like candies, chocolates, snacks and cold drinks.
Sorting of crates: The robots can sort through thousands of crates, responding to real-time changes in inventory levels and demand, from their positions a top large crate stacks and to reduce errors and maximize productivity.
Inventory Tracking: Robots are also performing inventory tracking in today’s supermarkets. Big stores spend thousands of hours a year dealing with manual inventory management – typically; roaming associates use hand-held devices to verify stock levels. That may soon be a thing of the past. With new inventory management methods, the robots can scan/count 15,000 retail items in just an hour, making it possible to check up on the whole inventory of a typical grocery store multiple times a day if needed.
The robots can recognize when supplies are low and find items that are shelved incorrectly. With robots in charge of time-consuming inventory tasks, human workers can focus on customer service and other high-level issues that contribute to store level efficiency.
|Awards & Accolades