After the announcement of the 21-day lockdown period by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, many citizens in India rushed to their nearby grocery stores to stock up essential items for the tough days ahead. Some of them even started to place their grocery orders on online platforms like BigBasket and Grofers, which had already faced delivery issues in the days before an official lockdown. So naturally, there was a lot of panic about whether food and essentials will be available in the market.
Currently, most vegetables and fruits are out of stock on online grocery platforms. And with people not willing to go far for essentials, deliveries can be the saviour. In such a scenario, the B2B grocery delivery platform Ninjacart is partnering with societies and apartment communities to directly deliver groceries there.
Speaking to Inc42, Ninjacart’s director of business strategy, Ben Mathew said that either a person from the society or the company will be appointed to aggregate orders from each home. “This person will be the point of contact of the company and will help Ninjacart to get the list of products required by the society members amid the lockdown,” he added.
The facility is also expected to help people who don’t place online orders. Mathew said that very few people actually order groceries online, and Ninjacart wants to help them get familiar with grocery delivery. He also said that the company is registering societies from Bengaluru, Delhi, Hyderabad, Mumbai, and Pune.
Leveraging B2B Supply Chain
Mathew said that the company will use the same supply chain it has created for its B2B operations to deliver vegetables and fruits to societies as well. However, it doesn’t view this as a business opportunity, but rather about fulfilling the essential needs of those living in a lockdown.
“We will also sell our products definitely at lower prices than the market,” Mathew added.
Founded in May 2015 by Thirukumaran Nagarajan, Sharath Loganathan, Sachin Jose, Kartheeswaran KK and Vasudevan Chinnathambi, Ninjacart is a B2B platform which sells groceries, fruits, and vegetables to businesses like retail outlets, supermarkets, restaurants, among others. It sources these essential items directly from farmers and then, supplies to its clients.
For the grocery delivery service, it is also taking many measures to check the spread of coronavirus through its delivery agents, by ‘sanitised’ orders.
Mathew said that the company is sanitising its facilities every day to ensure that the working environment remains safe. Besides making masks mandatory, it is checking the body temperature of all the employees entering facilities. “If any symptoms are witnessed, we are sending our employees back home,” Mathew said. Ninjacart team is also visiting the houses of the farm and delivery labourers working with the company to ensure that they are living in hygienic conditions.