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Grofers Knocks On Government’s Door; Seeks Permission For FDI In Food Trade 

Grofers Knocks On Government’s Door; Seeks Permission For FDI In Food Trade 

Gurugram-based online delivery startup Grofers has requested government’s approval for Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) to carry out trade of food products in India.

In June 2016, the Indian Government permitted 100 % FDI under government approval for trade. It includes business via ecommerce, with respect to food products manufactured or produced in India.

According to the official website of the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP), Grofers has sought the Government’s green signal ‘to undertake trading including through ecommerce in food products manufactured and/or produced in India.’

The Ministry of Food Processing Industries has also proposed to organise the World Food Summit in 2017. The event is aimed to facilitate a unified platform for investors, technology solution providers, processors, manufacturers and all other relevant national and international stakeholders.

Founded in 2013 by IIT graduates Albinder Dhindsa and Saurabh Kumar, Grofers has seen many ups and downs. It has raised over $160 Mn in funding till date. It initially raised Seed funding from Sequoia Capital. Following that, it raised $10 Mn (INR 62 Cr) venture capital funding led by investment firm Tiger Global Management and Sequoia Capital India in February 2015. In November 2015, the company raised about $120 Mn (INR 780 Cr) in a funding round led by Japan’s SoftBank Corp.

In October 2015, the company halted operations in certain parts of Delhi NCR due to operational issues after employees in Noida stopped working based on layoff speculations. The operations were resumed after a few days.

In January 2016, Grofers shut down its operations in 9 cities. In May 2016, it got stuck in a legal tangle after it revoked the job offers of 67 students. A legal notice was sent by 20 students collectively to Grofers.

Following that, in June 2016, Grofers laid-off 10% of its employees.

On similar lines, Gurgaon-based on-demand grocery delivery startup PepperTap also shut operations in six cities.  Prior to that, hyperlocal ventures like Localbanya and Townrush also had to shut down their operations.

The development was reported by ET.