E-grocery store BigBasket.com, currently operating in Bangalore, intends to expand its footprint to Mumbai and Hyderabad by October this year. It has further expansion plans and by March 2013, BigBasket will also cater to customers in Delhi and Chennai.
Talking exclusively to Techcircle.in, co-founder Hari Menon said, "The e-store model, as well as the related systems and processes, will be the same as the Bangalore one. But once we start operating in other cities, we will have city-specific SKUs, apart from common SKUs."
Right now, BigBasket has about 8,000 SKUs, but in the coming 5-6 months, the e-store will have 15,000 SKUs.
"We will still focus on grocery, food, non-food and other FMCG products. But there will be more items in the household category, such as dinnerware, kitchenware and more," said Menon.
Interestingly, the entire last-mile delivery is owned by BigBasket, which has its own fleet of 30 delivery vans. Currently, all the goods are stocked in a Bangalore-based warehouse and depending upon orders, these are transported to the nearest hub. The company has three hubs, in Whitefield, Bannerghatta and Yashwantpur, to cover the entire city.
When it starts its operations in Mumbai, BigBasket will have a registered office and a warehouse in the city, as well as four hubs â€“ in Vasi, Goregaon, Mulund and Bandra. In Hyderabad, too, it will have a warehouse and an office besides three hubs located in Shivapalli, Boyanapalli and Kukatpally.
Once the company starts its operations in these cities, it will have 20 delivery vans in Mumbai and 15 in Hyderabad. With an average order value of Rs 1,200-Rs 1,250, BigBasket claims to have 450 orders per day.
In March 2012, BigBasket raised $10 million in its first round of funding from private equity firm Ascent Capital. The transaction is believed to be the first institutional investment in an online grocery retailer and the largest Series A round in an e-tailing firm in India. Prior to that funding, serial entrepreneur couple K. Ganesh and Meena Ganesh (who sold TutorVista to Pearson last year) also invested in BigBasket.
The company is utilising the money for expanding to other cities, enhancing technology, hiring new talents and scaling up marketing activities. Currently a team of 150, BigBasket will hire more people to increase its strength to 500 by the end of 2012.
"We will be doing city-specific marketing as we are not operating nationally. We will focus on below-the-line (BTL) activities in malls and apartments besides poster and banner campaigns, radio ads and some print ads in local newspapers," added Menon.
(Edited by Sanghamitra Mandal)