A virtual supermarket brings groceries to your doorstep

If fashionistas in the city are googling Gucci bags, it’s time for Madurai’s mummies to buy their manjal podi online. Here’s a website that brings the maligai kadai to your desktop. Get Marche, a newly launched online grocery shop, is set to redefine the concept of kirana shopping. “People these days shop online for clothes, accessories and electronic items. So why not groceries, I thought,” says Sriram Prasad, the Managing Director of Get Marche. “This is already a common concept abroad and in metro cities. Madurai has potential online shoppers.”

“We design shopping and service websites for clients across the globe. Our core team has 20 members and Get Marche is designed by all of them,” Sriram, a city-based electrical engineer who also runs a software firm ‘Paletteiicons’, points out. “Online shopping portals like Flipkart and eBay have caught on big time among youngsters. I know students from suburbs like Vadipatti ordering pen drives and books from these sites. Get Marche is an attempt to make grocery shopping easy and hassle-free,” he explains. The website features over 3000 products under 12 categories, including food, health, beauty and hair products, baby care, cooking necessities, home needs and groceries.

The idea sparked eight months ago when Sriram felt the need for an online grocery shop. He recalls, “The thought came from my own experience. During the month-end, when grocery stocks run out in homes, women find it difficult to shop for groceries in bulk and carry them home.” Sriram, a regular visitor to the wholesale market at Chithrakara Street, studied the quality of spices, their pricing and packaging. The website sources cloves and pepper from plantations in Kollimalai Hills and mountain honey and tea from Kodai. Get Marche offers all kinds of brands in addition to a line of in-house products. “All our in-house products are exclusively organic and are sourced straight from the fields. As we have a direct tie-up with companies, we avoid super stockists and middle men. Hence, the prices are also always below market rate,” he points out. Sriram lists the benefits of shopping for groceries online, “One can avoid wading through congested roads, standing in long queues for billing, polythene shopping bags and, of course, the tiresome process of transporting the goods home.” Get Marche offers free home delivery for all purchases above Rs.500, covering nearly 403 localities. There are a number of schemes and saving options for regular customers. The website is user-friendly. One needs only to add products to the virtual basket. Once the shopping is done, the aggregate bill appears, and up to the final stage of billing, adding or removing items is possible. The price, product code and quantity are clearly mentioned below each item. “Most of our packaging is eco-friendly. We deliver the products in cardboard paper bags,” Sriram points out.

“As the concept is new to Madurai, we encourage only cash-on-delivery. Later, once shoppers get confident of our services and site, we will introduce debit-card shopping,” explains Sriram. “We give customers the freedom to choose their time for door-delivery. Orders placed before noon will be delivered the same day and the rest will be delivered the next day.” Sriram has a five-member team to manage the godown at Kochadai, where spices, dal varieties and oils are stocked. “I have an eight-member team for deliveries. Our site is spam-free. In future, we plan to open up services in smaller towns and cities.”

After groceries, the focus will be on pharmaceuticals. “I am working on a shopping website for medicines. Old people and patients in particular will find it useful,” he notes. “Madurai residents are quick to embrace new ventures if they find them to be genuine.”

Kumar, one of the first customers to shop at Get Marche, says, “I live in Nagamalai and I found the website convenient. There are more benefits than are available at a physical super market. The pricing is competitive. This is a boon to Madurai.”

Need pepper for your curry? Just log on to www.getmarche.com