Five IT professionals from the city have set up online grocery store www.kada.in

Grocery shopping has never been this easy. Fruits, vegetables, rice, toothpaste, agarbathi, organic chilli powder… and even neimeen (seer fish) and netholi (anchovies) sourced from Neendakara harbour, is now just a click way, packed and delivered to your doorstep via the new online grocery portal www.kada.in.

The portal, which has been live for around six months now and which already has more than 800 customers from across the city on its rolls, is the brainchild of five IT professionals who work for a multi-national company at Technopark.

“The idea for such a portal was born out of necessity than anything else. All five of us and our wives too have tight schedules at work, which doesn’t really afford much time for grocery shopping. And even if we do get time, often we don’t find all that we want at the same place, which is another hassle. We had been planning this venture for a couple of years now,” says Shan M. Hanif, speaking for his friends and now business partners, Anoop G. Kumar, Jenu Joseph, Krishna Prasad and Shinoj S. While Shan, Anoop, Jinu and Shinoj are college-mates from Sree Chitra Thirunal College of Engineering, Pappanamcode, Krishna Prasad has been their friend and colleague for well over a decade now.

The first step, says Shan, was to register their company (Kada Online Private Limited) and set up a website. “All of us specialise in the field of web development. So we wanted a website that was on par with international standards. It took us seven to eight months to complete,” says Shan. The next was to buy a delivery van and build a team. “We needed logistics staff such as a delivery guy, a content populator, whose job it is to update the website, a manager to take care of the daily operations and so on,” he adds.

Initially, the plan was to cater only to the 40,000 plus employees of Technopark, say the quintet. However, once they went operational, they found that a majority of their customers are from the city itself. “We have customers from as far apart as Kazhakoottam and Peyad. Most of them are repeat customers and are between the age groups of 30 and 40. A number of our customers are doctors. We also have a handful of customers based in the Gulf countries who order items for their aged parents who live in the city,” they say.

The portal that retails over 1,500 items under the categories organic, health care, personal care, vegetables and fruits, stationery, cleaning agents, pooja accessories, baby care, pet zone, to name but a few, has tied up with several local vendors to source the products. “We ensure that the products are of the best quality,” says Shan, adding that vegetables, fruits and groceries (such as rice, chilli powder, masala powder sachets, and the like) are the best sellers. “In fact, six out of 10 customers order vegetables. Although we have a steady stream of customers for the organic products, the trend is yet to catch up in a big way, maybe because these products are priced slightly higher. Customers can also request a product and we will try and source it for them,” says Shan. The online store also stocks certain food items to cater to the growing number of people from outside the State who have made the city their home.

Once the customers log in and fill up their online baskets, payment can be made in three ways – through cash / food coupon (only those issued by Sodexo) on delivery, online cash transfer before delivery or through card on delivery. The shopping will be delivered at the convenience of the customer and they will even contact them one hour before to confirm it. Delivery charges are free if the order is above Rs. 500 (otherwise there is a fee of Rs.30). Click away!