Failures were indeed stepping stones for this start-up

Four years ago, three youngsters in Kochi launched an online grocery delivery mobile application as a one-stop shop platform for supermarkets based on the software as a service (SaaS) model.

The idea was mercilessly rejected, and so a year later, they launched an online application of their own, Foodro, as an aggregator platform for 10 supermarkets. But things hardly improved, as for a year, they claim, it was operated on loss with orders limited to a trickle.

Then one of the three directors pumped in an investment of ₹50 lakh enabling the start-up to switch to the dark store model whereby they set up a warehouse to store groceries and vegetables and deliver on online orders.

In March last year, the pandemic-induced lockdown changed the fortune of Foodro drastically. From a maximum of 10, the number of daily orders surged to between 700 and 800. Even as major grocery majors suspended operations, Foodro retained its service and reaped rich dividends.

“We could deliver around 300 orders a day thanks to our logistical and supply software backup. At the peak of the lockdown, we hired 10 vehicles and 14 delivery boys,” said Bijesh B.K., CEO, Foodro.

Since then, the customer base has risen to 1.40 lakh with a regular clientele of around 8,000. Having initially started with a single delivery boy and three directors, the number has now surged to 32 spread across packing, delivery, and operations.

Now, having turned profitable, the start-up has returned to its original idea of SaaS as a platform for supermarkets and has launched another application Foodro Shop. Already, seven supermarkets from Kerala, Chennai, Coimbatore, and Pune have availed of their application.

From being an idea which hardly had any takers four years ago, it has now evolved into one that seemingly everyone desires. And, the youngsters behind it are reaping dividends of perseverance even when the odds were stacked against them.

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Printable version | Sep 27, 2021 11:16:26 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/failures-were-indeed-stepping-stones-for-this-start-up/article35244442.ece

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