When we started Ninjacart in 2015 as a B2C hyperlocal grocery delivery platform, our main aim was to help retailers take their inventory online and deliver quality groceries to consumers in less than 60 minutes from ordering at scale. This was still a novel concept back then.
But we soon realized that with little product differentiation, customers were unwilling to pay a premium rate just for the marginal convenience of ordering online, especially for fruits and vegetables. Moreover, since kirana owners were unable to aggregate real-time demand or manage inventories properly, this led to a lot of structural challenges and unhappy customers, who ended up receiving only about 60% of what they ordered.
The click moment for us came when we realized that while there was consumer demand for an online fruits-and-vegetables-only marketplace, the supply side at the farmers’ and retailers’ end was too fragmented to accommodate that demand. On one hand, kirana partners faced problems regarding tedious procurement processes and proper management of quality, hygiene, price, assortment and customer understanding. On the other, farmers experienced unfair practices, high food wastage due to a supply demand mismatch and lower incomes. So, we pivoted to a B2B agritech platform to solve one of the toughest agricultural supply chain problems at its root, built reliable, cost-effective and high-speed infrastructure, and enabled retailers and merchants to source fresh produce directly from farmers daily.
The positive response and overall social impact that Ninjacart created was a turning point for us, strengthening our vision of changing the way India consumes food through increased farmer incomes, reduced food wastage, competitive prices for retailers and safer food for consumers.