BigBasket aims at $1 billion gross sales run rate by end of fiscal year

Bengaluru: Bengaluru-based BigBasket is aiming to touch a $1 billion (₹6,865 crore) gross sales run rate by March 2019, as it prepares for an intense battle against Walmart and Amazon.

“We will hit the ₹300-crore mark in September and ₹500-crore in March (2019). Everything in the organization is gearing up towards these two numbers,” said Hari Menon, co-founder and chief executive of BigBasket.

“If we hit ₹500 crore in March, we will exit the year with a ₹6,000 crore exit run rate, which is close to the billion-dollar mark, advancing the number by one year. That’s the growth plan,” said Menon.

In March 2018, it had recorded about ₹230 crore in gross monthly sales, with an annual exit rate of around ₹3,000 crore.

The firm’s ambitious growth plans come at a time when smaller rivals are also experiencing an upturn in their fortunes. Grofers, for instance, changed its business model last year and is currently witnessing a revival in volumes.

Owned and operated by Supermarket Grocery Supplies Pvt. Ltd, Bigbasket, the largest online grocery start-up in India, had raised $300 million in primary and secondary capital from Alibaba Group earlier this year.

BigBasket will look to slash burn rates and ensure that its growth does not come at the expense of profitability at the operational level, Menon said.

For that, the start-up is aiming to introduce a slew of initiatives, including an afternoon delivery slot to better utilize its delivery fleet, besides increasing the number of deliveries per person.

“We have launched an afternoon slot. We now have five slots… So, we’re making sure that each delivery boy delivers more than not what he can, but delivers to the best of what he should deliver,” Menon said.

“So, people productivity is what we have driven for the past 24 months… For instance, if a picker was picking seven orders, we’ve worked to see how he can pick up nine instead in the same amount of time with the same amount of effort and without tiring him out. It’s not about maximizing deliveries, it’s about minimizing costs,” the CEO said.

Menon added that BigBasket is aiming to become operationally profitable in all the eight tier-I cities it operates in by March 2019, with Bengaluru having turned profitable recently.

BigBasket is going all out to ensure that it keeps its lead, ahead of a looming battle against Amazon and Walmart, which bought a majority stake in Flipkart.

Mint reported in June that BigBasket will soon start selling branded beauty products and fresh meat on its platform.

The start-up is also preparing to launch a new service, BB Instant, as part of a broader strategy to increase the volume and frequency of orders on its platform.

For this, it will place physical kiosks containing grocery items and consumables in several apartment complexes.

“We’ve already got five (kiosks) as a pilot that we did a year ago, and those have been very successful,” Menon said.

“These are unmanned kiosks. You can place orders on your app and when you pick up your order, it automatically bills your wallet. These are things people can use during emergencies… a set of machines that we are going to import and install. We are looking to do about 3,000 units in the first round and, eventually, we see the potential of putting up 10,000 units in the next two years across the country. It’s all about building up frequency of orders,” he said.

source: livemint


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