WEstaple: Making Online Grocery Shopping Easier in Noida

57185718a1

In today’s fast pace life it is very tiresome for us to buy groceries, vegetables, essential items for personal needs etc. Necessity of the same can’t be explained in words. There was a need to serve this requirement by using available technology and services.

Ms. Shalini Bisht and Mr. Nikhil S. understood the need and started their own venture “WeStaple.com”. Operationally, they started in Jan’14 with revenue as low as 10K. Currently, they are serving corners of Noida – but don’t worry they have plans to expand to other cities as well. If you are lucky, you can have one “WeStaple” in your city as well.

WeStaple lets you shop the most common needs in the most efficient way by bringing technology and advanced sourcing together to make this segment of shopping more creative and exuberant. WeStaple is a smart online hypermarket which allows you to shop for evething within a matter of just few clicks.

At WeStaple you can order Household products, Grocery, Toiletries, Baby Products and Personal Care. Soon, they are adding vegetables and fruits to the list.

Techaloo got an opportunity to have a chit chat with Shalini Bisht, COO, WeStaple. Let see, what she wants to share with us.

Techaloo: What was your vision/mission while starting WeStaple?
Shalini:

Vision : Here are two things behind starting westaple.com. One- It’s the most frequent touch point for any consumer. We generally ignore this but before starting westaple.com we did a survey on 400 odd families and learnt that on average a family was wasting 7-10 hours every month on buying their groceries. In addition to time, Effort and money also gets wasted. Two – it’s more about a shift which we wanted to bring in this segment. We wanted to bring technology and sophistication in this most used segment which has been left aloof.

We are a technology and logistics prime company selling the most common thing which everybody ignored. A megastore in one city having everything in it. Delivering fastest than anyone else with a personalization.

We intend to provide our users with the best online shopping experience with a certainity in quality of products & delivery. Our Vision is to help people spend least time on buying same monthly groceries so they can contribute more towards other trivial tasks.No need to carry the heavy groceries we do it with a smile.

Mission :

Our mission is to reach to every family, even if they won’t buy but they should know that there is this utility service in their city helping people to live better and saving a lot of time.

WE pledge to offer our users the simplest & the most relevant way of shopping utility with our greatest level of expertise, and tireless dedication. We focus on providing the highest level of relevancy by offering them suggestions based on their minutest detail that can help in narrowing their choice hence leading towards the exact product .

Techaloo: Why the name “WeStaple”?
Shalini: “WE” is percieved as collective strength towards some goal. Behind every source of light or a new beginning there is some burning. “We” signifies that role in this illumination, burning hard & continously striving so everyone could enjoy a happy life.It empowers every individual with an infinite beam of energy in bringing a change & “Staple” signifies the necessity. Hence we came up with Westaple, revolutionizing the way people shop their groceries & daily needs.

westapleside1Techaloo: How did this idea come to your mind?
Shalini: There are a couple of instances which led to the inception of this idea but one of them is worth mentioning :- While going to supermarkets we have started feeling a discontentment and chaos. One day while shopping in a supermarket I saw an old couple shopping for their groceries & households carrying a stick in their hand struggling with the cart stacked trying to make a way to the billing counter where I could see no distinction for them. I noticed a sense of discomfort on their face feeling that how every month utility shopping could be such a pain for some people. I thought I should speak to them knowing about that there are many vendors in city that can do home delivery of all the utilities and they need not take such a pain to buy them. After discussing things with them I got the main reason why people pop up to these chaotic supermarkets despite having no comfort; the crux of the idea that came across what local vendors lack are limited variety of products, high prices, the quality checks required for the eatables & the payment mode restricted to cash with uncertain delivery time. We thought there must be something to change this. We thought if everyone could even buy movie tickets & luxury items online then why not use our technology to develop something that caters the most boring part of shopping(groceries).

We wanted to change the way people shop groceries every other week/fortnight, no lugging, no long queues, it should be fun, it should be easy, we then contemplated around the idea and finally came up with westaple.com. this name came to us as “we wanted to cater all basic necessities of a family ~ we-staple”

Techaloo: Have you got any kind of funding?
Shalini: We are a Bootstrapped company effective at making constant course corrections, carefully reconstructing our business model to be sharper and optimised, and ultimately constructing a strong foundation for consistent, sustainable growth.

We are a tech company with 6 engineers in core team. Our majority of time goes in technology for everything. We even have our in-house order management systems which curate all the orders as per our delivery requirements.

Techaloo: What hurdle did you face while starting?
Shalini: The idea was great but pretty difficult in itself, we were about to deal with five major modules in themselves, all of them different in characteristics & complexity – Interactive website, Complex Supply chain, Resource intensive Logistics , Customer Education & Acquisition ,and Stock Management & Quality assurance, which we all were unfamiliar of. This turned out to be very complex online business of its type. We got intrigued with idea of doing something new and kind of impossible. We faced a lot of repulsion from the society towards this new method of buying households & groceries because it’s a strictly low margin business the question was about eatables; but our selection of products and quality made us a one stop place to shop utilities. We have been dedicatedly working for more than six months now to make people realize how the most monotonous shopping could be fun without preparing same list every month.

Techaloo: You have an experience in BI and Analytics. How is it helping you in shaping westaple?
Shalini: We are using our data analysis skills to help people spend least time on buying same monthly groceries so they can contribute more towards other important tasks. We offer suggestions to them based on their last purchase, selection of products, utility, choice of brands and every nitty-gritty that can help us in narrowing their choice, leading towards the perfect product. We plan to put our Intelligence in the customer buying trends. We follow a customer centric approach maintaining its life cycle so that every touch point with us is at ease with handcrafted customization.

Techaloo: Currently you are providing products across Kitchen, Home care, Baby care, Personal care and health. Do you have any plans to expand the list?
Shalini: Yes expansion plans are in schedule we are continuously expanding, we tend to launch one new brand or different set of products each month. We launched our navratri segment two months back introducing vegetables and the response was overwhelming. So our existing customers and the working elite segment we cater would be more than ready to have us as a complete megastore.

Techaloo: Currently you are providing services in Noida, are you planning to expand the same?
Shalini: Expansion into different geographies is an year away from now. We are currently focusing on technology and right people. We are building smart warehouses, better product range.

westaplebanner

Techaloo: How do you ensure quality and genuineness of the products?
Shalini: These product segments involved in our catalog are highly perishable in nature so the quality is the first and the foremost thing we keep a continuous check on. Every product kept in our inventory is directly purchased from the company via their stockists, so no counterfeited product is there.Also the expiry date is carefully checked by our dedicated QA team. We have a predefined processes to deal with every order that comes in. We have separate packaging team, delivery executives, merchandising team. This set of right people helps us achieving better working levels and amazing customer experience

Techaloo: How are you different from your competitors?
Shalini:

Continuously evolving-

It’s been more than a year and all this time has been a learning each day, every other day we have an impossible task to accomplish. Today westaple.com has its very own last mile delivery solution & own large warehouse. Our own logistics allow us to adhere to the stringent 3 hours delivery timing anywhere in Noida. We maintain a direct contact with the FMCG giants for sourcing Items which makes us different so that we can benefit customers to the maximum we can.

We love creating what customers want-

We are now a team comprising engineers and Operations’ executives. Our Customers finds it easy ordering from Westaple with easily searchable products.

Majority of our orders come online which makes believe that customers like us more every day. We are entirely different in our approach towards the business. We do not consider ourselves a grocery delivery company; We are a technology company solving a major problem of society which no major e-commerce players are even thinking about. We help people to live better and spend more time on things they love.

On an average a family spends 7-8 hours every month only on groceries in addition to a significant amount of fuel and a lot of energy. We keep that in mind and gift that back to them.

Today we have a return rate of 55 % which is we believe is higher than any other e-commerce business.

Schedule your buying-

Westaple not only delivers in 3 hours but allows consumers to schedule their delivery as per their convenience. We have developed a software in-house to keep a track about when our customers want their orders and we accordingly deliver that. We have seen in some of the orders that our customers are buying groceries while they are on vacations and choose the delivery timings after 3 days when they are back.

Simple Re-order-

all of us buy groceries each month. And we do the same exercise all over again. We have made reordering as simple as one click.

Techaloo: You have stringent shipping time of 3 hours, how difficult is it to fulfill?
Shalini: Difficult is a small word for that. Logistics is the major problem in today’s e-com terrain. What we are trying to achieve is the fastest and most reliable delivery chain, therefore we are equipping our delivery mechanisms with new softwares and technology. Today we have Mobile based payment systems which are very easy to carry and helps in tracing our guys too. We have built softwares to keep a track of daily deliveries to the extent of single penny.

Techaloo: According to you what is the importance of online grocery shopping in one’s life?
Shalini: Groceries are the biggest market in terms of importance and volume. Considering this massive frequency, if we could make even 50% of Noida’s families buying groceries online you’d see people saving atleast 10 hours a month , lesser fuel consumption,No impulse buying and money savings. No wonder if this could become the biggest e-com contributing segment within years.

Techaloo: This is a niche area in E-Commerce segment, how much opportunity do you see in it?
Shalini: Online retail is still in its nascent stage in India. With the exponential rate of internet penetration, it’s expecting a great fortune ahead. Groceries are a very hard to handle segment due to its perishable nature and irregular supply chain, moreover it is still a genre which is unexplored. People are happy because they get everything at their doorstep with comparatively lower prices & flexible payment modes. Our journey commenced with a core team of 2 members now expanded to 11, we cater every corner of Noida supplying their day-to-day needs. With a revenue growth of 70% (month on month) we haven’t yet covered even 5% of Noida’s population. We are yet to grow a lot in Noida and NCR. we plan to replicate our model in other metros as well. We work on analysing customer trends & provide them suitable products based on their history & selected choices. Our customers are really excited with the new revolutionized shopping method & want us to expand to a complete superstore with procuring vegetables & every item they need.

Techaloo: How is the response till now?
Shalini: Every month we grow more than 30% in revenues, adding many new consumers every day. We are glad that everyone who buys from westaple.com once is buying again. Though we have a different set of bottlenecks but those are the challenges to overcome. As far as customers are concerned they wear smiles while buying groceries now, which was a tedious task for them before.

Techaloo: What was the response from your family while starting?
Shalini: In India It’s always hard for girls to get the required support & encouragement if they are already well placed in the best Indian companies. But I went a little far. I quit my job and started working for westaple.com without even telling my parents. I was hoping this lie was for the betterment of our society. I was dreaming big under the hood of small lie. But now when we are doing good I’ve shared this with my parents and they are happy.

Techaloo: Do you want to share any experience good or bad with us?
Shalini: Experiences are always good. Sometimes we win and sometimes we learn. However there are few instances I’d like to share which can help the budding entrepreneurs reading this.

While starting this up we had no clue about FMCG or retail or e-com. Don’t hesitate, go bold about what you wish to do. I personally went hunting companies’ stockists in beginning, these people were too big for us, but they listened to us and after continuous efforts they believed us too.

Our worst of the times were when we used to hit our promotions in local areas and nobody used to turn up for the day. That was when I needed my cofounder. It’s a team job. It’s actually a team thing. This was real hard to be achieved alone.

Techaloo: What are your plans for next 3 years?
Shalini: Currently we are strictly focusing upon technology and logistics. Our plans for next three years majorly comprise of hiring great talent to create a state of art company in every vertical of it. We are also hoping a bigger warehouse to have a wider range of groceries. We shall be launching our wallet soon to make this daily shopping the easiest in its own way.

Techaloo: What message do you want to give to an aspiring entrepreneur?
Shalini: My message would be –Imagine big, sit down and write that “big”, every day give time for your wild imaginations to run free. It’s rejuvenating.

Your team is more important than you. Try and see leaders in them. If you could motivate them, it will be different tomorrow.

Techaloo: What do you think about techaloo.com?
Shalini: Truly saying I think techaloo.com is one amazing portal which truly understands and empathize what is happening and how it is happening. We need techaloo to be bigger to portray more and more about Indian leadership and innovation.

Meet the founders:

Shalini BishtShalini Bisht: Optimist & cheerful in every moment of life. She love to dream, actually bigger than what she read. Avid reader. Her time becomes beautiful if she see herself creating a better world. She personally believes – bringing small things together and making it big is the best thing one can do. Computer Science graduate heading the Core Technical & Operations in Westaple.com.

 

Nikhil Sharma-Fitness FreakNikhil Sharma: Engineering graduate with Electrical Major. Worked on mobile internet products for 4 years. Obsessed with mobile internet ecosystem. Travel junkie. Connoisseur of food & Fitness Freak. He is heading the innovations & Strategy in Westaple.com.



Team WeStaple:

Team Westaple

Be Sociable, Share!


Mohit Bansal(23) is B.Tech in Electronics and Communication Engineering from Indian School of Mines, Dhanbad, India. He has interest in business and entrepreneurship and has published couple of research articles. He is also associated with various NGOs. He is with Techaloo when it was just in concept stage. The Techaloo site was not existing even then. Currently Mohit is working with Mu Sigma as a Business Analyst Profile.

Leave a Comment

Current ye@r *

Close
Please support the site
By clicking any of these buttons you help our site to get better
Social PopUP by Timersys