Start-up launches app for online grocery shopping

Published: June 10, 2016
Takes cue from similar Indian apps that grew tenfold last year. PHOTO: REUTERS

Takes cue from similar Indian apps that grew tenfold last year. PHOTO: REUTERS

KARACHI: Taking cue from the online grocery shopping in India that grew by a precipitous ten-fold last year, a technology entrepreneur in Pakistan has now ventured into similar business in Lahore and the start-up targets to expand to five major cities in Pakistan by the end of December.

Majority of the households spend on an average 50-60% of their income on groceries, which makes it all too attractive for an entrepreneur to venture into the online market. Grocery shops are almost in all localities and fast growing supermarkets speak volumes about potential growth in the sector.

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“Bigbasket and Grofer, which are working on similar online projects in India, have grown by 10-fold or more after their launch a year back or so… They are now getting 50,000 online grocery orders a day,” GrocerApp Chief Executive Officer Ahmed Saeed told The Express Tribune.

Such online shopping apps make life easier for those who are occupied with their jobs and find little time for shopping.

Recalling his own experience while serving at a technology venture,, the App’s CEO said in a hand-out, “In my last job, with a super hectic schedule, I hardly had time for grocery shopping. So my weekends were often spent in various markets, haggling on grocery prices and buying the household utilities. That inspired me to create a convenient online service, where a customer can simply order-in all the groceries and day-to-day necessities with just a few clicks on his smartphone, while he enjoys quality time with his family and friends.”

The start-up offers some 10,000 grocery items in categories like staples, fresh foodstuff, dairy, household consumables, baby items and toiletries.

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The app for Android was launched nearly three months ago and has been downloaded about 500 times thus far. The app for iPhone was launched last week and recorded some 100 downloads to date.

“This is just the beginning… We are getting some 30-35 orders a day {in Lahore}, and each order has an average value of Rs1,200 to Rs1,500,” he said.

The online shopping mart makes free of charge delivery for the orders valuing above Rs500 each. Otherwise, it charges Rs60, he said.

“We have delivery schedules so one can have it at the time of his/her choice and convenience. Otherwise it takes on average two to three hours to deliver an order from the time of its booking,” he said.

Ahmed said that, so far, they had invested Rs5 million for development of the app, operating logistics and supply chain management – to ensure timely delivery and an operational warehouse.

“We have started procuring the most ordered items for our warehouse like shampoos, soaps and other fast moving consumer goods, while we purchase perishable items on the way to delivery. We are targeting to have 100% inventory of the products on offer in the next one-year time,” he said.

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Buyers can return the orders if they find the perishable items decaying. Buyers’ complaints about pricing are also being addressed then and there too, he said.

The start-up aims to make its presence strongly felt in five major cities in the next 6 to 12 months. The cities on its list include Karachi, twin cities of Islamabad and Rawalpindi and Faisalabad.

Published in The Express Tribune, June 10th, 2016.

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Reader Comments (1)

  • chaudary imran
    Jun 10, 2016 - 8:21AM

    In Quetta there is a group who delivers you anything you order but they uses phone servicesRecommend

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