Info-tech

E-commerce site BigBasket bets on technology to cut costs

K. V. Kurmanath Hyderabad | Updated on May 27, 2013 Published on May 27, 2013

To raise $20 m from Ascent Capital

A small team of 20 techies at BigBasket.com, the online grocery store, have developed an IT solutions to crack the biggest problem a retailer faces. They have come out with a real-time analytical tool that can automatically raise orders to source things from its suppliers.

“There is no human interface in raising the orders. The system generates based on the uptake of our customers. It can decide what product should arrive at what date and from where. It will also tell our staff at warehouses where a particular product is placed, helping us to reduce time to close an order,” Vipul Parekh, Head of Finance and Marketing of BigBasket, told Business Line.

Also, the system will quickly scan the addresses and scientifically generate a route for the vans to deliver the goods. “Even the best of the driver could err on preparing a map. But the IT systems would generate a map using GPS tools in order to save time and effort,” he said.

Expansion

The e-commerce site currently operates in Bangalore, Mumbai and Hyderabad. This will be followed by Delhi and Chennai in six months. After that, it would expand to Ahmedabad, Indore, Coimbatore, Visakhapatnam and Nagpur. “We don’t require any funds for expanding into Delhi and Chennai markets. But we will raise $15-20 million for the next phase of expansion (into the five cities). We might raise the funds from the existing investors (Ascent Capital), he said.

Ascent Capital invested $10 million in the first round last year. The company, which has 600 employees, will add 400 more by the year end.

Profitability

The company, whose promoters sold the chain of Fabmall stores to Aditya Birla group about seven years ago, started the exclusive e-commerce grocery site in December 2011 with operations in Bangalore. A few months later, it expanded to Hyderabad and Mumbai.

“We are going to be profitable in Bangalore by October. We will make profits in other centres by the end of financial year,” he said.

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Published on May 27, 2013
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