1. Agriculture World

Madras Mandi App allows businesses to procure fresh fruits and vegetables in Chennai

Chintu Das
Chintu Das
Fresh Fruits and Vegetables

A slowdown in the economy will pique people's interest in new possibilities and ideas. Prashanth Vasan, 27, learned this kind of market resilience during the lockdown last year, when the country's food supply-chain industry suffered a setback.

"In India, the vegetable and fruit market is very unorganized; new restaurants don't know who to contact for supplies; they have no idea how much they're ordering; many vendors don't supply small companies, so they have to go to supermarkets (and spend a lot more)," says the CEO, who formerly worked for McCann World Group.

During the lockdown, Prashanth and his possible partner Jay Trading - owned by his family friends and one of the many fruit and vegetable suppliers in Koyambedu market who have been supplying to major corporations, factories, and colleges for 60 years - had a few brainstorming sessions that allowed them to come up with an idea, incubate it, and launch Madras Mandi.

The app, which supports #vocalforlocal, is a forum from which any restaurant or small business in Chennai can obtain fresh fruits and vegetables from the farm. "Most supermarket applications only have 30-40 choices, but our app has 185, ranging from exotic to local produce. Since our partner has been in the industry for decades, this is likely. We're attempting to combine conventional purchasing methods with technological advancements "Prashanth agrees.

He claims that most restaurants are unable to employ a purchase manager, making inventory management a difficult challenge. It was clear that the software needed to simplify the procurement management market and update the ordering system, allowing restaurants to buy anything they need without needing to go to several offline vendors.

Furthermore, company owners can set up a computer buying manager, manage all spending, collect regular statements, and avoid the inconvenience of handbills. Prashanth and his team began investing time and resources in March 2020, before testing the software in October and launching it in February 2021.

They took advantage of the pandemic's potential and built a 20,000-square-foot warehouse in Vanagaram. The app's end-to-end operation starts in Malur, Karnataka, at the Farmer Collection Centre (FCC), where vegetables and fruits are procured before 4 p.m.

The supplies are delivered the same evening to the depot. Grading starts at 2.30 a.m. the next day, and supplies are made between 8 and 11 a.m. Madras Mandi has received 2,000 registrations in the last six months, including 250 restaurants. However, it seems that transitioning to new market models necessitates the dismantling of theories.

Many companies, for example, assume that making a monthly quote gets them the best selling price, according to him. This is where Madras Mandi tries to persuade and convince its customers that buying on a regular basis will help them save more money.

"We advertised in our app that the selling price for the next day will be announced one day in advance. If onions cost Rs 20/kg today and Rs 25 tomorrow, we will not charge the higher amount. This is also advantageous to the restaurant owner, who can compare daily prices and measure the average monthly price for an item, which would be lower than the normal monthly quote "He gives advice.

However, he realized that weaning companies off of their old ways is difficult. "The accountability that we have is what works. You may be a business owner in the United States, but thanks to our app, you'll be aware of all everyday sales "He adds that his clients are beginning to see the value of using the app.

Sustenance and vendor rivalry have been the twin hurdles, despite his partner's long-term involvement in the market easing the impetus to start a firm. However, the 24x7 customer service and ease of contact have so far served in his favor, as shown by their strong revenue in January, February, and March.

However, profits have dropped in the latest lockdown due to a lull in the food and hospitality industry. Prashanth, on the other hand, claims that the options are endless. His driving principle is shown by the fact that he opened up orders for the B2C market just a week ago.

With most start-ups hunkering down to weather this never-ending hurricane, Madras Mandi's revolutionary solution in a crisis shows us that risk and reward aren't that far apart in their relationship. Although some businesses were reluctant at first, brands such as Little Italy, Eden, Kakada, Cascade, Savya Rasa, and others eventually abandoned their old shopping habits and discovered the app's appeal.

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