1. Agriculture World

Mother Dairy will soon begin direct delivery of fruits & veggies to customers through Safal

Chintu Das
Chintu Das
Safal Booth

By the next quarter, Mother Dairy aims to commence direct deliveries of vegetables and fruits through its Safal retail franchise, starting in Delhi-NCR, upping the stakes for online greengrocers in an environment where buyers choose doorstep service for their daily necessities. 

“This is a critical growth lever we'd like to push, and it's something we've never done before. We have 350-400 outlets in Delhi-NCR in ideal locations, every 2 kilometers or so, which we will leverage,” said Manish Bandlish, Managing Director of Mother Dairy. 

Safal will deliver directly from stores rather than through a centralised model, which is a first for the company. Bandlish stated that the company intends to employ the hyperlocal delivery model for last-mile orders, utilizing the booth concessionaires' services. It will not necessitate the hiring of more personnel. 

Bandlish, who took over as MD in March, said, “The model is ready and tested; we want to pilot the initiative in the next three months, by which time ideally the Covid situation will have eased out.”For its Safal franchise, the firm partnered with Zomato last year to deliver fruits and vegetables to customers' homes in the Delhi NCR. 

MDFVL, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the National Dairy Development Board (NDDB), has a diverse franchise under which it offers milk, ice cream, curd, and flavoured desserts, as well as edible oil Dhara, fresh fruits and vegetables, frozen vegetables, lentils, and honey under the Safal label. 

By 2025, e-groceries might account for 3% of India's grocery business, or $24 billion in market value, according to RedSeer Consulting. Last week, Tata Sons bought a majority share in BigBasket, an online grocery retailer that competes with Amazon, Walmart's Flipkart, SoftBank-backed Grofers, and Reliance-owned JioMart. 

E-commerce will be a major area, according to Bandlish, and the company is considering launching online-only products for e-commerce and modern trade. Before expanding into new markets, he said, the corporation will attempt to enhance its position in existing markets. Unlike last year, he said, supply chains ran smoothly this time, but there were's poradic difficulties' in several places. 

“We took last year's lessons to heart and attempted to maintain business continuity. This time, the issue has been the effect on people,” he explained. Also, unlike last year, this year's spike in home consumption is not as high, as restaurant home deliveries are unaffected. 

Mother Dairy's ice-cream company, to be sure, has been hit hard during the peak season, with sales down 30-40%, according to Bandlish. “In the ice cream sector, excess capacity is underutilized and is clearly a negative on our balance sheet. He went on to say, "It's a struggle." 

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