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Success Story of Ninjacart: Angel For Farmers And Supply Chain Of Fresh Produce

The stock of fresh fruits and veggies is a must in most of the Indian households. This is what unites the country, among many other things. But unfortunately, the condition of the supply chain of fresh agricultural produce has been rotting from many years and the situation of farmers getting worse day by day. And then, a startup called Ninjacart came into existence.

Founded in 2015 by Thirukumaran, Kartheeswaran K K, Ashutosh Vikram, Sharath Loganathan and Vasudevan Chinnathambi, Ninjacart started as B2C local grocery delivery platform where customers could order groceries and the company would deliver the order in less than 60 minutes. But after 5 months of operation, the team realized that their business model was not sustainable because of the various shortcomings.

That’s when Ninjacart realized it was solving a problem that did not exist. As it shifted focus to just fruits and vegetables — a category that generated better margin — it soon found out that the supply side was broken. What Ninjacart and Thirukumaran realized was that FMCG companies managed the end-to-end supply and distribution for soaps, household essentials and other items. But, there were no such companies doing the same for fruits and vegetables.

This realization led to the discovery of significant inefficiencies in the fresh produce supply chain such as demand-supply mismatch, unfair market practices, unhygienic handling of food, the high quantum of food wastage and low income for farmers. Ninjacart switched from B2C to B2B to tap this lucrative business opportunity, and solve a real problem at the same time.

With farmers being the source of their entire operation, Ninjacart works very closely with India’s agricultural community to ensure that farmers receive a fair price for their output, which is higher than the traditional income generated through the middlemen route. The renewed focus on solving problems in the supply chain was backed by its desire to use tech and data science to simplify the infrastructure and logistics network. In 2018, Ninjacart was recognized as one of the 42 most innovative Indian startups of 2018 by Inc42’s 42Next list.

Gaining the domain knowledge, building a novel supply chain from scratch, while also standardizing the quality of the fresh produce to a certain extent, has helped Ninjacart in making a name for itself among greengrocers and retailers.

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