Ninjacart Connects Farmers with Consumers Happy Farmers! Happy Consumers
Food Marketing & Technology - India|May 2021
Ninjacart is Bengaluru based and India’s largest B2B fresh produce supply chain company. We had an interaction with Thirukumaran Nagarajan, Co-founder and CEO of Ninjacart. He talks about the rough and tumble of an entrepreneur’s journey and finally switching to B2B from B2C business model.

1 HOW DID YOU START NINJACART? HOW DID THE VENTURE COMMENCE?

Ninjacart was initially started by six co-founders, including Sharath Loganathan, Vasudevan Chinnathambi, Kartheeswaran KK, Ashutosh Vikram, and Sachin Jose. It all started in 2014 when I met Vasudevan Chinnathambi, Kartheeswaran KK and I were at Taxi4Sure. We worked together and developed a brother-like relationship. Later, I met Ashutosh Vikram and Sachin Jose through CommonFloor, and Sharath has always been part of my entrepreneurial journey as we were classmates from IIM Kozhikode. Before landing on the idea of Ninjacart, I and Sharath had executed various projects which we were unable to expand due to sustainability and scalability issues.

We all got together in 2015 and transformed Shout App, a location-based app (the company I was working on with Sharath at the time), into an e-commerce site. Within Bengaluru, we started operating as a hyperlocal model to serve the end-consumer and helping retailers to take their inventory online. We aimed to deliver fresh produce to direct consumers within 60 minutes of their order. As soon as we began operating, we were inundated with customer concerns about unsafe produce being shipped. We went back to the supermarkets and business outlets to figure out what was going on. We discovered that the supply side of the food supply chain had no structure and was fragmented as farmers relied on middlemen to sell their produce. Retailers, on the other hand, had to compromise with the quality of fresh produce. As a result of the increasing demand for a more streamlined and immediate delivery experience, we decided to move from B2B to B2C.

We are currently operating in all major 11 cities across India with a turnaround time of 12 hours. The positive response from both consumers and farmers, and the overall impact have fuelled our determination to change the way India consumes food.

2 WHAT IS THE VISION OF YOUR ORGANISATION AND WHAT DO YOU WISH TO ACHIEVE FROM THIS VENTURE?

The vision is to feed safe food to ‘billions of people in India’, keeping quality and efficiency as a foremost priority. To achieve this, we have implemented a traceability infrastructure in the food supply chain that allows us to monitor fresh produce at all levels as it passes through different facilities. The pandemic has made things more urgent in terms of understanding the importance of technology in the agriculture sector. We are heavily investing in cutting-edge technologies that will make the procurement process easier for farmers by allowing them to monitor their land and crops via apps. We aim to learn and grow together as everyone is trying to solve the fragmented food supply chain in India. Kilofarms, an agritech startup, has joined forces with us. We worked together to create the first batch of residue-free tomatoes, and we plan to add 18 more residue-free fruits and vegetables by the end of the year. We have developed tech-enabled methods such as drip irrigation to assist farmers in achieving the highest grade of fresh produce through residue-free methods and leveraging each other’s technological capabilities.

We believe in educating farmers and equipping them to deal with new technological concepts such as sensors, data analytics, apps, and a variety of other resources that can help them achieve better results. As we move forward, we hope to introduce more farmers to the Ninjacart family and collaborate with companies that value growth and sustainability. The platform’s focus remains on leveraging strengths and expertise to develop new product categories and consumer segments while also addressing complex supply chain issues.

3 NINJACART BRIDGES THE GAP BETWEEN THE FARMERS AND THE SELLERS. WHAT IS THE IMPACT THAT YOU SEE IN THE LIVES OF FARMERS AND SELLERS WITH YOUR INTERVENTION?

Embracing transparency, traceability and sustainability, Ninjacart sources fresh vegetables and fruits from farm to stores. Ninjacart was established to ensure the well being of farmers by helping them derive high value for their farm produce while providing the best possible yield for the end-consumer.

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