Tell us about how Wildermart was conceived and the idea behind its formation?
Swaroop Mohan: Wildermart has been in seeding for three years now since the time we started Wilderfest - Bangalore’s first vegan fest. We combined the idea of plant-based living with sustainable living by including organics and a lot more categories.
But the real work started last year when the pandemic hit. We realized that people definitely need to consume healthy and sustainable and we decided that it was the right time to make the idea work.
We started by doing proper industry research, understanding supply chains and the complications of online grocery business. We developed our own model, which was to build a sustainable business and provide complete convenience to shoppers by helping them to start consuming clean.
What is your brand’s marketing positioning and customer value proposition vis-a-vis the competition – online as well as offline?
Shweta Thakur: We operate only online. Our positioning is of a ‘clean grocery store’. The word clean embodies the type of products we sell – clean label, chemical-free, organic. It also represents the type of supply chain we have put in place – whether it is about eco-friendly paper packaging of products or their EV deliveries – and it is in keeping with the type of ethical business we want to build.
Wildermart’s offerings are very different from any of the current players in the market. We ensure that consumers don’t have to run from pillar to post finding the best quality clean products, which are good for the health & environment. We are constantly evaluating and curating conscious brands and creators who make genuine products for everyday consumption.
What is Wildermart’s current range of operations? What is your subscriber base currently and rate of growth?
Shweta Thakur: We are currently operating out of our warehouse in Bangalore. The first month was spent on implementing the processes we had designed, understanding where the bottlenecks can be, addressing those issues and moving forward. We also received a lot of encouraging feedback from our customers. We have grown consistently from 2 orders a day to about 10 a day in the first month. We got over 700 registered users in the first month.
Are you sure that shoppers will come to your platform in preference to other more established online grocery players?
Shweta Thakur: Our shoppers have really appreciated the quality of products we offer. They have loved the plastic-free experience we give them. They really like the fact that our products are natural and chemical-free. We have also added same-day delivery option when big grocers are currently struggling to meet even next-day delivery commitments.
What is your business model and how is it different from those of other inventory-based or hyperlocal online players?
Swaroop Mohan: We have a 100% inventory-based business model and it a lean inventory model. This sets us apart from the hyperlocal players because we stock products and brands that are not usually available on retail shelves.
How tough it was for you to convince your investors of your business model?
Swaroop Mohan: It was fairly tough to convince our investors. While everyone agrees that the trend of conscious consumption is on the rise, but there are no substantial numbers to back it up. More importantly, this is not a business model that’s been tried. Hence, being the first mover is always ridden with a lot more risks – for both the investor and the team.
WILDERMART: FACT SHEET
Name of the Retail Venture/Enterprise: Wildermart
Date of Launch: Apr 22, 2021
Retail Format: Online complete grocery store
Geographical Area of Operation: Bangalore
Key People: Shweta Thakur, CEO; Swaroop Mohan, MD.
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