In March 2020, when a nationwide lockdown was announced, like any other growing entrepreneur in the country, Chennai-based Nishanth Chandran, too, suffered his share of panic over how his business would survive and the future of his business model. Little did he know that the pandemic was going to drive his business growth multi-fold.
Launched in 2015 as a platform to order fresh meat, seafood and eggs, Chandran's TenderCuts had an annual revenue runrate (ARR) of 70 crore before the lockdown with a presence in Chennai and Hyderabad.
Six months into the pandemic, that rate increased to 220 crore and is around 2400 crore today, growing close to five-fold since the pandemic. Last month, Stride Ventures, a venture debt firm, invested *30 crore in TenderCuts to support its expansion in eight cities in 2022.
"We thought the numbers might come down after the lockdown. But it continued to grow for the majority in this organised and online meat business because people started focusing on hygiene because of the pandemic," Chandran said.
This is not just the story of TenderCuts.
There are several other major players in the organised meat market segment for whom the pandemic turned out to be an opportunity.
According to a report by Bengalurubased market research firm RedSeer, the sector saw a three-fold growth during the first year of the pandemic. "The online players effectively communicated their superior quality and hygiene practices, which boosted consumer confidence. Therefore, online players gained a significant number of new users since Covid, even as existing users ordered more, which boosted volumes," it said.
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