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E-grocer growing by leaps and bounds
Publication Date : 07-02-2013
E-grocer RedMart has been growing rapidly, and is poised for even stronger expansion.
To cope with soaring demand, it has moved to a 14,000 sq ft warehouse off Jurong Port Road that is about four and a half times larger than its old Pasir Panjang base.
Revenue has rocketed from $15,000 in January last year to S$250,000 (US$202,000) last month.
To handle this leap in sales, the firm's staff strength has risen from about 10 in the middle of last year to 42 today.
From stocking 3,000 items today, its inventory will grow to about 8,000 later this year.
Co-founder Vikram Rupani said the firm has experienced double-digit growth since it started taking orders in October 2011.
"We've had to build everything from scratch. We built the software to facilitate stocking and picking of goods and integrated that with our invoicing, payment and delivery system.
"We also had to design the physical layout of the warehouse so that our staff can pick quickly and efficiently."
Today, its fleet of six vans can do more than 300 deliveries daily. Deliveries are done every day from 10am to 10pm. Each bag contains an average of 30 items costing about S$140.
"Our vision is to provide a service to our customers. Instead of going to the supermarket and queueing to pay and then lugging heavy goods such as bags of rice and cans of milk powder, they can order online. The time spent at the supermarket can be better spent with their families."
Rupani founded RedMart with Roger Egan in 2011 whom he met when both of them were doing their Masters in Business Administration at Insead here.
"We came from the financial industry, we learnt everything about online supermarkets from scratch." That included packing and making deliveries themselves.
The duo believed that the Singapore online grocery market is just beginning to grow.
Said Egan: "The market is big at S$5.2 billion. Our research shows that only 1 per cent is transacted online. So there's lots of room for growth."
The company has received funding of nearly S$2 million, which they spent on developing the software and stocking up the inventory.
To attract more locals, who make up 40 per cent of its customer base now, the firm will include Asian sauces and local food products in its inventory.
Next year, RedMart hopes to expand to neighbouring countries. By 2016, it hopes to notch up about S$120 million in annual sales.