Founded by Ankur Dahiya (CEO), Adwait Vikram Singh (CSO), Mukesh Christopher (COO), and Prithvi Pal Singh (CPO), Rozana.in, an e-commerce grocery portal recently launched in Lucknow, Delhi Noida, Greater Noida is an AI-based peer commerce model.
Recently, Germany’s IEG invested $1.5mn in Rozana to help the founders scale and expand domestically and globally. Rozana.in’s biggest strength is that it deals directly with the producer and retailer, which benefits both the product quality and pricing.
Before founding Rozana.in, the founders had made a successful exit from Routier after being acquired by Ebix, a NASDAQ-listed company, in 2018.
Routier leveraged AI and tech to aggregate small and medium-sized truckers and provided a tech-based solution to large B2B customers like Reliance, Asian Paints, Coca Cola, Pepsi, and Mother Dairy.
Here she, along with Akash Mehra, AVP Partnerships, elaborate to our India Tech Desk editor about the challenges and opportunities in the e-commerce grocery and FMCG segment and how their team at Rozana.in is leveraging AI to plug the gaps in the sector to scale up fast in the segment.
What is Rozana.in’s objectives and offerings?
Rozana is an e-commerce grocery and FMCG platform. We are light on inventory and are using AI to leverage supply chain solutions.
Rozana.in aims to become India’s largest peer-based model working on asset-light sourcing. The company’s objective is to set up 4-5 million active peers across India in the next five years. Rozana offers peers to become wealth creators with 0 investments. This model will help unlock the entrepreneurial zeal in people who want to create wealth for themselves.
How Rozana.in is different from another startup in the same segment?
Peer to Peer tech-enabled startup in the grocery space is lacking at the current moment. The closest is the MLM companies which have existed for a long time and have a successful business model. But they are not tech-enabled and only sell in-house products. Where the peer has to invest money in procuring products and then physically deliver to the customer.
Your services are also targeting tier-2 cities of India. What are the challenges and opportunities?
Tier 2 and 3 cities are key for penetration of any tech startup. Digital E-Commerce giants also target the Tier 2 and Tier 3 sectors and spend vast amounts of money to establish a cohesive supply chain. It is a complete greenfield for consumers who are looking for fair-priced and quality deliveries.
Tier 2 and Tier 3 consumers are very tech shy from a grocery shopping perspective. Relationships with shopkeepers go back generations and breaking that chain is a challenge. That is where peer commerce becomes an important driver.
Peers in the community who also enjoy the same relationship with the consumers help drive local orders from the community. Peers actively also take orders on behalf of the consumer, and thus it is easier to shift many consumers from their existing retailer.
Our ability to place offline orders through a call center to Rozana.in has been helping us expand to people who would have never used smartphones to order their groceries.
What do you plan to do with the recent funding?
Rozana.in is planning on streamlining three main factors, technology, supply chain and expanding our product offerings. These three factors will help us get more customers and help them get a great experience.
What are some of your current focus areas?
We are fousing on delivering fresh fruits and vegetables, consumer brand products and apparels in terms of products. In terms of business model, our current focus areas are express deliveries, AI solutions and the development of peer commerce models.
There is a buzz around express delivery. What are your views on it?
Express Delivery is key for the customer, but it comes with a cost and ecosystem. Rozana. will be competing with many other platforms to work on a cohesive delivery system that ensures express delivery to our customers.
What is your expansion or scaling-up plans for the future?
We have launched Rozana.in in 4 cities – Delhi, Noida, Greater Noida and Lucknow. We have a five-year expansion plan, and by early next year, we will be expanding our operations to almost 20 cities. By 2026 this number will be 250 cities with 4-5 million peers. We plan to scale it to Mumbai, Bangalore, Pune, Chandigarh, and Agra in three months.
How do you view startups’ growth prospects in tier-2 cities, given the current consumer buying habits
Tier 2 is not a monolith, and A tier 2 city in Uttar Pradesh will have a very different strategy than Tier 2 in Karnataka. But across the cities, we have realized that convenience is key which majorly comprises product assortment.
Once we understand the city’s needs, we make a custom strategy for entering the city. We do in-depth analysis and planning in launching these cities, and strategy depends on the local culture and eating habits. If we can understand that and plug the gap (even if it’s small), we will penetrate the city successfully.
What impact did the pandemic have on businesses on your segment (e-commerce grocery portal)
Pandemic has helped people understand the value of ordering online. The idea of ordering your groceries from an app is something that people are comfortable with. But moreover, the pandemic will only act as a catalyst at best for something that is bound to happen in the future.
Every country, including countries like Brazil, is much ahead of India, and it is a natural course of evolution we have witnessed across the world. The most important question is which startup will bring value to our customers. Rozana.in strongly feels their understanding of the ecosystem and local planning will help scale faster than any other competitor.