Called pandamart, the platform, which will initially operate in Dhaka and other major cities, boasts of delivering the products in just 30 minutes
Foodpanda recently rolled out its online grocery marketplace as the German-based multinational company looks to capitalise on the growing shift online for everyday essential purchase amid the pandemic.
Called pandamart, the platform, which will initially operate in Dhaka and other major cities, boasts of delivering the products in just 30 minutes, said a press release on Monday.
“Wide variety of genuine products and on-time delivery are the demand of the time. With pandamart, we aim to do just that,” said Ambareen Reza, chief executive officer of foodpanda Bangladesh.
Pandamart has more than 3,000 items, ranging from regular household staples to baby products and cleaning supplies, of all large multinationals such as Unilever, Nestle, Reckitt Benckiser as well as their local counterparts.
The sudden onslaught of demand for online grocery and the gap in supply and logistics prompted vendors to provide sub-par product and service, which left many customers disillusioned about online grocery shopping.
“Pandamart will aim to redefine the shopping experience for the consumers,” Reza said.
The launch of pandamart created new business opportunities for vendors and employment opportunities for riders and warehouse staff.
“We are investing a significant amount in building several pandamarts across the country, which will generate plenty of jobs,” she added.
Foodpanda’s foray into this segment could not have come at a more opportune time, just as the country is gearing up for the second wave of coronavirus cases, meaning more and more people would be sheltering at home and having their groceries delivered to their doorstep.
“The pandemic has taken the online grocery shopping business to a point which would have otherwise taken five years to reach,” said Zia Ashraf, co-founder of Chaldal.com, the market leader.
People who have never bought groceries online started doing so as they looked to keep the lethal pathogen at bay.
Before the pandemic, Chaldal, despite a publicity blitz, could manage only 2,500-3,000 orders per day.
But soon after the first confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Bangladesh were announced on March 8, Chaldal’s daily order numbers rocketed to 16,000, leaving the nascent company bursting at the seams.
Anticipating that the deluge of orders would continue for a while, Chaldal has doubled its capacity, both in terms of personnel and warehouse space.
Chaldal.com can now manage about 9,000 orders daily and sees around 6,500 orders worth approximately Tk 8,450,000.
“The other online grocers also witnessed high growth during the pandemic,” Ashraf said, adding that the online grocery market is now worth about Tk 3.9 crore a day.
Seeing the extraordinary demand many other online delivery companies like Hungrynaki.com, Shohoz and supermarkets started taking grocery orders.
And yet, the online grocers have not even scratched the surface of the market.
“The majority of the start-ups covered only Dhaka and the other major cities. The rest of the country remains untapped. So the industry has a bright future ahead,” Ashraf added.
Reza echoed the same.
“The online grocery market is still quite under-penetrated. The potential for business growth over the next few years is massive.”
Besides, the existing brick-and-mortar grocers are in a drive to convert their offline market online, she added.
Ashraf though sound out a word of caution.
“If the situation returns to normal, we hope the customer base will remain,” he added.