Saturday, October 31, 2009

IIM-A grad launches subzi mandi on laptop

Surat: Your daily aloo, baigan and bhindi will soon be just a click away. No more finding your way through the filth at your neighbourhood subzi bazaar and haggling for prices with rude vegetable vendors. An IIM-Ahmedabad graduate has brought the mandi right on your laptop.
City-based Akrosh Sharma, who passed out of the elite B-school in 2004, is all set to launch an online vegetable store after running a vegetable retail business for the last couple of years.
The website will create an online mandi where one can “see” the fresh vegetables, check prices and place orders. “Apart from purchasing daily vegetables, one can gift fruits using the web service. We are launching the concept of gift-packing fruits and vegetables as a ‘healthy gift’ option,” says Sharma. Sharma feels it will be a hit, especially among working couples in the Hazira industrial zone who seldom get time to shop for fresh vegetables everyday.
  “Once the order is placed, customers will get the vegetables at the time specified by them,” adds Sharma, who grew up in Vadodara and joined IIM-A after getting an engineering degree from MS University. His stint at IIMA landed him a lucrative job with a top MNC and was based in Surat. But Sharma, apprehensive of getting into a comfort zone, left his job to tread a different path and go on his own. He launched his vegetable and fruit business in 2007 in a 10 by 10 feet shop. 
“I competed with the mandi and not the big stores. I created a subzi bazaar-like atmosphere in terms of product display that had well-behaved staff members dealing with customers, high sense of hygiene and no haggling,” said Sharma. Currently, his “mini mandi” concept has crossed Rs 1 crore in annual turnover.

“New concepts like these will lead to improvement of the market where the customer will have better options. An institute like IIMA can encourage entrepreneurship in a big way. We wish it is not only IIM grads but even other entrepreneurs should come forward with innovative concepts like this,” says Vardan Kabra, who was Sharma’s classmate at IIM-A and had opted out of the placement process to launch his own school in Surat.

Source: The Time Of India


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