Grofers shuts down operations in 9 cities

Grofers ran pilot projects in 15 new cities in September. Photo: Ramesh Pathania/Mint

Grofers ran pilot projects in 15 new cities in September. Photo: Ramesh Pathania/Mint

Mumbai: Grofers India Pvt. Ltd has shut delivery operations in nine cities in the past 15 days because of low acceptance of its services in these areas, company co-founder Albinder Dhindsa said.

Grofers ran pilot projects in 15 new cities in September. The nine cities where it has decided to stop services include Ludhiana, Bhopal, Kochi, Coimbatore and Visakhapatnam.

“We ran a series of marketing campaigns including television ads in these cities to test the markets and see if the volume picks up,” said Dhindsa. Operations in cities that did not react to the marketing effort were shut. The company now operates in eight cities.

“The smaller cities are not ready for hyperlocal business yet, once they are, we will reconsider our strategy,” he added.

Grofers had a team of 20-30 people employed in these cities. These employees are being relocated, the company said.

In November, Grofers raised $120 million in funding from Japan’s SoftBank Corp., Russian entrepreneur and venture capitalist Yuri Milner and existing investors Tiger Global and Sequoia Capital.

Other hyperlocal companies like Shadowfax Technologies Pvt. Ltd and Peppertap also said that their current focus is on consolidating their businesses rather than expansion. Gurgaon-based Nuvo Logistics Pvt. Ltd, which operates grocery delivery brand Peppertap, raised $36 million in September in a round led by e-tailer Snapdeal (Jasper Infotech Pvt. Ltd). Peppertap had earlier announced that it will look to grow to 75 cities by March.

“Our focus is to ensure that processes, systems and operations in the current 17 cities are fully efficient. For the next few months we are not looking to grow to any new city,” said Navneet Singh, co-founder of the firm. Singh said the company has put its expansion plans on hold for a while as its current focus is to enhance efficiencies within its existing operations.

Shadowfax has restricted operations to three cities—Mumbai, Delhi and Bengaluru. “We will be functional in these three cities, generate cash flows and operational efficiency. There are no plans to expand to new cities,” said Abhishek Bansal, co-founder at the company. The firm has 75 employees and is not looking to hire any more except at senior management positions.

“We have most of our hiring done, particularly those that require heavy manpower during May and June. We are more focused on stabilising our businesses. We are now concentrating on expanding our categories. We want to achieve few of our internal targets before we think of increasing our capacities. This would take about two to three months,” said Dhindsa over the phone on 24 November.


9 Questions to Ask When Building a Mobile App

mobile phone users

“The next big thing” is a phrase that gets tossed around often. Entrepreneurs dream of creating it but often don’t know where to look, so they head down a long, bumpy road that sucks their wallet and their inspiration dry. Of course, failure nearly always precedes success, but it doesn’t hurt to avoid failure when you can.

If you’re embarking on a new mobile app idea, first consider whether you’re a results-oriented or a cause-oriented person. This will help you perfect your approach and, better yet, may prevent you from investing in an idea that’s likely to flop. The cause-method-results path tends to be best; profits are just a result — they may drive entrepreneurship but they’re not something to build off of, so consider your cause first and foremost. Whatever you create must have demand and whatever has demand serves a purpose for its customers.

So how do you identify the purpose of your next mobile app?

1. Is it a Need or a Want?

Imagine you’re an average smartphone user and someone tells you about this app. Would it excite you? Would you want it? Would other people want it? Ideally, they’llneed it, but the next best option is that they simply want it.

So how can you create a want? Look around you. This era is all about the translation of life into digitized form. It’s all about information that makes people’s lives easier. Urbanspoon, Foodspotting, and Yelp do just that. They speed up and simplify your life. How will your app make its users’ lives simpler and speedier?

2. Is it Offering Something that Doesn’t Already Exist?

That’s exactly what Mark Zuckerberg asked the Winklevoss brothers when they told him about the idea of Harvard Connection, and they certainly had an answer. If your basic idea resembles something that’s already out there, you need to be confident your app will offer something its competitor doesn’t. Do you think your interface will blow it out of the water? Is the other app particularly vulnerable in a crucial department, like connectivity or functionality? Can you take advantage of that?

3. How Soon Can You Launch?

Say your app idea is amazing — it’s something people would absolutely love and it’s completely unique. Now what? The biggest mistake you can make is to sit on it. There’s one thing Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, and Elon Musk would all agree on: you must rush to the market to launch your idea or someone else will. It’s a competitive world. Everyone’s trying to innovate. So the sooner you dream it, the sooner you must build it, because someone else is bound to dream and build the same thing tomorrow or the day after.

4. How Will You Build It?

That brings us to the question of complexity. Can you design and develop this app yourself? If not, can you get someone else to do it? And if you get someone else to do it for you, how much can you pay them? Would you look to a simple app creation platform that lets you build and host the app easily or go to a team of custom developers? And what’s the faster approach?

5. Is This the Best You Can Do?

If you’re going to sell something, better to sell it to a hundred people than to ten.How many platforms does your app cater to? An Android app is better than a Galaxy-specific app, so try to maximize your audience as much as possible; don’t make the classic mistake of approaching only a handful. Most of the time, increasing your potential users just takes one simple addition but makes a huge difference in the long run.

6. Can You Survive the Market?

It’s time to consider your competition and your marketing strategy. The idea is there. You can build and launch it soon. Now ask yourself if you have the money and the drive to compete. When you launch a product that hits your rivals where they’re vulnerable, the bigger companies you’re hurting will wage war, rapidly improving their product to maintain their top spot. That’s why it’s paramount to consider how soon you can make the name of your product echo in the market. Can you hire marketing agencies? If you don’t have the money, do you have investors who can do it for you?

7. People Love Your Product Today. Will They Love it Tomorrow?

Your app’s ability to inspire return visits is what will help it dominate the market. Does it hold long-term value for its users? It needs to. Does it encourage consumer loyalty? That’s a must. It should be habit-forming, engrained so much into the mobile lives of your users that they wouldn’t consider switching to a competitor.

8. How Will You Get Results?

Profits require commercialization — particularly ad-hosting. Businesses are biting at the bit to advertise in apps that overlap with their target market, and creating digital ads is far cheaper than print. Whether you use an ad service like Doubleclick or AdMob or go with a custom solution, make sure your ads don’t detract from the user experience. Of course, charging for downloads is another option, but if you’re aiming to mass-distribute it’s best to keep it free.

9. Does Anything Need to be Eliminated?

The secret to making highly usable apps isn’t adding more and more stuff but eliminating as much as possible. You’re probably focused on packing in features now, but your app likely contains some redundancy already. Superfluous features increase your file size and suck up device memory — not a great thing from the user’s perspective. So simplify it.


Approach your next idea with purpose and foresight. The next big thing in mobile is out there, but method and strategy are crucial to its success. Just make sure you get there first.


Huawei P9 Flagship Set to Launch at March 9 Event: Report

Huawei P9 Flagship Set to Launch at March 9 Event: Report

Huawei has sent out invites for a launch event on March 9 in Berlin, Germany, where it is expected to launch its latest flagship smartphone, Huawei P9. Additionally, some new live images showing the front and back panel of the handset have also made their way to the Internet.

As spotted by ifanr website, Huawei has posted an event invite image showing a glass and bottle with the text “Beer”. Nothing else has been mentioned by the company yet. The smartphone, as per latest rumours and leaks, is said to arrive in four variants a regular P9, P9 Lite, an enhanced version of P9, and P9 Max.

huawei_p9_invite_teaser_ifanr.jpgSome of the rumoured details about the fourth variant include larger screen, more RAM, and more storage. The highlight feature of the fourth Huawei P9 variant is said to be the camera. It is rumoured to sport a dual lens with dual sensor configuration featuring 12-megapixel sensor. The camera on the fourth model is expected to feature additional camera tricks such as post-capture refocus, simulated aperture adjustment, and other filter options.

The dual-camera setup has been corroborated by the newly leaked images said to be showing the Huawei P9. Posted by Evan Blass, a tipster on Twitter the image suggests the P9 to take most of the design clues from its predecessor. At the back two cameras are visible on the top corner along with autofocus sensors and dual-LED flash.

Although the purpose of the second camera is not yet known, it might likely be used for wide angle capture or for refocussing after the image has been captured. The all-metal device features chamfered edges around the front panel. A fingerprint sensor is also visible at the back. Other features seen include USB Type-C port, 3.5mm jack and loudspeaker.

The smartphone is rumoured to feature company’s native Kirin 950 processor, clubbed with 3GB RAM and Mali-T880 GPU. Other rumoured specifications are 32GB inbuilt storage, 12-megapixel rear camera with Leica lenses, and a 3900mAh battery.