Pakwheels veteran Ahmed Saeed’s GrocerApp looks to expand to other cities soon
To state the obvious, technology has brought a lot of convenience to the lives of the common man. The ease with which one can call a cab with the touch of a button, using services like Careem and Uber apps is just example.
A technology entrepreneur in Lahore has started something similar by providing grocery items directly to households with a couple of clicks on their smart phones. “We are offering a wide range of grocery items and so far, we have some 4000 products. This figure will be increased to 10,000 in the next two to three months,” said Ahmad Saeed, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of GrocerApp, while speaking to Pakistan Today.
According to the Pakistan Telecommunications Authority, there will be more than 40 million users of smartphones by the end of December 2016 and Saeed thinks that there is a huge potential for the new entrants in this market.
The business of online grocery stores is expanding significantly in other countries as well, as Redmart in Singapore, Instacart in the United States and Bigbasket in India are providing their services to thousands of households.
“More than 50 percent income is spent on the household items and grocery stores in every nook and corner of the city reflect that the business is very lucrative,” Saeed said, who has previously served as Chief Operating Officer over at PakWheels.com, which offers an online platform for the sale and purchase of used cars. The GrocerApp is offering a wide range of household items, including staple food, dairy items, baby products and toiletries. “Fresh meat and vegetables will be on our cart list very soon and we are planning to expand our service in other cities as well, including Rawalpindi and Islamabad,” the CEO of GrocerApp said.
Saeed told Pakistan Today that the idea of launching an online grocery store came to his mind when he was working at the PakWheels and couldn’t find ample time to buy grocery items for his family in his busy schedule. He therefore he planned to initiate such a venture. “We are receiving 35 to 40 orders per day and around 80 per cent of the users approach us for the second time once they have used our service,” Saeed said, while adding that the profit margin was not on his wishlist at this stage, since he only wants to increase the number of his customers. The GrocerApp was launched in April this year and has been downloaded 950 times on the Google Play store (Android phones) and 400 times on the App Store (for the iPhone.)
Sarah Sarfaraz, a resident of DHA Phase 4, and mother of two children, applauded the services rendered by the GrocerApp. “I hardly find time to buy the grocery items for my family but the GrocerApp has made my life easy as my desired products are delivered at my doorstep every morning by their riders,” she said.
It takes two to three hours to deliver the products to the doorstep of the households after the booking of an order. The operational mechanism is very simple, as a consumer gives his order by making a phone call or by just some clicks on the downloaded app of the company. The consumers receive a phone call by the company about the estimated time of delivery, which depends on the location of the area. A bike rider of the GrocerApp collects all the products from a retailer’s shop and delivers the order in the stipulated time. “We have engaged some 7 to 8 retailers and buy all the products from them,” Saeed said, who wants to follow the model of Uber taxi service that does not own even a single cab by itself but provides its service in more than 500 cities worldwide.
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