Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Retailhas launched an online store for groceries, vegetables, packaged food and personal care. Companies such as bigbasket.com, naturesbasket.co.in, localbanya.com, zopnow.com, aaramshop, freshndaily, daily2bazaar, YouMart are already serving this space.

Read about YouMart.in, an online grocery and vegetable store based in Bangalore.

Indian retail industry is $ 490 billion, according to Technopaks 2013 report. 69% of retail industry is Food and Grocery. The sheer size of Food and Grocery coupled with the fact that only 10% is organized, is attracting online players. Online grocery is a $ 3 billion industry and is growing at 49% per annum. The congested roads, traffic snarls, high cost of fuel and scarcity of time make online grocery a very convenient option. While the potential in online grocery is huge the challenge is low penetration of internet. In a country of 1.2 billion people only 250 million use Internet. So the huge potential of this unorganized sector attracts more and more players into this market.

Reliance Fresh Direct

Reliance Retail, started in 2006 operates in over 96 cities across the country with 700+ stores and serving more than 13 million customers. Reliance Fresh Direct provides over 6000 products to choose from their online store.Fresh Fruits & vegetables, rice, dals, oil, packaged food, bakery & dairy item, frozen & pet food, household cleaning items, beauty & personal care products to name a few.

The user needs to register with the website, select the products you need, choose the delivery time and pay through your credit cards/debit cards/netbanking/food coupons. They will deliver to your home at the specified delivery time.Currently, the service is limited to selected pin codes of Navi Mumbai, Thane and South Mumbai area. There is a delivery charge of Rs. 25 and the service fee is waived off for orders above Rs.750.

Reliance Fresh Direct Website:http://www.reliancefreshdirect.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/en/rilesite

My View:

India’s e-commerce sector is expected to grow from $2.3 billion in 2014 to $32 billion by 2020, according to consulting firm Technopak. So considering the growth opportunities, this is a great move by Reliance Retail. Recently one of the eCommerce website Tradus has pivoted to an online grocery store. The ChairmanEmeritus of Tata Sons, Ratan Tata has invested in Urban Ladderin addition to his investments in snapdeal.

In October, Mukesh Ambani’s twin kids Isha and Akash has joined the boards of Reliance Jio Infocomm and Reliance Retail. Also the company reported its first profit numbers since inception in the last quarter there by focusing on profitability now. Reliance Retail has shut down their low performingstores across India, even closing out one of their brand Reliance Timeout. The strategies are in place, now its time to get into the action. With a good numbers to back the company and their cash rich parent company to support, Reliance Retail can give a heads on to startups like bigbasket, localbanya, etc. The key difference will be on how they are treating their customers and the infrastructure to support this. Let’s wait and see who wins the ultimate game of customer service!

Sources and Image Reference: Reliance Fresh Direct and Technopak