There are two things nearly every household has delivered to their doorstep every morning - milk and newspaper. There is a distribution system laid in every locality in every city that ensures we get our milk packets and our newspapers first thing in the morning.
But what about last minute requirements? Say you realize late into the night that the vegetables you need the next morning have run out, or your child tells you just before going to bed that he/she need stationery for school next morning or that you’d like coconut water and bread also delivered every morning.
What if your milkman or your local newspaper vendor brought you all your requirements first thing in the morning with just a simple tap of a button? That’s exactly what Morning Cart, founded by Satish Shetty and Anuj Bishnoi, does.
Morning Cart is a doorstep delivery service that meets more than just regular morning needs of customers. What’s unique about them is that Morning Cart connects consumers and suppliers of milk, newspapers through a mobile application.
The idea was born when the milkman in Satish’s society in Bengaluru stopped delivery as he could not sustain collection of money, issuance of milk coupons, in light of increasing milk prices. In another case, the milkman delivering to one of their friend’s building disappeared after collecting an advance amount of Rs 5 lakh from all households.
This made them realise the need for a platform to organise the entire space. They began meeting and speaking with milk and newspaper distributors across the city. “After meeting several milk and newspaper distributors we could conclude that there is definitely a well laid supply chain in the city which reaches every house every day, but the distribution is much unorganized and hence Morning Cart,” says Bishnoi.
With an investment of Rs 20 lakh put into developing web technologies, mobile applications for customers, distributors and delivery boys, Morning Car started its beta version in December 2015. In May 2016, it officially started operations with the soft launch of its app.
So what does Morning Cart do?
If you want to avail Morning Cart’s services, all you have to do is sign up on the app with the delivery address. Once that’s done, pick what you want delivered to your doorstep next morning. You can pick between the product being delivered just once, or make a weekly schedule for its delivery. You then have to recharge your Morning Cart wallet and pay for your order. There is also an option of changing and tailoring your subscription and quantity needs as and when you want.
Once the order is placed, Morning Cart has six of its delivery boys who deliver products to the milk and newspaper vendors of every building. The last mile delivery is then done by the milk and newspaper vendors in the morning. Morning Cart has partnered with retailers across Bengaluru and has two hubs in the city where the product comes and is taken from.
Morning Cart currently has 242 milk and newspaper vendors on its platforms which deliver to high rises and gated communities. They deliver to South and East Bengaluru and are fast expanding in North and Central part of the city.
Morning cart work on an asset-lite business model. Using the existing delivery channel of the local milk and newspaper vendors, Morning Cart is saving on delivery costs and also eliminates the need for a delivery time slot.
While Morning Cart started with delivering only morning needs of households, it now covers a range of categories including grocery, baby care, personal care, organic products and gourmet products. It has also recently started the option of ordering fresh vegetables and fruits to customers by partnering with the distributors.
Morning Cart makes money from the subscription-based model it has with customers. However, it has not yet introduced subscription charges. This is on the anvil.
Further, it also earns a margin of about 10-20% on products. It also charges a convenience fee for delivery. Some revenue also comes in through cross-functional delivery systems and advertisements.
Morning Cart already has a customer base of over 17,000 customers and is acquiring an average of 125 customer a day.
Making a difference
Now while customers can avail the comfort of early morning delivery, especially of last minute needs, Morning Cart is also organising the milk and newspaper distribution network. Every vendor is given technology with the app, is trained in using the technology and going about the business.
“We help our delivery partners scale up their current businesses and secure additional sources of income, helping to make the entire space ‘organized’. More interestingly, they become a virtual supermarket without any investment and start selling every product under the sun,” Bishnoi says.
Additionally, Morning Cart has payment processors that provide complete financial solutions to address another important issue faced by the partners of collection. Vendors need not go door-to-door to collect cash from customers.
After catering to most high rises and gated communities in Bengaluru, Morning Cart is planning on becoming an open network and deliver to all types of residential areas in the next three months. It has also run a pilot in Chennai and has launched operations in OMR. It is currently running a pilot in Pune and Hyderabad as well. Over the next six months, it plans on expanding to all important cities
Alongside, the focus will also be on improving the user interface, providing the best customer experience and entering into more strategic partnerships. “We are also engaging several professors and PhD students for building a futuristic large analytical platform,” says Bishnoi.
With an aggressive expansion plan in mind, the 18-member team hopes to breakeven in the next three years. The long term aim is to reach every house, every day across the country.