New Delhi. It is said that time keeps on changing and with the passage of time many changes have to be brought in oneself. Sanjay Agarwal and his son, living in Saharanpur, Uttar Pradesh, have followed this very closely. About 14 years ago in 2006, Sanjay Aggarwal decided to expand his 10X20 square feet grocery store to 1,500 square feet. But, even after this upgrade, his business did not see much growth. Sanjay’s son Vaibhav Aggarwal noticed that his father was neither able to earn enough profit nor was able to take the business further even after so much hard work. Losses, lack of capital and low investment continued to undermine his business. Seeing this struggle of his father, 31-year-old Vaibhav helped himself. Apart from this, Vaibhav has rejuvenated more than 100 grocery stores in a dozen cities today. Thus he started his startup – The Grocery Store Company. In the last two years, he has made a revenue of about Rs 5 crore from this startup.
Vaibhav tells that his father was the only earning person in the house and he used to run a grocery store in the name of ‘Kamla Store’ in Saharanpur itself. After completing engineering in 2013, Vaibhav worked with his father at the store for a few months and then started working in a multinational company in Mysore through campus placement. His experience in the retail market of Mysore proved to be completely new for him. Vaibhav, who lives here for work, found that there are smart stores here. These stores have very different product mix and chain systems.
Leaving multination company and got a job with salary of 10 thousand rupees
After shopping at these stores, he got the idea that how he can improve his father’s store. After knowing about these stores for about a year and after some deliberation, Vaibhav quit his job. In 2014, he became a sales manager in a retail company in Saharanpur itself with a salary of Rs 10,000. Vaibhav says that during this time he understood from the logistics of the retail market to how their product mix changes with location and distance. They found that the product mix changes every 1 kilometer. Even there is a difference between presentation and packaging. After seeing all this, many types of business ideas started coming in Vaibhav’s mind, but he was in no mood to quit his job once again.Read also: Father’s paan shop, if there was no money for fees, then studied in free school, today own automation company
Learned the specifics of the retail store from the experience of studies and work
There was a boom in the startup industry in the period of 2014-15 but they did not have any specific information about it. To understand the concept, he decided to do his Masters in Business Management in Delhi. Here with the help of academics and faculty, he helped to give shape to his idea. He could know about the grocery retail market and many other matters related to the unorganized sector. After completing his masters degree, in 2017 he started working in an FMCG company in Delhi. From this job, he got information about the retail market in 6 states including Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh. He understood every detail of the product flow and prepared reports.
Father’s store was first rejuvenated
Within a year, Vaibhav decided to leave this job and change his father’s grocery store. By 2018 they made many changes in this store. He changed the way products are stored in this store, developed software to collect information about product sales and their inventory management. He removed those products from the store, which were causing losses due to low sales and kept all the products in the store in such a way that they would get the attention of the customers. In this way the number of customers and their spending capacity increased.
Changed fate of 100 stores in small towns
This change reached the people in his store through word-to-mouth. Thus a person after seeing his store requested to change his store in the same way. After putting a little more emphasis through digital marketing, some more people demanded him to change his store. Thus Vaibhav launched his startup. Vaibhav says that by January 2021, he has changed the picture of more than 100 stores in about 12 cities. Most of these are from Tier-II and Tier-III cities. Talking about his experience, he tells that people in the grocery business are ready to make changes, but they do not get such services through which they can get guidance. Most of the grocery stores are coming from the era of grandfather or father. They have not changed with the times and the changing market.
This startup also works to build a new store
Vaibhav’s Startup not only works to bring change in the old store, but also helps in building a new store from scratch. With the help of this startup, customers also have the facility to take some products. Apart from fees, they charge Rs 1,000 per month from each store for software and analytics. Analytics report is issued every 15 days so that the shopkeeper can make necessary changes in his shop. Apart from managing inventory, it also helps in boosting the business.
What is the biggest challenge of this startup
In the financial year 2019-20, this startup has created a revenue of Rs 1 crore. It is estimated to increase to Rs 5 crore by March 2020-21. Vaibhav further explains that the hardest part of his business is how to prepare customers for changes in their stores. They have to give information about the profits from making this change. Apart from this, customers also have to be explained about the expenditure on this. This startup has changed many stores between Rs 7 lakh and Rs 30 lakh. It takes them from 6 months to 1 year.