The new normals in a world where Covid-19 unfortunately is becoming a part of our life will bring about many changes in the way businesses will be conducted, and more importantly the way we live our life.
The nation-wide lockdown is slowly being lifted across orange and green zones and life is slowly crawling back to a new-normalcy. Businesses and brands are now are making their way back into the business; planning their communication plans for a new world post the covid-19 lockdown.
In this story of Medianews4u’s new brand series, Back to Business, we spoke to Atul Kumar, Co-founder Fraazo, which is an agro-tech start-up.
How are you coping with the impact of Covid-19 on Fraazo? How effectively have you used the lockdown period?
COVID-19 situation has led to a drastic change with regards to how businesses operate and corresponding consumer behavior. The lockdown resulted in a sudden decline in store footfalls, whereas online-purchases and app downloads have witnessed a sharp surge as people preferred to order online instead of stepping out.
Talking about business, we were serving around 200 orders daily before the Covid pandemic lockdown which has significantly increased to over 1,500 orders daily. At Fraazo, we are working on increasing our reach to meet rising demand for essentials. As a measure of precaution, we regularly test our warehouse staff, and delivery personnel to ensure their safety and provide them with requisite safety gear like gloves, face masks, and hand sanitizers.
Customer safety and hygiene is our primary objective and we are ensuring proper sanitization of all our delivery packages comprising farm-fresh vegetables and fruits and providing contactless delivery to everyone. Moreover, analyzing the current situation, we have also introduced our ‘Society Stores’ which serve societies directly across Mumbai and Pune. We have received requests from over 500 societies to provide them this service on an ongoing basis.
The quest for a solution to a particular crisis helps invent new business opportunities and sometimes leads to a revision of existing business models… What sort of innovation has or will the Covid-19 pandemic bring to your brand/industry/category?
With a rapid increase in COVID-19 cases across Maharashtra, people are apprehensive to venture out from the safety of their home. Since vegetables and fruits are an essential need for every household, a majority of the population is opting for doorstep contactless delivery as a safer option to fulfill their needs. Further, customers seek safety by opting for hygienically handled food.
Fraazo – a Mumbai based Consumer Agri-Tech startup procures fresh vegetables and fruits directly from the farm helping reduce multiple handling which is inbuilt into the traditional APMC mandi based system. With hygienic food for our customers, we’re delivering every day health and happiness to our customers. We’ve launched our ‘Society Stores’ through which we bring farm-fresh fruits and vegetables directly supplied to your society / apartment complex, reducing touchpoints across the supply chain.
Anyone across Mumbai and Pune can call for our ‘Society Store’ service by logging on to our society-registration weblink: http://society.fraazo.com/ enter details of their society, and after a quick viability check, Fraazo provides weekly flexible Society Store setups in their society as per a time and day of their convenience. To make the process of buying fruits and vegetable hassle-free, a ‘Pick-up’ feature is available on the App wherein customers can control the entire process of buying fruits and vegetables – right from choosing the order, to make the payment through the Fraazo App and picking their order with a no-touch experience! Fraazo ensures Farm to Doorstep Delivery for customers within an 18 hour window to keep our promise of providing fresh food to every kitchen.
While some parts of the country have become Covid-19 free, cities like Mumbai and Delhi are still in a lockdown situation. How are you planning to resume business across cities that are not in the Red?
We are following all the norms directed by the Government while adopting hygiene methods for the safety of our team and our customers. We are providing contactless deliveries, digital payments, and hygienic packaging to ensure maximum safety.
What will be your communication strategy post the opening of the lockdown? What will be the objective of the communication/marketing strategy?
We are trying to provide best-in-class services in order to earn a credible relation with our new and existing customers. Since we are in constant contact with our current customers via our online channels, we tend to receive regular feedback and orders from them. To garner interest from new customers, we have activated our social media channels and regularly update people about our offers, new services and more. Further, word-of-mouth from our existing customers continues to help us immensely in acquiring new customers during this period.
How did you keep the morale of the employees during this lockdown period? On a personal note, what kept you positive?
Employees are the backbone of our company. That said, staying positive at the time of pandemic has been a challenging task for each one of us in the team. Fortunately for us, we have been able to keep our team mentally motivated and strong. We are making sure to keep their safety and family needs as our top-most priority and providing them significant flexibility of work timings, provision of protective gear, proper sanitized working spaces and pick and drop facility to every employee. We are trying our best to cover all areas ensuring their well-being.
What are some of the post-lockdown business strategies that you will use to bring the business back on track or at least get it in the right direction and also create demand for yourself?
Since Covid-19, the focus of a lot of families has shifted towards hygienic food and we are seeing increasing demand for our brand as we provide farm fresh fruits and vegetables. From seeing our early days of serving 100 orders per day with our first and only Dark Store in Mumbai, which is serving 1,500 orders on a daily basis today; this sudden escalation itself speaks volumes about the trust that our customers have placed in us. While the B2B business has bottomed out and contributes a much smaller percentage of our revenues, but we are hopeful that as the lockdown eases, just like B2C, even B2B demand will come in strongly and especially through our partner accounts i.e., Swiggy, Zomato, Dunzo and leading cloud kitchens.
However, in the next 2-3 years, we are aiming to become the supplier of choice for vegetables and fruits to the cities of Mumbai and Pune. This would be done by investing resources on technology to improve customer experience, build a strong customer service team, and streamline our processes to build in efficiency to help deliver on the key parameters of quality, hygiene, and convenience while reducing supply chain losses due to wastage.
Is there anything else that you would want to add?
Fraazo is currently serving over a 100 societies, since the lockdown was enforced, through the Society Store model and is already consistently working towards taking this number to 1,000+ societies across Mumbai and Pune. Another special feature introduced by Fraazo is the ‘Express Delivery Service’ to ensure quick and contactless delivery right at customers’ doorstep. Our average delivery time is within 2 hours except for cases where restrictions are in place. Given the manpower constraints during the lockdown, Fraazo is providing Express Delivery at its full capacity.
Fraazo is a quality-focused and hygiene driven platform for farm-fresh food to every kitchen. Realizing the importance of providing hygienic and quality food in the Covid-19 lockdown, we are innovating with our ‘Society Stores’ to service people who are left with no options for trusted essentials. Our society stores have got an encouraging response and we are grateful to all the society committees for supporting our efforts and ensuring their members follow strict measures of social distancing while choosing from our variety of farm-fresh vegetables and fruits.