The Journey of an Ordinary Man to a $3.2 Billion Enterprise

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Hari Menon’s entrepreneurial journey inspires aspiring businessmen to discover unique ideas and achieve success. In 1963, Hari Menon was born into a middle-class family in Mumbai’s Bandra West neighbourhood. Presently, he is the CEO as well as the co-founder of India’s biggest online supermarket Big Basket.

Prior to starting Big Basket, Hari was the CEO of several businesses like Tumri, Serus Corporation, and Timeli. He has also founded Symphony Industrial AI. According to the Times of India, his present company BigBasket has produced $1.1 billion in gross sales during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Hari Menon is an alumnus of BITS Pilani. He went to school in Lovedale and afterward pursued a mechanical engineering degree. He studied at Kerala University in 1983 and later pursued an MBA from Carnegie Mellon University, a college in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. A few years later he majored in Operations Research and received an M.S. from Oklahoma State University. In addition to being a devoted cricket fan, Hari enjoys listening to music. He is even a member of the group ‘Karnataka Cricket Association’.

Hari started his career as the business head of Wipro, a multinational firm that offers consultancy, information technology, and business process services. He had also played a crucial role in a number of businesses, such as Serus Corporation, Tumri, and Timeli, prior to forming Big Basket. In the years 2003 and 2004, Hari served as the Vice President of Corporate Strategy and Marketing at Bristlecone Inc.

Hari was also the founder and the CEO of The ‘India Skills, a Vocational Education Company. The company is a joint venture between Manipal Group and City & Guilds (UK). Apart from these, he had previously worked as the Country Head for “Planetasia,” which is one of the first Internet service providers in India.

In 1999, Vipul Parekh, Abhinay Choudhari, VS Ramesh, and VS Sudhakar, members of the founding team of BigBasket, together with Hari, co-founded Fabmart.

Fabmart is an online marketplace that serves the same purpose as Amazon and Flipkart. It is one of the forerunners of Indian e-commerce. Due to the absence of any transactions during the first year, the web platform was unable to generate adequate revenue. The main cause was the absence of a safe digital payment method in India. Thus, you can say that the first integrated online-to-offline retail enterprise in India was called Fabmall.

Hari Menon and the other co-founders did not let the failure of Fabmart deter them; instead, they chose to concentrate on a physical retail chain of a grocery shop. It was exactly at that time that they started Fabmall, the first physical iteration of Fabmart and India’s pioneering online retailer.

Later, they combined this physical grocery shop network with another grocery store company called Trinethra, and increased the number of outlets in Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, and Karnataka, bringing the total to 300.

In 2006, Hari Menon made the decision to sell the company to the Aditya Birla Group.

In October 2011, Hari Menon, Vipul Parekh, V S Sudhakar, Abhinay Choudhari, and V S Ramesh established Big Basket in response to the popularity of Fabmart. BigBasket is not just the product of entrepreneurs’ dreams; it is also a carefully thought-out company that primarily targets major cities.

In May 2021, the Tata Group acquired a 64% majority ownership in BigBasket through the acquisition of Tata Digital, a division of the Tata Group. Tata Digital, the company’s biggest stakeholder, contributed $200 million to BigBasket in January 2023, raising its valuation to $3.2 billion. At the present time, BigBasket closes more than 50,000 orders every day, or 1, 50,000 to 2, 50,000 orders per month, with an average monthly ticket size of $2500 for each order.

Bigbasket allows you to choose from over 20,000 products from over 1,000 brands. It offers a wide selection of food and grocery items, such as fresh fruits and vegetables, spices and seasonings, packaged goods, rice and dals, and beverages at affordable prices.

With Bigbasket, you may choose a time frame for delivery and your order will be brought right to your door. The online supermarket currently provides delivery to any location in Bangalore, Pune, Chennai, Hyderabad, Mumbai, Delhi, Noida, Vijayawada-Guntur, Mysore, Coimbatore, Kolkata, Ahmedabad-Gandhinagar, Vadodara, Visakhapatnam, Lucknow-Kanpur, Gurgaon, Surat, Nagpur, Chandigarh, Patna, and Indore. The company guarantees on-time delivery and accepts online payments including cash, debit, credit, and Sodexo on delivery.

Bigbasket is not just the product of entrepreneurs’ dreams; it is also a carefully thought-out company that primarily targets the major cities. While growing slowly and steadily, the online grocery store has improved its delivery output. It has eventually made its presence in smaller cities as well as small towns by onboarding Shah Rukh Khan as its brand ambassador.

In addition to being the leading online retailer of food and groceries in India, Hari Menon wants to lead the way overseas. Currently, BigBasket closes more than 50,000 transactions per day, or 1, 50,000 to 2, 50,000 orders per month, with an average monthly ticket size of $2500 for each order.

The Bangalore market alone contributes almost 20 crores to the online grocery store. Bigbasket presently has a team of 3,000 people spread across three cities. With a monthly growth rate of more than 30 per cent, BigBasket now has an estimated value of $5,100 crore and serves more than 8,50,000 customers.

Thus, the company has eliminated all the stress involved with shopping for everyday needs. It is the first holistic online megastore in India, offering over 6 million satisfied customers a whopping 20,000+ products from over 1000 companies. You can now order everything you need for your home online, including groceries, so you won’t have to go far or wait in long lines.

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