This Inspirational story of Hari Menon, Big Basket CEO & Co-Founder, and Indian entrepreneur will inspire you.
Many of you already heard of the success story of Hari Menon who changed India’s traditional grocery shopping.
Who is Hari Menon?
Hari Menon was born in 1963 in Bandra West, Mumbai into a middle-class family.
Hari Menon is married to ‘Shanti Menon’, daughter of ‘E Shreedharan’, the man behind the Delhi Metro. His wife, Shanti was a principal of Bangalore-based “The Deen’s Academy”.
Hari is the CEO and Co-Founder of BigBasket, India’s largest supermarket. He is also a Founder of Symphony Industrial AI.
Before founding Big Basket, Hari served as the CEO for various companies including Tumri, Serus Corporation, and Timeli.
Education & Career
Hari completed his graduation from Birla Institute of Technology and Science, Pilani. He holds an MBA (Master of Business Administration) degree from Carnegie Mellon University.
Hari was fond of music and an avid cricket fan, he considered himself a Music enthusiast. Hari is a member of the ‘Karnataka Cricket Association’.
Hari is an alumnus of Birla Institute of Technology and Science – BITS Pilani.
Hari Menon had started his career as a Business Head with ‘Wipro’ an Indian multinational corporation that provides consulting, information technology, and business process services.
How was life Before Big Basket?
Hari Menon is one of those Indian entrepreneurs, who struggle a lot in his initial life, entrepreneurial journey, and then stepped onto the market with a unique business idea and got success by his pivotal efforts.
Hari had also been an integral part of quite a few companies including Serus Corporation, Tumri, and Timeli.
Hari Menon was the Founder and CEO of the ‘India Skills’ – Vocational Education Company. India Skills is the Joint Venture between City & Guilds (UK), and Manipal Group as well.
Hari had also served ‘Planetasia’ as the Country Head. Planetasia was one of the first Internet services businesses in India.
Fabmart: Only Noice
Before starting BigBasket, 1999, Hari along with five of his friends, the founding team and of BigBasket (Vipul Parekh, Abhinay Choudhari, VS Ramesh, and VS Sudhakar) had cofounded Fabmart.
Fabmart is an online platform, which performed the same functions that Amazon, Flipkart does today. Fabmart was one of the pioneers in e-commerce in India.
During the first year of his online platform, there were no transactions but only noise, as it could not generate enough revenue.
There were many reasons for this, such as in India; the conditions were unfavourable for any online venture, no secure digital payment gateway and many more.
Success does not come easy
However, the setback of Fabmart was not enough to stop Hari Menon and other co-founders; they decided to focus on physical retail chain of a grocery store.
They launched Fabmall, India’s pioneering e-commerce company and a physical version of Fabmart. Now, this idea clicked very well.
Fabmall was India’s first integrated online-to-offline retail company. They also merged this physical retail chain of a grocery store with ‘Trinethra’, another grocery retail chain.
They expanded their physical retail chain of grocery store to 300 stores across Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, and Karnataka. Around the same time, Hari Menon decided to sell-off the business to Aditya Birla Group.
After the success of Fabmart, Hari Menon, Vipul Parekh, V S Sudhakar, Abhinay Choudhari, and V S Ramesh founded Bigbasket in October 2011.
What is Big Basket?
Bigbasket is India’s largest online food and grocery store owned and operated by Innovative Retail Concepts Private Limited.
You will find more than 1000 brands and over 20,000 products on Bigbasket online grocery store.
It offers an extensive range of food and grocery products including fresh Fruits and Vegetables, Spices and Seasonings to Packaged products, Rice and Dals, Personal care products, and Beverages at the lowest price.
At Bigbasket you can select a time slot for delivery and your order will be delivered right to your doorstep.
Currently, the online grocery store delivers anywhere 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 guarantee on-time delivery, and the best quality! You can pay online using cash, credit card, debit card, or Sodexo on delivery.
Well-planned out an online business
Bigbasket is not only a dream of entrepreneurs but is a well-planned out businesses that primarily targeted for the larger cities.
Bigbasket faced all sorts of business challenges and difficulties while growing and on its journey of success to where it is now.
Growing slowly and steadily, the online grocery store has improved its delivery output. Bigbasket eventually made its presence in the smaller cities as well as small towns by on boarding Sharukh Khan as their brand ambassador.
Hari Menon plans to become the largest food and grocery online store and online delivery platform in not only India but also all across the world. Bigbasket also invested money in building state of the art warehouses.
What Is the Story behind Bigbasket?
Hari Menon had a vast domain of ideas and business when compared to other such start-ups. Today, the online grocery store has happy customers because they did not hurry to expand it horizontally.
Soon after the launch of Bigbasket, they also got first funding of $10 Mn from ChrysCapital and Ascent Capital. ChrysCapital founded by Raj Kondur.
The first six months of Bigbasket were the most challenging ones. The biggest challenge for him was to maintain a building capacity to meet customer demand.
Since Hari Menon had already faced the heat once with Fabmall and Fabmart, the pressure was even more. He successfully pulled this off and was able to grab a growth of 30-35 % in their customers Month-on-Month demands.
Struggle to success
Today, BigBasket is closing more than 50,000 orders a day, or 1, 50, 00,000-2, 50, 00,000 orders a month, with an average monthly ticket size of ₹2500/per order.
The online grocery story is drawing roughly ₹20 crores from only Bangalore. Bigbasket is now a 3000-strong team across three cities.
BigBasket also roped in ‘Shah Rukh Khan’, Bollywood actor as their brand ambassador and launched a high volume print media, digital and television campaign.
Bigbasket has also acquired “Delyver” a Hyperlocal delivery start-up to strengthen its delivery service. The Delyver cofounders have also been included in the team of BigBasket management.
BigBasket is now valued at around ₹5,100 crore and now cater to more than 8,50,000 customer orders with a monthly growth rate of over 30 %, and are also expecting to close this fiscal with a turnover of around ₹7000 crores.
All this success came after a big struggle. However, it was not an easy task for these five entrepreneurs as the numbers show.
Bigbasket has proven to be devoured the myth that an online platform will not work for FMCG. With a negligible discount and robust business model, they have grown slowly but steadily.
Today, Bigbasket boasts of over five million registered customers. Currently, the online food and grocery store has its presence in over 55 cities and shifting focus from further expansion.
The success story of Bigbasket is a learning curve for all entrepreneurs and upcoming start-ups. Bigbasket teaches us that the mantra of sticking to one’s roots and evolving from there is still a very successful one!
Today, BigBasket has collaborated with more than 3000 traditional grocery stores across India to deliver food, grocery, vegetables and other products like personal care products in under an hour.
Hari Menon: Indian Entrepreneur
Hari Menon is a big motivation for all of us. Entrepreneurs who are wishing to become a successful entrepreneur, his true motivational story may encourage you to discover a unique idea.
Hari Menon’s entrepreneurial journey is nothing less than a motivation. We hope you find the true motivational story of the Indian entrepreneur.
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