NinjaCart from B2C to B2B and Algorithms

Ninjacart is, six-year-old company, India’s largest B2B Fresh Produce Supply Chain platform, solving one of the toughest supply chain problems of our country through technology. They source fresh produce from farmers and deliver them to businesses(Just in time supply chain) around 200 tones of fresh produce from farm to retailers in less than 12 hours -every day. Ninjacart connects vegetables and fruit farmers directly with businesses. On one end, they help farmers get better prices and ensure consistent demand, and on the other end, help retailers source fresh vegetables at competitive prices directly from farmers. They optimize effectively at a lower cost, better speed, and larger scale using an integrated supply chain powered by technology, data science, infrastructure, and logistics network. The food supply chain company claims to have helped farmers boost agricultural income by up to 15-20%.

Ninjacart connects farmers with retailers via a network of more than 200 collection centres and 1,200 warehouses across the country with Daily Volume of 1400+ tonnes of vegetables from farm to 60000+ retailers on a daily basis within 12 hours in 7 major cities of India — Bangalore, Chennai, Pune, Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Delhi, and Hyderabad. We are 6000+people company and work with 37000+ farmers.

Ninjacart has raised a total of $194.2M in funding over 11 rounds. Their latest funding was raised on Oct 12, 2020 from a Corporate Round round.Ninjacart is funded by 19 investors. Walmart and Flipkart are the most recent investors.

According to a recent Nasscom report titled “Agritech in India — Emerging Trends in 2019”, the Indian agritech sector is growing at a rate of 25% year-on-year. This sector vastly remained untouched by technology and innovation even in the 21st century. But with the advent of drones, deeper penetration of smartphones with cheaper 4G data, IoT, automation and supply chain efficiencies, agritech is slowly but steadily taking root as a prominent sector in India.

With a cumulative average growth rate (CAGR) of 400 per cent since 2016, the company has posted Rs 120 crore revenue in fiscal 2018–19 and turned operationally profitable.
  • $168 Bn Market growing 9% annually
  • Daily consumption product — similar to Internet / Electricity and Water
  • Recession-proof
  • Fundamentally strong: We all feel hungry three times a day — It is a daily consumption product — similar to electricity, water, and the internet
  • Size: $168 bn Market growing 9% annually and will touch 250 Bn by 2023
  • Opportunity: Eg: Bangalore alone is Rs. 3000 crore market annually — if we do 30% in Bangalore, it would be Rs. 1000 crores revenue from Bangalore only
  • Better incomes, urbanization are shifting consumption from food grains to fruits, vegetables, meat & egg
  • Horticulture production has grown at twice the rate of other agricultural crops and has recently overtaken the food-grain cultivation
  • Fruits and vegetables account for only 5% of the total agricultural area and are grown primarily by small and marginal farmers
  • 87–90% of fruits and vegetables in India are grown with assured irrigation, as against 50% for food grains. This makes the product less dependent on weather changes

Ninjacart started as B2C hyperlocal grocery delivery platform where customers could order groceries and the company would deliver the order in less than 60 minutes. But after just five months of operation, the team realised that this model is not a sustainable one and is plagued by structural challenges such as lack of practical technology solution to manage inventory, the wafer-thin margin for retailers and almost zero data-driven supply chain. Ninjacart’s renewed focus on solving problems in the supply chain, was backed by its desire to use tech and data science to simplify the infrastructure and logistics network. Here’s how the entire Ninjacart process works, right from the weekly forecasting to the procurement of fresh produce from farmers, and ultimately the timely delivery of items to the retailers. They have set up a high-speed active supply chain infrastructure, which includes collection centres in villages to collect the produce from farmers, fulfilment centres in the outskirts of the city to consolidate produce from multiple collection centres, distribution centres within the city to take the produce to retailers faster at low cost,”. Additionally, the company assembled a responsive and real-time logistics network to manage inventory, reduce processing time and improve efficiency and forecasting models, which goes a long way towards reducing food wastage or shortage.

Fresh produce supply chain startup Ninjacart has launched ‘FoodPrint’, a food traceability infrastructure, that captures and helps users trace the end-to-end footprint of fruits and vegetables, from farm to home. Consumers can trace the complete journey, right from farms to delivery, of the fresh fruits and vegetables they ordered, through the Food Print Viewer feature available on the official website.

Ninjacart’s FoodPrint traces right from, who is the farmer, when was the food was harvested, the truck that carried the produce, the warehouse that processed it, the helper who handled the product at the warehouse, a retailer who brought the product, and how it was delivered to the consumer’s doorstep. The company is leveraging RFID tags to map a product right from the time a farmer brings the produce to the collection centres, with the same foodprint ID kept intact till it reaches the retailer and then the consumer.

Nagarajan also said that Ninjakart worked for almost two years, to introduce this feature to consumers. To avail this feature, consumers can also order from Ninjacart’s partner grocery store through Swiggy, Zomato, Dunzo, and other online platforms, to view the Foodprint data.

Accountability plays a very big role in the supply chain of fresh produce. With the ‘Food Print’ initiative, farmers will have to produce a safer and quality product which makes them equally responsible in the whole food chain process and the end consumer will be assured about the quality, said Thirukumaran Nagarajan, co-founder and CEO, Ninjacart.

The next step to add to the traceability would be FarmPrint and ResiduePrint, its new initiative, Harvest the Farms, to identify vegetables that are in excess supply, as well as those that are going un-harvested within their farmer networks. Through this initiative, the Bengaluru-based company was planning to buy this excess produce directly from farmers, to help them recover their investments.

Further, the company believes that the feature is more relevant than ever, after the impact of covid-19 on human lifestyle, with consumers considering health and safety as a major aspect while making purchases.

They connect vegetables and fruits farmers directly with businesses. On one end, help farmers get better prices and deal with consistent demand and on another end, they help retailers to source fresh vegetables at competitive prices directly from farmers. They build a “scalable” supply chain network, which can handle products that change in price, quality, demand and supply everyday and has less than 24 hours shelf life. Real fun is doing all this at scale, while keeping our cost very low, better speed in an ecosystem that is unorganised and has low technology penetration. Essentially — build a integrated supply chain that can thrive on uncertainty powered by technology, data science, infrastructure and logistics network — may be first time in the world.

Ninjacart have build some great stuff that already delivers bigger impact to customers & farmers:-

  • 100% Traceable food: RFID powered supply chain enables to track a produce in store shelf to a farmer and farming data thus providing complete transparency in the entire food value chain. This becomes the foundation to make our food safer
  • Tomorrow ready ERP: In-house ERP [code name : BiFrost] that accommodates the flexibility it needs as scale and delivers a frictionless movement of goods. Mobile ready ERP also ensures use zero paper in our supply chain
  • Demand Forecasting: Forecast more, you have lot of unsold wastage; predict less, you will see customers walking to market, due to unavailability. Ninjakart have leveraged deep machine learning to perfect our forecasting to 97% and reduce the overall wastage to 4% [Traditional supply chains have wastage up to 25%]. Ninjacart also has specific apps for the farmers to help them with demand forecasting, harvest planning and determining the price indent.
  • Price Intelligence: Multiple market intelligence tools and machine learning algorithms help predict market prices and help farmers plan harvest accordingly. Farmer knows the price before harvesting and this increases the odds of better returns
  • Connected Logistics: Speed and cost can make or break any supply chain. Our indigenous route optimization and utilization help keep their load factor at 92% and put more fresher vegetables on the plate (Ninjakart move the produce from farm to store with in 14 hours) at a cost almost 1/3rd of the traditional supply chain
  • Social security : Cashless and instant payment solutions help put the money in the hands of the farmer on same day. This has helped farmers avoid borrowing money from Mandi traders, who hold their produce captive and pay low prices or from local money lenders, who charge exorbitant interest

Detailed footprint workflow can be found at below article

The way forward
We deal with one of the fundamental needs of human beings food. The current gap in the market is the need for safe and quality food that is affordable and accessible. Irrespective of any macro changes, this basic need for customers will not change.

We offer efficient trade. Technology has changed the trade forever and continues to disrupt every market. Food trade will be disrupted forever using data and technology. Ninjacart pioneer the data and tech revolution for food and in shaping the future of how the trade would happen.

Leadership belief /Analyst(AI)