Hyderabad: TenderCuts, a Chennai-based tech-driven omni-channel fresh meat and sea-food company, is eyeing for rapid expansion in Hyderabad. The company, which has started its operations in Hyderabad this February, has created three stores since then, and plans to take this to ten stores by March 2020, with a total investment of Rs 3.5 crore.
Founded in January 2016 by tech entrepreneur Nishanth Chandran under the company name GFM Retail as on online-only company, TenderCuts was started with a mission to provide fresh meat and seafood that is antibiotic and hormone-free by establishing direct partnerships with local farming and fishing communities and backward linkages to guarantee freshness. The partners are integrated into the ecosystem of fair prices and timely payments, encouraging them to practice ethical farming ensuring chemical-free and preservative-free produce.
The company today delivers to more than 80 per cent of Chennai from its multiple warehouses and experience stores through its last mile delivery network. In the last two years of offline presence, TenderCuts has grown to having 16 stores across Hyderabad and Chennai. The company plans to have over 25 stores by March 2020 in these two cities together.
Nishanth Chandran, founder and CEO of TenderCuts (GFM Retail), told Telangana Today, “Hyderabad has a domestic consumption of Rs 3,000 crore worth of fresh meat in the B2C space, much higher than Chennai which has annual consumption level at Rs 2,400 crore. We have current stores in Hyderabad at Manikonda, Banjara Hills and Kukatpally and our fourth store will come up in Kondapur this month.”
He added, “We have become an omni-channel business from 2017 onwards and about 60 per cent of our business comes from our online platform. We wanted to bring standardisation into the country’s fresh-cut meat and seafood business and we are seeing the market expanding year-on-year.”
There is room for expansion in the Indian fresh meat consumption. China’s fresh meat consumption in the last five years has gone up from 15 kilo per capita to 50 kilo. India is still at 4 kilo per capita today and with the growing GDP, the people are likely to spend more on protein.
“As a part of our growth plan, we want to foray into Bengaluru, Delhi-NCR and Kolkata in the next couple of fiscals. Typical size of the stores so far has been 1,400 sq ft. Cold storages in these stores can handle up to 1.2 tonne capacity. We spend about Rs 35 lakh on each store. We have an annual turnover of Rs 50 crore now, at a run rate of Rs 4.5 crore per month. We are growing at a rate of 3X year-on-year,” he informed.
The company uses diverse application of food technology in the selection, processing, preservation, packaging, distribution of fresh-cut meat and seafood. The quality meat and sea-food conform to FSSAI (Food Safety and Standards Authority of India) and WHO (World Health Organization) standards on the distribution and consumption of fresh-cut meat.
TenderCuts has established numerous checks and quality controls right from breeding of livestock, selection, cleaning until delivery. Rigorous quality measures include selection of meat through stringent grading and rigorous standardisation, automated handling by a proficient well-trained team. TenderCuts Training Academy registered with the government trains the staff before taking them on board.
He added, “Each store caters to customers in the 7-8 km radius, with deliveries scheduled within two hours of placing the order. Gel packs are used to retain the quality matching to the prevailing temperature levels in the cities. Fresh-cut meat, marinated meat, seafood (both freshwater and seawater), eggs and pickles can be ordered by customers through the company’s platform.”
The company has raised $4 million (about Rs 28 crore) recently through an institutional investor and is now in talks with a private equity firm to raise an additional $15 million (about Rs 105 crore) in the next six months.
“Fresh funding will help us foray into newer cities with each city having a potential of over Rs 200 crores market each month. Even if we capture 10-15 per cent market in these cities, it will be promising. We will also invest in technology and improving efficiency further,” Chandran added.