A personal experience of inconvenient online groceries purchase spurred Co-founders, Roger Egan, Vikram Rupani and Rajesh Lingappa to create a more efficient online marketplace for groceries and household essentials called Redmart.
I got in touch with CEO & Co-founder of Redmart, Roger, to find out more about this market disruptive company.
The beginnings of Redmart
In 2010, then MBA students at INSEAD, Roger and Vikram were extremely busy and wanted to save time by ordering their home essentials online. They found the online grocery shopping experience in Singapore was terrible as compared to what they had in New York City. With this personal pain point in mind, they thought that other people might also value their time and are looking for a more reliable service. And so, the idea of Redmart was conceived.
With no experience in e-commerce or retail, the founders bravely ventured into the unfamiliar market, with the help of experienced advisors in the industry. The team believed that their fresh perspective offers an advantage in an industry that has seen little innovation for quite some time.
Roger adds on that scaling an e-commerce business, especially for groceries, is not easy. The team was fortunate to have a team of experienced advisors to help with their business. Their advisors have all successfully scaled their businesses and offer experience that very few people in the world have.
Operations (logistics and warehouse management) is the crux of our business. Two of their advisors have built their bleeding edge, proprietary logistics platforms from scratch. These platforms are the envy of the e-commerce world.
Toivo Annus, Skype Co-founder, has been especially helpful and committed to RedMart’s success. Not only has his advice been 100% on point, he has connected them to many very helpful partners and investors. They are very grateful to have such helpful advisors that are truly passionate about RedMart’s success.
The Founders with their Redmart delivery van. Photo: Roger Egan
The founders believe in giving autonomy to people
While the team collaborates closely, there is just too much work to worry about what the other is doing.
“We hire people that we can trust to get the job done and believe in giving people as much autonomy as they can handle. There is no fear of failure at RedMart. We believe that mistakes are ok and learning by doing is the only way.”
Roger believes that Redmart’s market disruptive business model will be better for consumers in the long run. Redmart has some big, powerful competitors. However, they believe that their Direct-to-Consumer model offers certain sustainable competitive advantages that will enable them to compete with the big boys, even with much less resources. The team aims to use innovative technology, data analytics, and more efficient order fulfillment to stay ahead of the competition.
Another edge that Redmart has over some of its competitors is their strong relationship with large manufacturers and the support they are providing to help protect the company from any negative reactions from large retailers.
At Echelon 2012 Startup Marketplace
We’ll be raising a Series A round soon and are looking to meet investors with e-commerce experience that can help us scale our business.
Redmart will be exhibiting at Echelon 2012 Startup Marketplace.