Swiggy Instamart betting big on Kolkata, keen to tap growing demand in east India, Retail News, ET Retail


Swiggy Instamart betting big on Kolkata, keen to tap growing demand in east India

Kolkata: Swiggy’s quick commerce platform Instamart, which witnessed a “10-fold” increase in orders in Kolkata over the last 12 months, is keen to tap the “huge demand” in several other cities in the east and northeast, a top company official said. Kolkata ranks among the country’s top five cities for Instamart in terms of demand along with places like Bengaluru and Mumbai, he said.

“There are some very large markets in the east and northeast of India, which are ripe for disruption as far as quick commerce is concerned… Guwahati is right up there because of the kind of retail formats existing in the city, and the fairly premium FMCG products that are sold. The market is well developed and matured,” said Karthik Gurumurthy, Senior Vice President, of Instamart.

“Bhubaneswar is emerging strong and we see huge potential in Ranchi too,” Gurumurthy told PTI.

Instamart is also bullish on tier-2 cities across the country, where the company has seen robust penetration.

“We took the plunge in the tier-2 space in October last year in markets like Lucknow, Coimbatore and Vizag. It was purely on a trial basis, but what’s been amazing is the penetration numbers achieved in these cities. If it takes around six months to hit a certain penetration number in the big cities, it takes two months to clock the same number in the tier-2 places, where the demand is huge,” he said.

Gurumurthy also said Instamart “solves supply problems” in tier-2 markets, where several brands don’t have proper distribution channels.

The quick commerce platform, offering over 5,000 products from more than 500 brands, is present in 29 cities of India, and aims to increase the number to 43 in the next few years.

The company official said quick commerce is expected to be a USD 7-8 billion dollar market within the next three years from the existing USD 2-2.5 billion.

On the criticism by a section of people on some e-commerce players promising super-quick delivery time of 10-20 minutes, Gurumurthy said Instamart has never given such assurances to customers.

“We have been very clear in our stand that what delivery time we promise to a customer is a function of many variables. The 10-20 minute delivery time creates undue pressure, as it’s a complex algorithm and depends on a lot of factors like traffic and location,” he said.

“Such promises are a way to stand out and attract new users, but the fundamentals of retail like good quality, assortment and availability win over anything,” he added.


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