Here’s deFreshBox, a startup in Silchar that make Grocery shopping and delivery safe and beneficial
The Coronavirus pandemic has ruptured businesses and commerce all over the globe, there’s no denying it. And that economic impact is probably going to continue looming all over us for some time in the future as well. But even amidst such hardship and depressing times, many indigenous start-ups, especially in digital platforms, are also making a statement of intent by gradually building their businesses in these Covid times.
In the city of Silchar, one such indigenous e-commerce start-up called ‘deFreshBox’ has recently launched its venture which deals in online grocery solutions and delivery services. Derived from the French word ‘de’ meaning ‘from’, deFreshBox stands for ‘From Fresh Box’.
What’s even more lucrative is the fact that they provide all their product below the Maximum Retail Price (MRP) and that too with zero delivery charges above a minimum purchase which also makes it attractive to any potential shopper.
Launched in 2021 ‘deFreshBox’ is a brand of Oikantik Solutions Pvt. Ltd. and is one of the most promising start-ups in Assam, surrounded by entrepreneurs passionate about disrupting existing models throughout technology, focusing on changing the way people shop for groceries. ‘deFreshbox’ is a start-up venture by female entrepreneurs with experiences in multiple industries in India and United Kingdom. The brains behind this efficient Silchar based e-commerce start-up is primarily the work of two women – Nivedita Dey and Moumita Bhattacharjee.
While talking to Barak Bulletin, co-founder Nivedita Dey, an entrepreneur by profession, said that the initial idea behind this venture ‘deFreshBox’ struck her after the pandemic hit, especially during the post-lockdown period. “As you’re already aware that the pandemic and the subsequent lockdown haws crippled business and commerce throughout the country. But in bigger metro cities, they have their own e-commerce services to assist needy people during such a crisis. But unfortunately, in Silchar or in the entire Barak Valley for that matter, we don’t have such facilities that’s why during desperate times, people do end up taking risks just to get the essential things. Through ‘deFreshBox’, we wanted to help and assist the needy ones as we all are going through this tough phase,” said Nivedita who’s got an MBA degree to her name before venturing out in the world of entrepreneurship.
Moumita Bhattacharjee, Co-Founder, deFreshBox added, “We are thrilled to bring deFreshBox out for people of this town. We realized the need for such a solution during the lockdown and decided to go ahead with it. We are observing many great innovation brewing in our town currently, we would like to be part of Silchar’s growth story, creating opportunities for the local people, while providing world class service to the end consumers. To begin with, we have invested in market and technological R&D to understand the pain point of grocery shopping and provide a simple, safe and accessible solution.”
Since the first lockdown hit us in March 2020, many such e-commerce start-ups have spurred across the country to make purchases and business activities run smoothly and risk-free despite suffering the Covid setback. Further adding, she said, “Although we started our work last year already, officially ‘deFreshBox’ got inaugurated quite recently. And till now, we haven’t needed any support from any investor, it’s all me and my partner. Though in future, we’d very much welcome any investor who could help us expand it further in the coming days.”
The deFreshBox company is already live with a dedicated website and an app for smartphones for interested customers to get access to.”
defreshBox also offers free home delivery services for orders above Rs 250, something which is barely heard before in Barak valley. Talking about this, Nivedita said, “Even if you go to buy basic grocery stuff, you’ll end up paying Rs. 40-50 extra for merely transporting your goods. And then there’s this risk of Covid protocol getting violated in crowded places. We wanted to mitigate that. That’s why we decided to keep the selling price a bit lower than the MRP and if one orders above Rs. 250, the delivery charges also get nullified. This was done only to motivate people more to stay home and buy their necessary items while staying at home only. If that means, our profit margin is almost zero, so be it.”
Nivedita also added, saying, “I have been fortunate enough to run multiple businesses in this geography, and our market research has proved my belief that Silchar is truly ready for necessary innovation like deFreshBox. We are currently bootstrapped and plan to expand across North East soon.” She also said that apart from taking orders through their website and smartphone app, they also take orders through messaging service WhatsApp, as aged people usually aren’t that well versed in handling apps or browsing through the web.