Having crossed Rs 200 cr in revenue, the social enterprise is ready to deploy its proprietary self-checkout technology platform ‘SunnyBee Selfie’ that was an outcome of the COVID-19 crisis, says Sanjay Dasari, Co-Founder in an interaction with DTNext.
The pandemic opened up an opportunity for the city-based enterprise to pilot its innovative solution. “Our focus was on simplifying the shopping experience. We have developed a 100 per cent contactless system that allows a smooth check-out, considering the social distancing norms that have come into play,” he said, noting its tech team came out with this functionality based on search record application, within ten days.
While the first lockdown period saw essentials flying off the shelves, the demand shifted to general food products thereafter. “People have got accustomed to lockdowns and we saw they are experimental as they have moved beyond the essential categories,” Dasari said, adding the fresh-food and grocery focused entity’s aim is to provide something for everyone, with its wide array of products. WayCool’s clutch of brands include L’Exotique, Freshey’s, Shuddha, Madhuram, Dhaanyaa, KitchenJi, covering the entire gamut of fruits, staples, beverages, dairy products and ready-to-cook kitchen ingredients.
Present also in Coimbatore, Bengaluru and Hyderabad, WayCool is ready to go beyond south. Sourcing through a network of 35,000 farmers, Dasari said the relationship with this community is not transactional but grown based on requirements. “We source from Kashmir to down south. We are building a base in Madhya Pradesh,” he said, recalling the efforts to scale up. “When we were at zero, we approached farmers with small requests, but realised they were looking for truck-load consignments,” Dasari points out, citing how the first category of onions had been nurtured into an expansive portfolio of produce. The entrepreneur said 85 per cent of the sourcing is from farms and the venture now strives to scale up to enrol five lakh farmers into its fold within five years. “We have weathered the storm well, having met our commitments. We have retained our relationships and await to see how the next couple of months’ play out,” Dasari said, dwelling on the 25 to 40 per cent net income assurance it gave to farmers. WayCool, which has raised funds from investors like IndusInd Bank, Northern Arc Capital, Caspian Capital and Lightbox, is scouting for acquisitions that can offer it access to new technologies, products or geographies.