The co-founder and CEO of BigBasket, the biggest mobile app and online grocery store in India, is Hari Menon.
Before joining BigBasket, Hari held several positions, including CEO of Indiaskills, a joint venture between Manipal Group and City & Guilds, UK, and business head at Wipro.
In 1999, he also introduced Fabmart, one of the country’s earliest e-commerce websites, which acted as a type of trial run for BigBasket. Today, BigBasket ranks behind offline goliaths D-Mart, Reliance, Big Bazaar, and More as the fifth-largest grocery chain in the nation.
He was raised in Mumbai and now resides in Bangalore. He graduated from BITS Pilani with a bachelor’s degree and earned an MBA from Carnegie Mellon University.
The BigBasket Story
Hari had previously worked in the e-commerce sector before BigBasket. His first online business, Fabmart, was launched in the early 2000s and sold cassettes, books, jewelry, toys, and games alongside BigBasket co-founders VS Sudhakar, Vipul Parekh, Abhinay Choudhari, and V.S. Ramesh.
The company immediately switched to a physical and retail approach and changed its name to Fabmall, being ahead of its time in the dial-up period when the number of internet users was low. The founders cashed out by 2006 after it joined with another physical retailer and was eventually acquired by a larger conglomerate.
With a plethora of combined experience, knowledge gained from the dot-com bust, and a technology-first mindset, Hari and his partners established BigBasket in 2011 for urban Indians who were familiar with smartphones.
The enterprise value of the business is currently estimated to be about Rs. 13,500 crores.
The BigBasket Journey
Launched in Bangalore in 2011; appointed Shah Rukh Khan as brand ambassador in 2015; and expanded to 8 significant Indian cities in 2016.
In 2019, investments totaling $150 million were made by CDC, Alibaba Group, and Mirae.
2020: DailyNinja, a micro delivery company, is acquired; it has 5 million registered consumers and is expanding to 26 cities.
2021 will see Tata Digital acquire a 64% stake in BigBasket.
In the #INSIGHTSPodcast2019 series, Hari talks about how he revolutionized the grocery market in India alongside Accel partner Anand Daniel.
“You can get finance, but without the ecosystem to support you, the firm doesn’t grow,” the speaker said.