How Doodhwala Tapped into Urban India’s Need for Subscription Based Milk & Grocery Delivery

There is a shift in urban India’s shopping preferences, consumers prefer easy, well priced and less time consuming shopping alternatives. Doodhwala has monetized this convenience that consumers are seeking by providing an app based subscription model. With online grocery delivery market expected to grow at 55% through 2021, the future of online grocery shopping is subscription shopping and Doodhwala is amongst the few leading this phenomenon.

The modern Doodhwala in India is your new age milkman. It’s a subscription based app that offering fresh produce such as milk, dairy, fruits and vegetables in a single morning slot. Doodhwala, with inception in 2015, has seen a phenomenal growth within three years, becoming India’s largest last mile milk e-tailer registering 1.3 million to 15 million transactions a month. Doodhwala is present in Bangalore, Pune and Hyderabad.

This easy fresh milk and daily essentials subscription service provides the convenience that hypermarkets and traditional e-commerce websites fail to offer. The latter options fulfil a user’s top-up needs, but fall short of offering a convenient subscription model for repeated and ad-hoc purchase of one’s daily essentials. Early morning delivery of milk and groceries brings with it a distinctive value of ‘fresh food’ for consumers. That’s where Doodhwala adds value and becomes a must have app for perishable purchases.

“On the supply side, we are remodeling one of India’s largest, vital, yet most fragmented market, the milk market. With Doodhwala’s advantage of pre-charted routes and planned morning delivery slots, our logistics run like a well-oiled machine” says Ebrahim Akbari. Its subscription model helps predict routes, inventory which are huge advantages from a supply-chain aspect and its model is tailored as per these factors.

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Start of the journey

One late night, the now co-founders of Doodhwala, Aakash Agarwal and Ebrahim Akbari were working on a business project and eating cereal with milk, and eventually they ran out of milk. There was no way one could get access to milk but, and this was the time in Bangalore when we had an app for almost everything -food, dating, plumber, laundry, groceries and list was endless. But, for milk one had to follow the traditional ways of buying it.

That was the eureka moment – ‘why isn’t there an app for milk’. Before starting their venture, a detailed analysis was performed on milk consumers in India.

They learnt that consumers were looking for better ways to find good quality and also good variety of milk with hassle free delivery options. They wanted a punctual, cost effective, and a non-traditional milkman.

Ebrahim Akbari, co-founder, Doodhwala says “We often say that the next big supply chain case study in India after the Mumbai Dabbawalas will be us – the Doodhwalas, who are galvanising and empowering farmers, dairy cooperatives, milkmen and creating an efficient web of digital milk deliveries.”

Future plans

The future holds promising developments. Doodhwala has led the online milk revolution until now with the largest sales, consumer outreach and geographical footprint. It’s entered the next phase of rapid growth. The second white revolution is on it’s way and Doodhwala intends to define it.

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