e-Commerce, Delivery and Logistics

Vishal Retail Ltd. is one of the largest Departmental Stores chains in the country. Recently acquired by a consortium comprising of leading private equity group TPG and the Shriram Group, it has grown phenomenally and today records an annual turnover of over INR 1200 crores ($200M) with 120 plus stores spread across the country. Vishal operates in the Multi-Brand Retail format and includes FMCG, Grocery, Household, General Merchandise, Food & Non-Food verticals. Vishal today is on a fast paced expansion phase and is eyeing to increase its presence across the region.

Vishal Mega Mart, India’s trusted retail stores is now online to ensure a relaxed and convenient shopping experience for its ever expanding customers. From being a leading One-Stop-Shop for more than two decades, Vishal Mega Mart brings ‘Surprising fashion at friendly prices’ and continues to offer ‘Value for Money’ across grocery and household products.

Challenge

Vishal Retail Ltd. was undergoing a corporate restructuring following the sale of its assets by its principal shareholder to private equity group TPG Capital and the Shriram Group. The new buyers were investing heavily into the company to turn around the business and take advantage of new market opportunities. Going online was key to reaching a wider audience. The 100 plus brick and mortar store network as well as an established sourcing and procurement backend made it a compelling proposition to build an online business.

  • Which e-Commerce platform is ideal for an Indian grocery/FMCG retailer given the regulatory and infrastructure bottlenecks in the country?
  • Which platform had a competitive upfront acquisition cost and provided freedom from vendor lock-in hassles?
  • The choice of a service provider who can customize the platform according to Vishal’s unique needs, a partner with deep retail-centric knowledge in addition to solid technical skills.

Solution

  • Solveda’s in-house engineered BigFish Platform was already a tried and tested Commerce Platform for multi-brand retail initiatives
  • BigFish is available as an open source package on an Apache License making it free from any vendor lock-in hassles
  • The ready to go platform available with limited upfront acquisition cost was ideal from a TCO and time to deploy perspective
  • The core commerce engine was developed on BigFish with custom features built around order management, delivery and multi-product browsing options
  • Integrating their Existing ERP (SAP) to BigFish for Price, Inventory and Sales Information
  • Providing an interface for Vishal’s business stakeholders to manage inventory, pricing, promotion campaigns, without deep technical involvement

Results

  • Competitive total cost of ownership: BigFish is an open source suite that is available for download free. Solveda has a repository of custom templates and modules that can be built into the platform for specific business processes. This significantly reduces the development effort and therefore the overall cost of building the solution.
  • Enterprise Integration: One of the primary concerns for first time retailers going from a pure play brick and mortar business to the online world is interoperability of systems. BigFish is built on Apache’s OFBiz project and is free from vendor lock-ins. It provides seamless integration interfaces for some of the leading enterprise systems.