Seeing the prospects of growing demand for quality seafood in India, Amazon plans to supply fresh seafood to consumers in major cities and establish a strong supply chain.
New Delhi: Talking about the need of owning the seafood supply chain in India, Rajesh K Prasad, Head of Fresh Food categories, Amazon India said the company will cover all major cities in next few years by ensuring consistent supply of fresh and quality seafood to consumers.
Speaking at India’s first virtual aqua expo, Smart Aqua Expo India 2021 in February 2021, Prasad said that retailers need partners who understand product specifications, who knows the customer quality requirements and supply chain well.
“The key change most of the retailers are trying to do is figuring out the best possible way to engage the farmers and with the fishermen. What will work for the big retailers is to have partners across source locations with credible supply chain solution, which is a big challenge today. If the processors along the coastline who are dealing in seafood and fish step in and try to understand the requirements of retailers’ vis-à-vis customers, there is a huge opportunity,’ says Prasad.
‘Consumers do not find the right fish every day, sometime it is good and sometimes it is not. The inconsistency in the supply of fresh fish and prawn to the consumers is a major challenge,’ added Prasad.
India’s domestic seafood market is growing at a fast rate with entry of tech-enabled go to customer companies. These companies have become venture capitalist favorite in last one and half years.
“Because of the challenges of freshness, traceability and quality, it is difficult to manage the supply chain. What is happening traditionally is every owner at each step of supply chain of the product is passing the ownership to the next one in the supply chain, leading to disruptions,” said Prasad.
“There are very good growers, they grow right kind of fish, prawn and seafood but they do not find consumers. However, the actual challenges is that consumers do not have what they want despite such growers. Customer want their fish to be fresh, cleaned up, cut and packed well delivered to them, this gap is existing. Though we see this narrowing down rapidly with growth of various online retail players,” said Prasad.
“Going forward technology will play a pivotal role, time and temperature can be controlled to maintain the freshness. The freshness is good in and around where the produce is grown, we need to ensure it reaches customers,” added Prasad.
Sharing his experience, Prasad said, “We do phenomenal work in non-food segments, serving to our customers in almost 99.9% of the pin codes. We are setting up our grocery business and vision to be the largest grocer in India. Fresh food categories are at the core of grocery and by far most complicated to execute. How do you take it right to the customers, how do you make it ready for the customer. We are solving it. Being a technology company, we are leading with technology and not only for our customers but across the chain until our fishermen partners.”
In last 1 year, Amazon has seen 20 percent jump in first time online customers, mainly from tier II and III cities of India. 65% of all the orders and over 85% of new customers are from tier II and III cities of India.
Amazon’s grocery as a category is available across 300 cities. ‘Amazon Fresh’, which has been integrated with ‘Amazon Pantry’ program to create “an online express delivery store”, operates in top 10 cities and plans, is to reach top 50 cities. In rest of 290 cities ‘Amazon Pantry’, continues to service customers.
Over 60 percent of new customers in last 1 year were from tier II and III cities. The overall customer base and new customers on Amazon’s two grocery platforms ‘Amazon Fresh’ and ‘Amazon Pantry’ doubled in just 1 year. Grocery as a category grew “more than 2X” and served as a gateway for customers to Amazon.in.
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