From the desk of Mr. Manav Suri, COO, SAF
The fresh produce industry has seen a drastic shift towards digital technologies over the past few years. The Fresh Produce Industry is one of the most dynamic industries. With the pandemic hitting the world, redefining wholesale and retail operating models became imperative.
One such step in that direction is the launch of the SAF Green App by Suri Agro Fresh. Suri Agro Fresh seeks to digitize the wholesale business. The new SAF Green app provides a one-stop shop for wholesalers and single-store retailers and provides price transparency. SAF is a leading fresh produce distributor-marketer and a pioneer in leading the digital transformation in the Fresh Produce Industry.
Suri Agro Fresh is a fourth-generation fresh fruit and vegetable business. We have been buying and selling fruit for ages. We’ve invested a lot in our distribution infrastructure, but we realized something was missing. Moving onto the app brings all our customers onto one single platform.
What does it mean?
It means lesser dependency on the resellers and individual buyers to sell the produce. We want to be an active marketplace where all buyers can access our produce. The vision is to enable everyone to see the latest updates and availability of products. For wholesalers and one-shop vendors, buying their fresh fruits via an app represents a significant shift from existing purchasing methods.
How are we doing it?
We launched SAF Green App in the Delhi-National Capital Region on 15 January 2022. It enables vendors such as wholesalers and one-shop owners to order directly from the application. The move is part of the SAF mission to modernize wholesale fresh fruit distribution in India and to provide supply chain transparency.
The challenges we faced
One of the key challenges was to motivate the stakeholders to download the application and get used to it. The task of swimming against the tide of age-old practices of placing orders through phone calls and messages was never easy.
Benefits for stakeholders
One of the key attractions of using the app for buyers is rapid delivery through an integrated cold chain. We deliver within 24 hours to one-stop shop owners’ doorsteps. Any delivery outside a 5 km radius gets dispatched in a refrigerated vehicle. That is better for the customer because they don’t have to come and pick up their orders. Also, the product arrives in good condition with minimal fruit loss. It also helps the farmer to achieve better returns. Another significant benefit is price transparency. There are standard prices for different kinds of customers. Users are required to register their business on the application according to category. For instance, one-shop owners would buy a small
number of boxes, while wholesalers would buy thousands. They’ve then displayed a different type of pricing according to what business they are.” By providing transparency from farmer to consumer, the app also forms part of Suri Agro’s broader focus on social and environmental responsibility
It is not just about buying and selling and making a margin out of a particular transaction. It is about giving back to society. We have ensured all our facilities are solar powered, and we have invested in eco-friendly packaging as well.
As of March, more than 1,600 customers had signed up to use SAF Green. We achieved revenue of Rs100m (US$1.3m) in just over 50 days. Suri Agro plans to launch SAF Green in Mumbai and Bangalore this year. The overall vision is to establish a national footprint for the application.