Power of I 2019

Ninja Power

Like the covert Japanese warriors, this start-up works in the shadows, setting right a broken supply-chain

RA Chandroo

Once known as one of the most ‘happening’ places in Bengaluru for its buzzing atmosphere, Kalasipalyam or ‘city market’ is like most wholesale markets — crowded and chaotic. Fruit and vegetable vendors trying to outshout each other is how the market welcomes any unsuspecting visitor. Only a seasoned buyer will dare to scout around for the best deal. In 2015, the market attracted two observers who weren’t buying or selling anything, but they had a reason. Sharath Loganathan and Vasudevan Chinnathambi would head to the market daily, before dawn, to take in the proceedings and find answers to their exhaustive list of questions — on the quality of produce, prices of the products, change in pricing during the day, buying patterns, typical order size and many more.  

The team — which included Thirukumaran Nagarajan, Ashutosh Vikram, Kartheeswaran KK — put all the answers to work immediately, that same year. They devised a tech-based platform, which relied on data and predictive learning, called Ninjacart to fix a ‘broken’ supply chain. By sourcing directly from farmers and selling to kiranas and retail stores, Ninjacart is eliminating the need for middlemen and giving a huge cost advantage to both parties. Today, it is the largest B2B fresh-produce supply chain company in the country.

“We have built a tech product that forecasts demand and enables us to make the purchase accordingly. Our accuracy in prediction has moved from 80% to 97% in the past four years (based on stock clearance). Our platform also segregates produce and plans the delivery route to ensure minimal cost,” says Thirukumaran, co-founder and CEO, who spoke with Outlook Business at Ninjacart’s HSR Layout office in Bengaluru.

Over a short span, Ninjacart has been able to scale up its operations significantly. Today, it wo

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