Hari Menon is the co-founder and CEO of BigBasket, India’s largest online grocery shopping portal and mobile app.
Before BigBasket, Hari worked in different capacities - as CEO of Indiaskills, a vocational educational joint venture between Manipal Group and City & Guilds, UK; and as a business head with Wipro.
He also launched one of the first e-commerce portals in India, Fabmart, in 1999, which served as a tech run of sorts for BigBasket. Today, BigBasket is the fifth largest grocery in the country after offline giants D-Mart, Reliance, Big Bazaar, and More.
Born and brought up in Mumbai, he now calls Bangalore home. He holds a bachelor’s degree from BITS, Pilani and an MBA from Carnegie Mellon University.
BigBasket is Hari’s second time in the e-commerce space. His first internet venture, Fabmart, with BigBasket co-founders VS Sudhakar, Vipul Parekh, Abhinay Choudhari and V.S. Ramesh was a site that sold cassettes, books, jewellery toys and games, in the early aughts.
Ahead of its time in the dial-up era where the internet user base was low, the company quickly pivoted to a brick and mortar model, renamed Fabmall. It merged with another physical retailer and was later acquired by a larger conglomerate, with the founders cashing out completely by 2006.
With a wealth of experience between them, well-learnt lessons for the dotcom bust and a technology-first focus, Hari and his partners got their timing and approach right and launched BigBasket for smartphone-savvy urban Indians in 2011.
Today, the company’s enterprise value is pegged at over Rs. 13,500 crore.
Hari shares his story with Accel partner Anand Daniel on how he disrupted the grocery segment in India on the #INSIGHTSPodcast2019 series.
You can listen to the episode here.
“You can raise capital, but if you don’t have the ecosystem to support you, the business essentially doesnt thrive.”