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 grocer 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.
The BigBasket Story
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, jewelry toys, and games, in the early aughts.
Ahead of its time in the dial-up era when 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-learned lessons from the dot-com 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.
The BigBasket Journey
- 2011: Launches in Bangalore
- 2015: Ropes in actor Shah Rukh Khan as brand ambassador
- 2016: Expands to 8 major Indian cities
- 2019: $150 million in investments received from Mirae, Alibaba Group, and CDC
- 2020: Acquisition of micro-delivery firm DailyNinja, 5 million registered customers, expands to 26 cities
- 2021: Tata Digital buys 64% stake in BigBasket
Awards & Recognition
- Consumer Internet Company of the Year, VC Circle 2016
- Best Online Grocer, Coca Cola Golden Spoon Awards, 2016
- Best Retail and E-commerce App of the Year, AWS Mobility Awards, 2017
- Vice President & Head - Business Strategy ENU SBUVice President & Head - Business Strategy ENU SBU, Apr 2018 - Present
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.”
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