The office of Aaram Bazar shopping portal in Ranchi on Tuesday. (Hardeep Singh)
You can get a Dior perfume at a click, but peeli dal or diapers?
Online grocery shopping is a miracle solution for the capital’s net-savvy yuppies — working supermoms too busy to pick up atta, cool singletons who wouldn’t be caught dead shopping for dal-chawal at the mall, newly-married couples who’d rather book a Sunday dinner than buy household essentials.
Aaram Bazar or aarambazar.in, the first-of-its-kind online grocery shopping mart in Ranchi, has made the lives of local residents easy. One click of the mouse saves trips to the local kirana or navigate trolleys at overcrowded malls.
Ashish Khemka, director of Kishlay Agrovet and Biotech Limited, who introduced online grocery shop Aaram Bazar on the lines of AaramShop, a well-known portal catering mainly to Delhi-NCR region, said his venture had a low-key launch in October 2012 but picked up through word-of-mouth publicity.
“We enroll members who shop online. Membership is mandatory but free. Right now, we have over 500 members who do their entire monthly grocery shopping as well as extras from us,” Khemka said.
It shows Ranchi is opening up.
Soitali, an executive with Axis Bank, feels the online store is a blessing.
“Every month, we wasted at least one Sunday buying grocery and household stuff. We had no time for ourselves. Aarambazar has changed that.”
Patricia Carroll, who works with BSNL, said Aaram Bazar was the new-age woman’s best friend. “We have a million things to multi-task. But online grocery shopping has taken care of one major tension. We don’t have to carry household shopping lists to work.”
Aaram Bazar has scored brownie points with entrepreneur Vinita Malhotra for another reason. “My work entails a lot of travel. Earlier, in my absence, I used to feel guilty if my kids called me for some item that wasn’t at home, say, even biscuits. Now, I bag it online knowing it will be delivered at home,” Vinita said.
It is no surprise that Soitali, Patricia and Vinita sound like advertisements for Aaram Bazar.
Working women were the first to try it. Then they told others.
Now, even young homemakers are hooked.
“It’s really time-saving,” said net-savvy homemaker Joyita Bagchi. “For me, Sunday is for family bonding. Why should I waste it on grocery shopping?” she asked.
She added that all these years she knew that asking her husband to accompany her to shop for groceries was a punishment for him. “He’s happy too,” she grinned.
Users added that delivery was a big plus.
Aaram Bazar does not take shipping charges or two days for delivery.
“Home delivery is free, but orders should be above Rs 500. We make delivery on the same day if products have been ordered between 9am and 1pm. Items ordered between 3pm and 8pm are delivered next morning, before noon,” smiled Khemka.
He added that they were looking for ways to improve their services.
“Keeping in mind customer needs, we will start vegetable and fruit sections in March,” Khemka said. “Also, watch out for Aaram Bazar in Bokaro and Jamshedpur this year.”