When Superlum’s Shobhit Gupta found out that India, despite being an agricultural powerhouse blessed with endless fields and farmlands is a net importer of fruit, he was shocked. While vegetables, spices, and other produce travel fairly well, fruits are far more perishable and India’s lack of cold chain delivery means many ripen, and then spoil, way before they can get from farm to table.
Currently present in Delhi- NCR and Bengaluru, Superplum has created a modern procurement system and supply chain to ensure smooth operations in the fresh-fruit market. Having created a fully digitised farm-to-store supply chain, Superplum offers seasonal, fresh fruits that are lab tested for pesticides and chemicals. The company has over 300 stores in Delhi NCR and Bengaluru, including the likes of Spar, Natures Basket, Reliance, and local retail stores.
Consumers can buy online from their website, their app, or sites such as Amazon, and check what fruits are in stock at the local stores. Gupta, who previously worked and lived in San Francisco and Silicon Valley, was always struck by the difference in quality of the produce available at supermarkets and at farms saying, “I started doing research and speaking to people over here and identified two key issues: a lack of farm infrastructure and limited cold chain supply chains.” The Noida-headquartered Superplum, which has been backed by Silicon Valley’s most notable investors including Flipkart’s Binny Bansal, is addressing these issues by building what they say will be India’s most sophisticated supply chain for fresh produce. The company works with farmers to ensure product quality right from the source.
“We had already travelled across India, finding and forming relationships with farmers and orchard-owners, and launched weeks before the lockdown was announced.We have identified 70 clusters across 15 states wherein we source directly from farmers. Fruit orchards are larger than farms, and we have tied up with 220 so far,” says Gupta, noting that the brand has managed to source and deliver 20 kinds of fresh fruits. Superplum encourages farmers to adopt international standards of sorting and grading, and has built a network of farm level procurement centres where modern fruits management systems are being introduced. Hopefully, they shall bear fruit.