CHENNAI: The Covid-induced lockdown has adversely affected many, but it has facilitated brisk business for online meat-selling startups. Before the Covid outbreak, people loved to visit roadside meat and seafood shops to buy fresh products, but thanks to the lockdown and the risk of contracting the disease, the demand reduced, and many vendors even left the business as unsold meat added to their losses. However, the story has been different for online sellers.
Fipola, a Chennai-based online meat and seafood retail service, has witnessed a boom in its sales during the lockdown. The company had reported significant growth during last year’s lockdown, but this year’s sales, during the current lockdown, have surpassed all previous figures.
“In pre-Covid times, we generated a revenue of Rs 1.5 crore per month, and the figure rose to `4.5 crore per month during last year’s lockdown. Interestingly, after the implementation of the lockdown this year, our revenue soared to Rs 7 crore per month,” said Sushil Kanugolu, Fipola’s managing director.
To cater to the rising demand, the company has chalked up massive expansion plans. Last year, Fipola had 12 stores in Chennai. The number has now increased to 18, and by the end of this month, six more stores are set to come up in the city. The company also plans to venture into tier II cities, such as Coimbatore and Vellore, soon. Tendercuts, another player in the market, has a similar tale. It witnessed a 500 per cent increase in business during the current lockdown, and expects further growth.
“Chennai consumes meat worth `250-300 crore every month and the unorganised sector used to cater to 95 per cent of this demand. There is a huge potential for us to grow and cater to the needs of customers,” said Nishanth Chandran, founder and CEO of Tendercuts. On peak business days, Tendercuts receives over 15,000 orders a day. To meet the rising demand, Tendercuts recently opened four new stores in Chennai.