Ninjacart-Disrupting Fresh Produce Supply Chain in India

Case Code: LDEN179
Case Length: 20 Pages
Period: 2015-2021
Pub Date: 2022
Teaching Note: Available
Price: Rs.300
Organization : Ninjakart
Industry : Agriculture & Forestry
Countries : India
Themes: Entrepreneurship, Business Models, Business Environment, Supply Chain Management
Global Economic Impact of Coronavirus – Assessment and Mitigation (B)
Abstract Case Intro 1 Case Intro 2 Excerpts


Challenges of Agriculture Supply Chain

The supply chains of different agricultural commodities in India were beset with issues arising from the inherent problems of the agriculture sector in the country. The agriculture supply chain ecosystem of India was determined by various issues such as dominance of marginal and small farmers, absence of scale economies, fragmented supply chains, multiple intermediaries, and lack of transparency and traceability, low level of processing/value addition, and shortage of marketing infrastructure..

Inception of Ninjacart

Thirukumaran Nagarajan (Nagarajan), an IIM Kozhikode alumnus and serial entrepreneur, had founded 6 startups including a Biryani cloud kitchen and a coaching academy before zeroing in on the concept of Ninjacart. Although his first 6 companies did not succeed, Nagarajan refused to give up and kept marching ahead from one idea to another..

Growth and Development of Ninjacart From 2015 To 2018

Ninjacart began helping kirana stores, supermarkets, and standalone shops to buy fresh fruits and vegetables, staples, and FMCG goods at cheap prices directly from farmers and independent brands. All services were offered through their online portal, and also through an Android app. In a short span of two months, the company supplied over 15 tons of vegetables and fruits daily to more than 120 retailers in Bengaluru, clocking monthly revenue of INR12 million, and was operationally cash positive..

Ninjacart’s Partnership with Flipkart

In December 2019, Indian e-commerce giant Flipkart, along with its parent company Walmart, the multinational retail corporation, jointly invested an undisclosed amount in Ninjacart. The investment in this startup was in line with Flipkart’s efforts to go hyperlocal in different segments. Speaking on the investment made in Ninjacart, Kalyan Krishnamurthy, CEO, Flipkart Group, stated..

Ninjacart’s Initiatives to Help Farmers During Covid-19 Pandemic

The ongoing health crisis around COVID-19 had affected all walks of life. Protecting the lives of people suffering from the disease as well as frontline health responders was the priority of countries. Governments swung into action since the COVID-19 pandemic created an unmatched crisis. India declared a three-week nation-wide lockdown in the initial phase till mid-April 2020. This was subsequently extended to ensure satisfactory containment of the COVID-19 virus spread..

Challenges and Issues

Ninjacart faced many challenges in its journey to become one of the leading AgriTech companies in India. It initially planned to scale up to 50 tons of fruits and vegetables but could not do it. Ninjacart faced challenges in scaling up the business. Speaking about the problems in scaling up the business in 2019..

Future Outlook

Nevertheless, Ninjacart was preparing for a future that would be driven by data and predictive models. “We have a database of around 40 different markets in terms of the arrivals, supply, price, etc. In future, we can predict the prices of vegetables and fruits, and production output,” noted Nagarajan..


Exhibit I: Challenges in Agriculture Supply Chain in India
Exhibit II: Investors and Findings of Ninjacart

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