Udaan-Building an Alternative Distribution Network for Small & Medium Businesses

Udaan-Building an Alternative Distribution Network for Small & Medium Businesses
Case Code: OPER149
Case Length: 10 Pages
Period: 2016-2021
Pub Date: 2021
Teaching Note: Available
Price: Rs.250
Organization : Udaan
Industry :Transport & Logistics
Countries : India
Themes: Digital Marketplace,Logistics & Supply Chain,Disruption,Unicorns
Udaan-Building an Alternative Distribution Network for Small & Medium Businesses
Abstract Case Intro 1 Case Intro 2 Excerpts


The case study, ‘Udaan – Building an Alternative Distribution Network for Small & Medium Businesses’, describes how three ex-Flipsters (Flipkart employees) came together in 2016 to establish Udaan as an alternative distribution network for millions of small and medium businesses across the Indian sub-continent. The case then focuses on the business model developed by Udaan that used a ‘first-principles approach’.

The case touches upon several long-standing issues that have been plaguing the Indian B2B retail market, like lack of inclusive credit financing and unreliable last mile delivery services. The company sought to address the various needs of all the players in the B2B value chain by offering a full stack B2B mobile platform that comprised several features, services, and tools designed to plug the various issues in the B2B market and consequently streamline the business transactions of retailers, wholesalers, manufacturers, and importers. These included an easy-to-use trading platform; easy availability of finance products; secure payment collection services and facilities; a low-cost yet efficient distribution network; demand and supply prediction tools, and a chat service on its mobile application.

The case finally touches upon the various future plans of Udaan which include expanding the number of categories on its website, expanding its distribution network across India, and leveraging historical and real-time data and data processing tools to predict demand and supply of agricultural produce.


The case is structured to achieve the following teaching objectives:

  • Understand the importance of identifying pain-points and offering solutions using digital, Internet, and mobile technologies.
  • Become aware of the long-standing problems faced by the smaller retailers and suppliers.
  • Examine the role of trust among channel members in a distribution channel.
  • Learn how digital technologies can be applied to democratize traditional business systems in India.
  • Analyze the pros and cons of multiple funding rounds in a short period.



Logistics, Supply chain; B2B marketing; Distribution; Procurement management; Platform model; Digital disruption; E-commerce business models; Technology in retailing; Channel relationships; Value chain; Channel management; Lending; Payments; B2B analytics; Price Discovery

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