Ever so often, standing in those seemingly motionless queues of tired looking people awaiting their turn to pay the price of their crime of wanting to shop in a 'mall', I have silently screamed for a dependable online grocery store. Just to avoid those never ending queues around cash counters. With Mumbai becoming more and more Internet savvy by the day, this is a service Mumbai actually needed at least 5 years ago. Seriously. But I'm glad that finally someone has taken a chance with this idea and it is actually taking shape. Local Banya to the rescue! LocalBanya.com is Mumbai's first online grocery store. The store offers great discounts on all products (yes, you read that right) and free delivery service across the city. Started by friends Karan, Rashi and Amit, this local online grocery service was launched recently, on May 8th. The 3 full time banyas have, between them, expertise in running an FMCG distribution business, managing retail plus creating and marketing a great online product. It is small wonder then that they found Local Banya "doable" during one of their casual conversations. It was a matter of time before the three of them decided "they had to do it now" and the website went live. While the concept of an online grocery store is something that most of us living in Mumbai might have spoken or thought about, putting one together and actually making it work takes a lot of effort and organising. It took the trio a good long year to meticulously plan and finally launch Local Banya this month. And their efforts paid off well! Within just a couple of weeks of launch, the website has gained a lot of popularity and the founders had to increase their team size to a solid 30 already to meet customers orders. Local Banya's philosophy is simple, 'know your customers better to serve them better'. And they practice what they preach by going the extra mile. Whether its their endearing fake moustache wearing banyas that make the grocery deliveries or offering unbeatable rates on the most common household items like onions, potatoes, mixers and toiletries, Local Banya's grasp of the customer's pulse is apparent by the great response they have received for all their marketing efforts. Just like the your friendly neighborhood banya, Local Banya aims to be "lovable and personal, yet reliable and convenient". Their philosophy became clearer on hearing their response to my question about how they see Local Banya evolving in the future and what more customers could expect? "LocalBanya's primary value proposition will always be driven by our customers. Our product selection, delivery specifics and great deals will always be triggered by the customer. We are anxious to learn how better we can serve our customers, and excited to adapt to them" the team shared. What I found most remarkable about Local Banya is that the team of young entrepreneurs have decided to the positively bring in the one thing that our Indian marketplace sorely lacs - a genuine care and concern for the paying customer. For example, Local Banya has a great offer for customers every week from selling vegetables as low as Rs. 3 a kg to offering 25% off on juices this summer. What's different here is that unlike any other store, you can pay and then schedule your delivery of products as per your convenience, not necessarily as you pay. And in one of their weekly offers they are actually letting the customers decide which products they would like deals on. As a digital customer, to me that's more exciting than getting Rs 5 off on raw wheat or Rs 10 off on floor disinfectants. Currently Local Banya does not take orders on phone and all orders need to be placed thorugh their website. You can get more information about their products and deals from their Facebook and Twitter pages as well. I look forward to their mobile app, would be great to order on the go. Local Banya, are you listening? Being greedy, am I? Heard of something new happening in Mumbai that we should cover? Tell us below in comments or write to us at [email protected] We would love to hear from you.