MachiMarket: Adios Smelly Fish Markets, Hello Doorstep Delivery

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Pomphrets

My family might get comfortable with idea of Sunday as a working day, but Sunday afternoon lunch without fish? No saiba, never! It’s almost a state of melancholy at home when we don’t get good fish on Sunday and have to make do with dal-rice and dried mackerel. My mom is often the one buying fish for home and off late, she detests the trip to dirty, smelly markets. The summer heat is not helping either.

Ajay Verma, founder, MachiMarket
Ajay Verma, founder, MachiMarket.com

Few days ago, I came across a suggested page on Facebook, MachiMarket, a fish delivery service launched in Mumbai. (Whoa, Facebook knows me well now!!) I went through the page and loved the idea of someone delivering fresh fish to my doorstep . I couldn’t resist liking and sharing the page with my other friends but I also felt that every fish lover should hear about this ‘noble’ cause. I discussed the idea with my editor Garima and she loved it too! (Even though she is a vegetarian). I contacted Ajay Verma, the founder of MachiMarket to know more and here is an excerpt of an email interview.

Pomphrets
Pomphrets

When was MachiMarket launched? What made you start MachiMarket.com?
MachiMarket.com was started in September 2012. There are many chores involved in buying fish; from going to a smelly fish market to getting a fair price and then cleaning the fish. My idea was to make buying fish a pleasurable experience. Hence MachiMarket.com was launched. The first order was from Toronto, by a person who wanted to gift fish to his aging parents in Chembur. It was a very sentimental and a joyous start and then there was no looking back.

What was the biggest challenge you faced when you started out?
Fish is among the most perishable commodity; delivering and standing tall on our brand promise of ‘Fresh Fish’ was the biggest challenge. We source the best fish available and maintain a cold chain till we deliver the fish. Managing logistics was the other.

Rohu, fresh water fish
Rohu, fresh water fish

What was the best advice you received when you started out?
The best advice we received was not to start online payment and collect cash on delivery. This was the key advice from one of our team members. We were embarking on a journey to change the age-old behavior of buying fish from the market. First we wanted people to get used to the idea that they can get fresh fish delivered at home through us. And COD helped in initiating trials among people who were later confident that the system works.

What do you think is your biggest asset?
Our customers. They are very understanding, appreciative and very forgiving.

From where do you source the fresh fish? How do you store and then deliver on ground?
We get the fresh fish from the fish trawlers and docks of Mumbai. We deliver only fresh fish. Hence we don’t store it. All orders received the previous day are delivered by noon. We cut, clean and pack as per the instructions and deliver them fresh.

Sea Crab
Sea Crab

Do you think local fishmongers are a healthy competition to your business? How do you plan to tackle that?
The local fish markets are definitely competition since it is perceived that they have fresh fish. We want to own that space. Our prices are about 20% cheaper than the local market and 35% cheaper than the fish available in malls.

Where is the office and how big is your team?
We run the operations from Andheri and our team includes four passionate members.

What was the biggest compliment/comment you received for this new venture?
“Why did you not think of it earlier?”

Katla, a fresh water fish
Katla, a fresh water fish

Resources no bar if there is one thing that you could enhance about your business what would it be?
We want to grow horizontally and vertically. As for now, we sell sea fish, river fish, pickles, masalas and dry fish. We are in retail currently but have a huge demand from restaurants because of the reputation we have built and we hope to start supplying to restaurants soon. Also currently, MachiMarket is operating in Mumbai and we hope to start in Poona and Ahmadabad soon.

How has social media helped you?
We use Facebook and Google extensively. We are a Machi Market on the Internet and these are the two mediums through which we source our potential customers. The strategy for Google is to get new customers and the strategy for Facebook is to create a strong community of fish lovers.

Rawas
Rawas

So, do you have any plan to expand your business beyond fish? What else can customers expect in future?
In the short term, we would like to grow in different geographies with fish and in the long term we hope to move in into the fast food business selling cooked ready to eat fish snacks.

What advice will you give to young entrepreneurs who are starting out, especially in the online market space?
I have set up 3-4 businesses succeeded in some and failed in some. The only recipe for successful entrepreneur is to chase their dream and never give up.

Now I need to log in to MachiMarket.com and order a fresh catch for Friday. If you have ordered fish from MachiMarket.com,share your review with us by commenting below or writing to us at story@mumbaimag.com.

Post By Omkar Padwal (42 Posts)

Loves classical and rock music alike, passionate about painting, writing, photography, travelling and eating!

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Omkar Padwal

Omkar Padwal
Loves classical and rock music alike, passionate about painting, writing, photography, travelling and eating!
  • narinder

    How can i order fish from Kuwait and gift the same to my family without charge on them… Since you dont have online credit card payment mode, i feel its a useless idea for people like us….

  • Helen Thomas

    Are they still around?

  • Jacob Thomas

    HI A new fresh fish online in Mumbai and Thane is hhtp://www.shore2door.in

  • Jacob Thomas