Doodhwala- India's Largest Online Milk Delivery App

Doodhwala Startup Success Story

Startup Name Doodhwala
Headquarter Bangalore
Founders Ebrahim Akbari & Aakash Agarwal
Sector Ecommerce and FMCG
Founded 2015
Parent organisation Banger Tech Pvt. Ltd.

About Doodhwala
Founders of Doodhwala and Team
How was Doodhwala Started
Doodhwala - Name, Tagline and Logo
What is Doodhwala
Doodhwala - Business Model and How it works
Doodhwala - Funding and Investors
Doodhwala - Advisors and Mentors
Doodhwala - Startup Challenges
Doodhwala - Competitors
Doodhwala - Growth

Technology gradually has started to show a profound effect on every aspect of our lives. From the way, we communicate to the way we learn and now even the way we buy our daily needs, technology is transforming everything. E-commerce is the new craze. Be it clothes, medicines or electronics everything can be bought online. Keeping up with this craze, many online grocery and milk suppliers have also come up. You no longer need to spend your precious weekends, in grocery shopping. Nor do you have to argue with your local milkman over the water in the milk. Doodhwala, a Bangalore based startup has come up with the idea to simplify life by delivering pure milk and fresh groceries to your doorstep.

About Doodhwala

Doodhwala is a Bangalore based startup founded in the year 2015. Doodhwala is the first in Bangalore to bring fresh farm milk directly to customers. Currently, operating in Bangalore, Hyderabad and Pune, this startup delivers milk, fresh dairy products, groceries, fruits and other fresh daily essentials to your home. Doodhwala envisions to be the largest and most loved fresh milk & daily essentials delivery service across India, taking pride in excellent customer service, enhancing India's disorganized milk delivery network, employee satisfaction and return on investment.

We make people’s life easier by offering an effortless way to buy ad hoc needs and regularly purchased fresh milk & daily essentials. We are driven with the aim to provide high standards of excellence in fresh quality products, priced fairly and delivered with a reliable service.  We aim to continually delight and satisfy our customers, every single morning.

Founders of Doodhwala and Team

Ebrahim Akbari and Aakash Agrawal founded Doodhwala in 2015.

EbrahimAkbari, is an engineer by training, a serial entrepreneur by profession and a marketer by passion. Along with his co-founder, he has scaled Doodhwala from a 5 member team to a 400 member company in just three years, making Doodhwala India’s largest subscription-based e-grocer. Ebrahim leads Doodhwala’s growth and geo expansion. He brings on board a unique perspective on business strategies combined with rich experience of effectively deploying business resources. A savvy negotiator with inherent entrepreneurial skills he understands the entire supply chain industry and has co-founded a business model that has revolutionized the way people in India are buying milk and local dairies are selling milk.  

Prior to establishing Doodhwala, Ebrahim Akbari was heading a 20-year-old family business of Industrial Field Supplies in Oman. As a Managing Partner, his focus was on scaling the business across and outside Oman along with looking for new growth areas and markets. Within a year of Akbari's leadership, the company's turnover increased by 30% and geo-expansion in Dubai proved to be a profitable move within the first year of operations.  

Ebrahim, is a skilled theatre artist, an avid reader and a gold medalist swimmer. A regular speaker at industry forums and platforms, Ebrahim recently spoke at the VCC Food and AgriSummit and The National Food Processing Conclave, in New Delhi.

Aakaash Agrawal has a proven track record of successfully leading a company’s operations and sales. He previously co-started a steel fabrication company, UPPL, in 2010 in Odhisa where he drove operations and infrastructure implementation.  Under his leadership, the firm within 5 years of successful operations clocked INR 20 crore of turnover, and won the 'Vendor of The Year'. Post Akaash’s exit, UPPL is one of the very few boards run SMEs in India, catering to the heavy engineering industry.  

Aakash spearheads the logistics and operations of Doodhwala. He possesses an entrepreneurial mindset, employing strong team leadership to create an outsized impact with limited resources. With Aakaash’s rich and multi-functional expertise, he has created competitive advantages in key operational areas for Doodhwala and developed a cost-effective omnichannel distribution/logistics network.

A great believer in the saying, we will either find a way or make one, Aakaash spends much of his spare time reading about politics, history, current affairs and traveling around the world.    

Within three years Doodhwala has grown from two people to an organization of 1000 people.  

We are a bunch of fresh milk & food lovers, who are passionate about creating India's next startup unicorn.  

Relevant Read: Watasale- A Cashier-free Grocery Store

How was Doodhwala Started

One late night, in 2014, in Bangalore, the Founders, Aakash to Ebrahim were working on a different business project- working and munching on cereal with milk. They realized that there was no milk for the second serving of cereals. This left them wondering how life would have been easier if there had been an app for ordering milk too. Soon they grasped that unknowingly they have stumbled into a great business idea and this idea was too exciting to let them sleep.

They wanted to immediately check the feasibility of this idea, and so around 4 in the morning, they were out and about to see how the milk supply market actually works. This was followed by weeks of research and surveys and finally, they launched a beta version to test the market.  They were amazed at the response they received. Consumers loved the Idea of hassle-free home delivery of milk. They are indeed looking for a new age Doodhwala and this laid the foundation of Doodhwala.

Consumers were looking for better ways to find good quality unadulterated farm milk, they are for an organized hassle-free way to get milk. They, in a nutshell, wanted a punctual, cost-effective, and a non-traditional option. Led by the increasing level of urbanization across the Indian population as urban consumers prefer clean, hygienic and ready-to-drink milk and dairy products.  

Doodhwala is the 2.0 version of the traditional Doodhwala. Doodhwala’s tagline is “India’s largest fresh milk delivery app”.  

In a nutshell, the tagline spells out that we set standards of excellence in fresh milk & daily needs delivery by being one of the pioneers in this space, and by innovating  cutting edge mobile technology .
Doodhwala Logo

What is Doodhwala

Doodhwala is a fresh milk & daily essential delivery service and it serves through a mobile app.

Fresh milk is a part of every household’s regular purchase. Traditionally India had been reliant on their local doodh wala for milk, but the urban India crowd needs something more than just milk - they need ease, freshness, and reliability.  That’s the problem Doodhwala solves.

Variety of milk is the convenience that neither the local doodh wala or the kirana store cannot match. Doodhwala boasts the largest variety of milk. The platform has 70+ types of milk.  Be it A2 milk, organic milk, goat milk, camel milk or lactose-free milk - Doodhwala has varieties to suit eclectic dietary requirements, making it the ultimate destination for all kinds of milk.

Besides Milk, Doodhwala also delivers fresh dairy products, confectionery, bakery products, juices, fruits and vegetables, other grocery consumables, personal care products and many other items of your daily needs right to your doorstep.

Some of the USPs of Doodhwala app are-

  • An easy to use app to manage for all your daily essentials, with trusted deliveries before 7 am even for orders placed until 11 pm the night before.
  • Subscription or creating a customizable delivery schedule makes it easy to plan all repetitive purchases.
  • One can easily modify, cancel or pause one’s subscription at any given time.
  • The no checkout feature (no constant topping of wallet) is a sure favorite amongst customers.
  • Zero delivery charges
Doodhwala Warehouse

Doodhwala - Business Model and How it works

There many things Doodhwala has done differently than previous and current players that makes its business model robust and cost-effective.  

The main highlights of Doodhwala’s Business Model are:

  • The hybrid model for last mile workforce - Consists of existing milkmen and part-time workers.
  • Efficient mapping of delivery routes - Significantly lesser number of delivery executives is required to complete ‘x’ amount of deliveries since all the delivery routes are mapped efficiently.
  • Lower dependence on manual strength - Planned delivery exhibits a lower dependency on delivery executives as well as inventory.
  • Unlimited Delivery Base - Focusing on morning delivery allows easier hiring - basically, anyone who is interested in working for a few hours in the morning can be a Doodhwala delivery executive.
  • Resource optimization - Planned demand reduces inefficiencies and optimizes better utilization of resources.
  • Drastically reduced cost - The right combination of technology and process in every step of the cycle - procurement, warehousing, sorting, helps reduce cost.
  • Predictive inventory - Subscription model makes way for strong predictive inventory algorithms which ensure almost zero wastage.
  • Advanced algorithms - Cost-benefit approach towards technology is laid such that every implementation either increases revenue or decreases cost across our supply chains
  • Single delivery slot network - This network of milk delivery guarantees low mid-mile costs due to an obvious reason i.e, no traffic in the morning hours. Plus it also guarantees no peak hour rush.
  • Market and Demand Analysis - Adoption of Omnichannel is driven by digital demand. It allows optimization on the logistical front, better inventory management across all points of sale.
  • High customer density - It helps curtail last mile costs as Doodhwala completes 10000 deliveries every hour. Each delivery executive completes 100 deliveries in a 3-hour shift.
  • Efficacy of micro-delivery model over on-demand fleet  - It ensures higher customer engagement, focuses on high frequency - everyday delivery.  
Since milk allows for high frequency and a daily delivery model which means for an ‘n’ number of deliveries to a customer we don’t have any additional cost i.e, no incremental delivery cost. Secondly, focusing on high density allows for costs which are 1/10th with 6-10 times efficiency. We also implement a clever usage of modern-day Technology. Thirdly our Unique business model has allowed us to scale and stay one step ahead of the competition.  

Doodhwala - Funding and Investors

Doodhwala has raised more than $14.2 Million in funding in 3 rounds. Doodhwala’s funding details are-

Funding Date Funding Stage Funding Amount Investors
August 2017 Seed Round Undisclosed Tom Varkey
February 2018 Seed Round $2.2 million Omnivore Partners
November 2018 Series A $12 million Undisclosed
We have always believed that the philosophy of 'raise only when you need to' is a golden rule which is ignored too often at an early stage of a business. Most founders raise too early and end up diluting a significant portion of their equity before the business establishes itself. Aakash and I retain over 80% of the equity even though Doodhwala is the largest milktech company at 13 lakh liters of milk a month. Having a sound cap table is particularly attractive to potential investors, for it greatly assists founders in later stages of their business - Ebrahim

Doodhwala - Advisors and Mentors

Cristina Berta Jones, the former COO of Naspers is as an Advisor and board member. Cristina brings several years of strategic leadership experience in spearheading mergers and acquisitions, portfolio management and strategy for prominent B2C E-Commerce companies. She led the largest divestiture of Allegro group for $3.25B and was pivotal in driving the MakeMyTrip and Ibibo merger. She previously served on the board of Flipkart, Souq.com, eMAG, Takealot, Konga and TBO Holidays.    

Doodhwala - Startup Challenges

According to Ebrahim, the last mile delivery is the biggest challenge for every e-tailer in this country. Low efficiency of resources, route-planning problems are the core issues that cause the whole system to be inefficient & expensive. This paired with the challenges in delivery infrastructure bring additional challenges to the state of the last mile. However, Doodhwala has a hybrid model for its last mile workforce which consists of existing milkmen & part-time labor.  

We require a lesser number of boys to complete x amount of deliveries since our delivery routes are mapped efficiently. in other words, we have a lower dependency on labor. This ensures we never have peaking problems.  

Doodhwala - Competitors

According to Ebrahim, online shopping for milk and groceries is still a nascent business and so there is not much competition in this space. However, now many new players are coming up in this sector.

Some competitors of Doodhwala are Daily Ninja, Milkbasket, Supr, RainCan and WakeupBasket, “It’s an industry that’s going to mature and reach a digitization level,”said Ebrahim.

Our last-mile delivery mechanism operates like none other in the industry. We've built it to work in the same fashion even as we increase our footprint across the country. The addition of multiple geographies work independently without affecting our high quality of service even as we scale to 20 cities or more tomorrow  

Doodhwala - Growth

Doodhwala has witnessed extremely rapid growth.

  • The company is now touching 30,000 deliveries a day and
  • It has grown 5 times in the past 6 months (2018-2019) with an 85% customer retention rate.  While most companies & online e-commerce retailers struggle with the frequency of purchases, but for Doodhwala customers keep coming at a minimum of once a week for a recurring purchase, making its retention rates one of the highest in the industry.
  • Doodhwala is currently the largest milk e-tailer moving 13 lakh liters monthly, and the highest delivery fulfillment at 99.8%.
  • Doodhwala has the industry's lowest operational cost of 5% cost of sales.  

The Doodhwala team credits this growth primarily to the key value proposition that Doodhwala offers which makes consumer adoption and retention easy.

The future holds promising developments. We've led the online milk revolution until now with the largest sales, consumer outreach and geographical footprint. We've entered our next phase of rapid growth. To ensure we continue to lead this sector in all the parameters is our goal. The second white revolution is on its way and we intend to define it.  

Website: Doodhwala

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About Chayanika Goswami

Chayanika is an MBA in Finance and a trained Digital Marketer. SEO and content writing are her hobbies turned profession. She is a rover. In her free time she loves travelling and cracking jokes.