Supermarket Grocery Supplies Private Limited (Big Basket)

India Other consumer services

bigbasket is India’s largest online grocery with a fully integrated ‘farm to fork’ model sourcing from more than 3000 farmers and employing more than 18,000 people. Its business model is tailored to serve the needs of India’s growing urban consumers as well as its rural farmer suppliers.

  • Active
  • Exited

We are invested in Supermarket Grocery Supplies Private Limited (Big Basket) through Ascent India Fund III, which is managed by Ascent Capital Advisors Private Limited.

We do not hold direct relationships with the companies that investment funds invest in. Instead, we hold relationships directly with the fund. When investing through investment funds, CDC takes an active role as a limited partner to the fund, working with the fund manager to ensure best practices, including in environment, social and governance matters, and investment management oversight.

For further information on the fund, the fund manager, and the expected impact of the fund’s investment, click here.

Key facts

Status:
Active
Region

Since 2012, we’ve only invested in Africa and South Asia. Investments outside these regions are from our pre-2012 portfolio.

:
South Asia
Countries:
India
Sector

We have seven priority sectors. However, we continue to invest outside these sectors, largely in the most challenging regions, as new investment supporting any sector helps to underpin the private sector, and create jobs and livelihoods for people.

:
Other consumer services
Investment type

We provide capital in three broad ways: direct equity, debt, and intermediated equity (principally through investment funds).

:
Intermediated investment
Fund:
Ascent India Fund III
Fund Manager:
Ascent Capital Advisors Private Limited
Start date

For direct investments, this is the date CDC committed capital to the business or project.

For funds, this is the date that CDC committed capital to the fund.

For underlying fund investments, this is the date that the fund invested capital into the business.e

:
February 2012
Domicile

This is the investee company’s place of incorporation; or a fund’s jurisdiction.

:
India

Our investment

CDC first invested in bigbasket in 2019. It is a high impact investment addressing a significant market failure in the agriculture supply chain and improving income for smallholder farmers by at least 10 per cent.

Impact
  • Enhance economic opportunities through job creation (SDG 8).
  • Improve incomes and productivity of small-scale food producers (SDG 2.3).
  • Reduce food waste, including post-harvest losses (SDG 12.3) and waste generation (SDG 12.5).
How?
  • CDC’s investment leads to job creation for predominantly low-skilled jobs in warehouses and fleet delivery by bigbasket.
  • Investment provides a direct and secure route to market, especially for higher value crops, and by paying directly above market rates, bigbasket is raising farmer incomes.
  • Agronomists in their collection centers help to increase productivity through facilitating access to information and input.
  • The ‘farm to fork’ supply chain strategy using bigbasket’s platform reduced the time lag between the harvest and consumption, which reduces food waste and enhances the customer experience.
Stakeholder Geography Characteristics
Employees

India

90 per cent male, predominantly low-skilled workers, mix of permanent employees and outsourced contractors, c. 300 people with disabilities.

Suppliers (smallholder farmers)

India

51 per cent of bigbasket farmers are marginalised and smallholders.

Planet

Global

N/A

Scale Depth/Duration
  • Employees: Growing from c. 80 jobs in 2011 to c. 30,000 in 2020 we anticipate a rise to 48,000 by the end of the investment (both permanent and contractors).
  • Suppliers: Increase the income of an estimated 10,000 smallholder farmers by providing a stable and direct route to market, at the time of the investment bigbasket was sourcing from 3,200 farmers in 2019.
  • Employees: 68 per cent Glassdoor NPS and 3.9 stars out of 5. Specific initiatives around women in warehousing, employee trust and compliant with all HR policies.
  • Suppliers: On average 10-15 per cent income increase through higher prices and reduced other costs (transportation, market fees). Non-bigbasket farmers have experienced less income increase and less access to information and longer time to get payments from other aggregators.
  • Planet: Food waste is around 3-5 per cent as opposed to 8-10 per cent for regular retail models.
Grid Score Contribution

2.78

To help us direct our investments, we use a tool called the Development Impact Grid. The Grid scores every investment we plan out of a score of four, based on two factors: the difficulty of investing in the country and whether investment in that sector will lead to jobs.

Value-add: Our value-add thesis was to be an active voice for farmer and employee impact with the following key support areas:

  • Undertaking three train-the-trainer workshops on organic and sustainable agricultural practices to reach at least 3,000 farmers in five years (as of March 2021, two workshops undertaken and a total of 290 farmers enrolled onto organic farming certification).
  • Save 4,800 tonnes in CO2 emissions a year through conversion of c. 2,500 vehicles to electric vehicles (as of March 2021, 1,028 tonnes saved due to implementation of solar energy on warehouse, 3,382 tonnes saved due to electric vehicles deployed, 675 two-wheeler electric vehicles / 311 two-wheeler electric vehicles have been deployed. Study undertaken to identify feasible ownership models for transition of larger delivery fleet to electric vehicles and results to be discussed with bigbasket).
  • Reduce attrition in warehouses and increase employment of women and people with disabilities (as of December 2020, bigbasket employs 460 staff with disabilities in their business teams across India, representing just over 2 per cent of their total workforce).
  • Environmental, social and governance / development impact committee has been established.
Risk

Execution: Impact case relies on the business' ability to scale up from pre-profit stage.

Environmental and social aspects

We are supporting the company to develop environmental, health and safety risk management procedures across its operations (and supply chains), increase organic and sustainable food production within its farmer network, and support in transitioning its delivery fleet to electric vehicles.

Key facts

Status:
Active
Region

Since 2012, we’ve only invested in Africa and South Asia. Investments outside these regions are from our pre-2012 portfolio.

:
South Asia
Countries:
India
Sector

We have seven priority sectors. However, we continue to invest outside these sectors, largely in the most challenging regions, as new investment supporting any sector helps to underpin the private sector, and create jobs and livelihoods for people.

:
Other consumer services
Investment type

We provide capital in three broad ways: direct equity, debt, and intermediated equity (principally through investment funds).

:
Direct Equity
Start date

For direct investments, this is the date CDC committed capital to the business or project.

For funds, this is the date that CDC committed capital to the fund.

For underlying fund investments, this is the date that the fund invested capital into the business.e

:
April 2019
Amount

For direct investments, this is the total amount that CDC has committed to the business or project (it may be a combination of equity and debt).

For funds, this is the total amount that CDC has committed to the fund.

:
$40m
Domicile

This is the investee company’s place of incorporation; or a fund’s jurisdiction.

:
India