By Abdullah Al Muhsi, Writer, Riddle Scribble
Soon after graduation Waseem Alim was thinking about tech development in Bangladesh. In August 2013, Waseem Alim (Co-founder and CEO) began the e-commerce startup “Chaldal.com”. Chaldal.com is an online grocery shop, and it also provides home delivery. It is very convenient for those who cannot manage the time from their busy lives to go to a supermarket themselves and buy necessary groceries.
Chaldal.com operates from their office in Dhaka, where the labor cost is low and the population density is high. It has multifarious customers who place order online in their website and is very convenient.
What Chaldal.com offers their clients is quite simple, yet something that is very essential: it saves time. People do not have to waste hours stuck in traffic or wait in line for the cashier to call them. Surprisingly, Chaldal.com saves cost as well, the price is lower than the local market. In addition, it offers buyers a wide range of items, 3500-4000 items, to choose from and they get to pick out items of their own liking, for instance various flavors of powdered juices that are not available in the local market.
However, there are some downsides. In many cases, the delivery is not on time, which eventually leads to customer dissatisfaction. The products and groceries are all ordered online and therefore there is no possibility for buyers to look and inspect the items, as they could do at a local market. People have their own opinions and no two people want the same thing, and therefore sometimes one customer complains about a particular product and its’ quality while another is perfectly happy with it. Last but not least, people actually want to go to the market for social interaction and spend their free time.
Unlike other online grocery stores, Chaldal.com has their own delivery channel and relies heavily on their own technology to monitor their delivery lines. The delivery system is manual and so is the payment mechanism. However, Chaldal.com now accepts credit card, as well as cash, on delivery. The products are delivered within an hour. It is always difficult to maintain that one-hour mark in Dhaka, the most densely populated country in the world. Orders are placed on a daily basis and all orders are handled with equal care. In case of large orders, all deliveries are done through Chaldal.com’s own delivery channel. Chaldal.com is well equipped with their freezers, box (for sensitive products) and transports are done by car or bike depending on products’ quantity and size.
“It’s very hard to be successful with a new startup, especially with an online grocery shop,” says Waseem Alim. “I would say we have not been able to reach even 0.1%. Chaldal.com is a work in progress.”
Waseem Alim would like to see Chaldal.com go all the way. Chaldal.com would like to change the conventional style of buying from third party sellers and go straight to the farmers and collect fresh vegetables, fruits, chickens and fish from the farmers themselves. Chaldal.com uses technology to its advantage and delivers desired products right at your doorstep.