Ananya Pathak

ITC to home deliver frozen food in 24 to 72 hours

We spoke to Sachid Madan, chief executive, frozen food, ITC, about the service that is now active in Gurugram, parts of Mumbai and Bengaluru.

To address the concerns of consumers regarding availability of products, and to make them accessible, ITC has started home delivery of its frozen food product range, like ITC Master Chef. The service is currently available in Gurugram, parts of Mumbai and Bengaluru.

Sachid Madan, chief executive, fresh fruits, vegetables and frozen food, ITC, told afaqs! that the initiative has been taken to enable last mile delivery that has been disrupted in some areas where even e-commerce platforms couldn't reach. “This service is more so for frozen products, where insulated packs are needed to maintain the cold chain,” he says.

Sachid Madan
Sachid Madan

There are two home delivery models that the brand will follow – ‘ITC on wheels’ and ‘Pre-ordered home delivery’. “ITC on wheels is where we are working with RWAs to come to the doorstep and set up store. Pre-order is by invitation. We circulate availability to consumers in the target areas and they place orders online. Payment is made on delivery,” shares Madan.

The delivery time varies from 24 to 72 hours, enabling ITC to organise route plans. No minimum order limit has been set as of now. “We are trying to avoid minimum orders, and are grateful that our consumers are buying multiple packs, which helps defray cost. The main focus is to ensure that the product reaches consumers at their doorstep in the right condition, which can be challenging for some delivery partners, given the high temperatures prevailing at the moment,” Madan says.

The brand will continue to work with multiple channels for delivery as penetration of e-commerce, especially in frozen food category, is very limited, and many e-commerce partners offer limited range and availability. “We have also partnered with various food delivery apps - Swiggy, Zomato, Dunzo, Scooty, etc. This is no different from working with multiple modern trade retailers. Different consumers access different channels, and it is important for us to be available in all of them,” added Madan.

These doorstep options have been created for people confined to their homes during lockdown, and also for those who avoid going out due to rising temperatures.

The brand did a trial of the home delivery service to apartments in Gurugram. Madan reveals that the trial received ‘encouraging response’. ITC intends to expand to other cities once the delivery infrastructure falls into place.