By James Mathew
FreshToHome expands processing and storage capacity, and also add new sourcing and delivery centres in UAE to cater to the growing demand
FreshToHome, the Indian e-commerce platform that specialises in fresh vegetables, fish and meat, has reported an 83 percent jump in its daily order numbers in the UAE market since March this year.
The Bangalore-based e-commerce startup said the average value per order has also increased significantly, rising by 75 percent from AED53 pre-Covid to AED93.
Given its success, FreshToHome said it recently expanded its operations in the UAE, with plans to grow further in with a new facility.
“We have already expanded our processing and storage capacity by 50 percent through extension of facilities at our existing plant at Umm Al Quwain,” Mathew Joseph, co-founder and chief operating officer (COO) of FreshToHome, told Arabian Business in an exclusive interview.
The Umm Al Quwain plant is now spread over an area of 15,000 sq.ft.
“We also have plans to have one more plant at a different location in the UAE. We are in the process of weighing various options for this,” Joseph added.
Joseph said the UAE market continues to witness a growth in online shopping, even after the Covid-related spike that saw order numbers soar.
“We are seeing growth in our daily orders and also the average order value on a daily basis. Earlier, our major challenge and impediment to growth in the UAE market was the supermarket shopping culture of people there,” he added.
To meet the growing demand, FreshToHome has also beefed up its supply base by adding several new sourcing centres across UAE, and also through exports from its fish farms in Kerala.
“We now export fish from Kerala by Emirates' chartered cargo flights which operate thrice a week from Trivandrum,” Joseph said.
Encouraged by the growing preferences for online purchase, FreshToHome has also extended its delivery areas in the UAE.
Joseph said: “We added Ras Al-Khaimah and a few other cities in the UAE to our list of home delivery centres in recent weeks.”
Joseph said the company has also switched over to special refrigerated vans for delivery, from its earlier mode of two-wheelers.
“The refrigerated vans help us to carry bigger quantities at a time, as also to keep the products safe,” he added.
FreshToHome, which launched its UAE operations in October last year in its first foray into the international market, claims to be the world’s first online platform for fresh marine and meat products.
Sharjah-based Crescent Enterprises and Abdul Aziz Al Ghurair, Emirati businessman and head of the Al Ghurair group, are among the angel investors in the company.