Chaldal Mango Mania is an on-demand mango delivery service from Chaldal, the largest online grocery service in the country. The service is available in all four markets where it operates: Dhaka, Narayanganj, Chittagong, and Jashore.
How the service works is simple: Chaldal works with mango producers across the country to source high quality, chemical-free mangoes directly from mango gardens firms, brings them to Chaldal Vegetable Network Central processing unit where all the quality control and packaging happens then they get sent to 25 warehouses within their coverage area. Customers can order 3kg family packages priced at BDT 179 on the Chaldal website and get delivered at their doorsteps. The company says it works hard to ensure good rates for the mango farmers and the best quality products at the best possible price for its customers.
Chaldal uses an environmentally friendly Chaldal branded brown paper box with carrying ropes hooked to the box for packaging. The company also offers a no-questions-asked return policy for damages and low-quality products.
Launched in 2019, the service has seen excellent growth this year. The company says Chaldal Mango Mania is one of the biggest on-demand mango delivery services in the country at the moment — the company currently does tens of tons of mango delivery per day and claims it has already delivered more than 450 tons in this season.
Chaldal started selling boxed mangoes as an experiment. In 2019, the company just launched its supply chain venture Chaldal Vegetable Network to build a direct linkage with farmers for supplies. Mango season was around and the company decided to take advantage of the newly launched network to sell mangoes sourced directly from producers.
The campaign was named Mango Mania. “We started Mango Mania in 2019”, says Chaldal Direct of Growth, Omer Sharif. “We did not have a serious mango business at the time. We were just thinking: could we do something related to Mango.”
2019 gave a good taste of what the Mango business could mean for Chaldal. Apart from being an excellent business, the company came to realize that selling mango could help in acquiring new customers and further strengthen its demand aggregation play.
The next year, in 2020, the company decided to do Mango Mania properly and put an effort to strengthen its supply chain. The effort produced good results. The company managed to work with mango producers from Baganchra Union, a Union Parishad under Sharsha Upazila of Jessore District, Bagmara Upazila of Rajshahi, Meherpur of Khulna, Volahat Upazila of Rajshahi, Chapaynababganj, Shibganj Upazila, etc.
“Initially, we worked with a limited number of variants and then gradually added almost all the major variants including Himsagar, Langra, Gopalvog, Gobinovog, Amropali, Harivanga, Bari 4, and Ashwini. We used to sell about 2-3 tons per day,” says Mr. Omer.
The response was excellent but the company suffered due to supply chain challenges. Despite damages, it was a strategically sound move for the company and helped Chaldal to acquire new customers. In two months, Mango Mania helped Chaldal acquire some 22,000 new users in 2020 amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Chaldal has taken lessons from the past two years and used them to scale Mango Mania this year. The rapid growth achieved across its business over the last two years has also helped the company to expand the mango business.
“We now have more warehouses than last year — we have over 20 warehouses in Dhaka and we are in 3 new cities”, says Mr. Omer. “Our customer base has grown a couple of times. We decided to take Mango business more aggressively this year.”
The company has taken preparation and built a supply chain from the ground up.
“We now directly source from the mango garden owners. We don't work with second or third-party dealers,” explains Mr. Omer.
“We work hard to ensure hygiene and quality across our operation from collection to sorting to packaging and delivery. We make sure that we are sending chemical-free products to our customers. We are now doing 12-15 tons plus deliveries every day,” he adds.
Damage and return: The company has a customer-friendly return policy where it replaces any partial or full damaged or compromised quality mangoes. You simply contact Chaldal via Facebook or customer service and the company usually sends a new box of fresh mangoes on the same day or the next or provides you an equivalent refund whichever makes you happy.
“We have taken a zero-tolerance approach in mango. We send after proper QC but even then if we receive a complaint, we take immediate action and send a replacement to our customer. On average We receive 10-15 complaints per day out of the 4000-5000 boxes that we sell and we immediately take action to solve these complaints,” explains Mr. Omer. "We received some 375 complaints up until now. It means our complaint rate is well below 1%.”
The company blames the initial quality challenges to the supply chain and carrying issues.
Availability: Chaldal replenishes its stock of mangoes throughout the day. It sometimes runs low on stock for a few hours a day because constantly refilling your stock is not easy. Sometimes it ends up with extra stock from the previous days as well which leads to some damages. But it makes sure that customers receive their deliveries on time.
Supplier relationship: Chaldal works directly with mango garden owners for sourcing. While it works with some suppliers on an order to order basis, most of the suppliers it works with continue to maintain a regular relationship. The company recently introduced a bidding system for suppliers where on average 20-25 mango garden owners participate in its bids every day.
Why this matters: Overall mango makes sense for Chaldal for two reasons: first, since it already has a ready customer base. Also, this overall mango handling helps improve Chaldal’s supply chain strength and perishable handling capacity.
Second, mango can help bring new first-time customers to Chaldal. This, in fact, is one of the reasons Chadal says it has been pushing Mango business — it helps the company to acquire new customers. And customers who come for Mangoes eventually buy other products from Chaldal.
“Our goal with Mangoes is that we want to bring a lot of new customers with it,” says Mr. Omer. The company takes great care in how it handles mango deliveries. “We are sending this box of happiness to our customers. We have told our delivery people and team that this is an important package and it needs to be handled carefully.”
This makes sense since Chaldal is in the business of demand aggregation.
Ambition: “Our ambition is to do 100 tons every day, if not this year then the next year,” says Mr. Omer. “Bangladesh consumes several hundred thousand tons of mangoes per season. Our goal is to take at least 1% of that market by next year with Chaldal in 7 more cities”.
Mango is a competitive market. Everyone is selling mangoes these days. Chaldal says it does not pay much attention to the competition. Instead, it is focusing on offering the best possible services to its customers. Chaldal already has a large customer base — the company claims that it serves over 150,000 families per month with its grocery services — which means it already has a large user base for any service it might want to launch.