Myntra, the Flipkart owned fashion ecommerce startup, is leveraging neighborhood kirana stores for last minute deliveries. In an attempt to bolster its presence in the Indian market, Myntra has been aggressively scaling its network of kirana stores. The move might help the company reduce the delivery time by 25%.

According to the company the 2,000 kirana stores and other small shops, working under the Mensa Network scheme, are responsible for the delivery of one in every five orders.  Chief People Officer and Head of New Initiatives, Manpreet Ratia, speaking about the MENSA scheme said, “We are aiming to do (sic) 70% deliveries through MENSA. We have invested majorly in technology to enable and further, scale MENSA to the next level.” Around 23% of Myntra’s nonsale deliveries are completed by these corner stores. However, the volume of deliveries goes up significantly during sales season, like the Big Billion Days.

Launched in April this year, 40% of the stores that are a part of the Mensa Network are family run grocery stores, while the rest are various service providers such as mobile repair shops, recharge shops and stationery stores, among others. Further, to boost its delivery services, the ecommerce startup also launched ‘Project Mass’ with the aim of assisting its delivery staff to start their own businesses and shops and add to the Mensa Network. These businesses will also be provided with a seed investment of Rs. 40,000 each.

According to Ratia, Project Mass is aimed at helping employees who have had a long association with Myntra and now want to go on the entrepreneurial path. “These people will act as brand ambassadors for MENSA and attract shops in their vicinity to join the network,” he further added. Over 370 delivery associates have opted for Project Mass so far and 250 of these stores have already started operations. Founded by  Mukesh Bansal along with Ashutosh Lawania and Vineet Saxena in 2007, the company crossed $ 1 billion in annual Gross Marketing Value in 2016 to become a unicorn company.

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