British International Investment

Supermarket Grocery Supplies Private Limited (Big Basket)

South AsiaFood & Agriculture

bigbasket is India’s largest online grocery with a fully integrated ‘farm to fork’ model sourcing from more than 3000 farmers and employing more than 18,000 people. Its business model is tailored to serve the needs of India’s growing urban consumers as well as its rural farmer suppliers.

This investment was made when British International Investment was named CDC Group.

Our investment

Description of the investment.

This is a high impact investment addressing a significant market failure in the agriculture supply chain and improving income for smallholder farmers by at least 10 per cent.

Impact information

Applies to investments made from 2019 onwards. The tabs in this section define what we expect to achieve through the investment, assessing the potential impact of the investment against six dimensions of impact. You can find more details on our methodology of assessing impact here.

What?

Impact
  • Enhance economic opportunities through job creation (SDG 8).
  • Improve incomes and productivity of small-scale food producers (SDG 2.3).
  • Reduce food waste, including post-harvest losses (SDG 12.3) and waste generation (SDG 12.5).

How?

How?
  • CDC’s investment leads to job creation for predominantly low-skilled jobs in warehouses and fleet delivery by bigbasket.
  • Investment provides a direct and secure route to market, especially for higher value crops, and by paying directly above market rates, bigbasket is raising farmer incomes.
  • Agronomists in their collection centers help to increase productivity through facilitating access to information and input.
  • The ‘farm to fork’ supply chain strategy using bigbasket’s platform reduced the time lag between the harvest and consumption, which reduces food waste and enhances the customer experience.

Who?

Stakeholder Geography Characteristics
Employees

India

90 per cent male, predominantly low-skilled workers, mix of permanent employees and outsourced contractors, c. 300 people with disabilities.

Suppliers (smallholder farmers)

India

51 per cent of bigbasket farmers are marginalised and smallholders.

Planet

Global

N/A

How much?

Scale Depth/Duration
  • Employees: Growing from c. 80 jobs in 2011 to c. 30,000 in 2020 we anticipate a rise to 48,000 by the end of the investment (both permanent and contractors).
  • Suppliers: Increase the income of an estimated 10,000 smallholder farmers by providing a stable and direct route to market, at the time of the investment bigbasket was sourcing from 3,200 farmers in 2019.
  • Employees: 68 per cent Glassdoor NPS and 3.9 stars out of 5. Specific initiatives around women in warehousing, employee trust and compliant with all HR policies.
  • Suppliers: On average 10-15 per cent income increase through higher prices and reduced other costs (transportation, market fees). Non-bigbasket farmers have experienced less income increase and less access to information and longer time to get payments from other aggregators.
  • Planet: Food waste is around 3-5 per cent as opposed to 8-10 per cent for regular retail models.

Contribution/additionality

Contribution/additionality
  • Value additionality: Our value-add thesis was to be an active voice for farmer and employee impact with the following key support areas: 1) Undertaking three train-the-trainer workshops on organic and sustainable agricultural practices to reach at least 3,000 farmers in five years. 2) Saving 4,800 tonnes in CO2 emissions a year through conversion of c. 2,500 vehicles to electric vehicles. 3) Reducing attrition in warehouses and increase employment of women and people with disabilities. 4) Environmental, social and governance / development impact committee has been established.

Grid score

Grid Score

To help us direct our investments, we previously used a tool called the Development Impact Grid. It scored investments out of four, based on two factors: the difficulty of investing in a country and the propensity of the sector to generate employment. This tool was used for investments until the end of 2021. Since 2022 it has been replaced by the Impact Score.

2.78

Risk

Execution Risk
  • Impact case relies on the business' ability to scale up from pre-profit stage.

Reporting and Complaints Mechanism

The Reporting and Complaints Mechanism allows anyone outside BII to report alleged breaches of the business integrity or environmental and social provisions of BII’s Policy on Responsible Investing. This includes breaches made by BII, a BII investee, or a portfolio company of a fund in which BII has invested. The Reporting and Complaints Mechanism Rules are available here. Reports and complaints can be submitted by email to [email protected] or by mail. See more details on our Reporting and Complaints Mechanism here.

For any other general enquiries contact us at [email protected]

  • Key facts

    Last updated

    When the last quarterly update of the website database occurred.

    :
    June 2024
    Project number

    An identifier number shared by investments in the same project.

    :
    D3822
    Status

    The current status of the investment (green flag for active and red flag for exited).

    :
    Active
    Region

    The geographical region where the country is located. We currently invest in Africa, South Asia, South East Asia and the Caribbean. In 2023, BII’s investment mandate was extended allowing it to invest in regional funds linked to Ukraine, with the majority of activity expected to begin post-war. Investments outside these regions were made prior to 2012 under previous investment mandates.

    :
    South Asia
    Country

    The countries where the investment delivers impact. Where impact is delivered in multiple countries, this is indicated.

    :
    India
    Sector

    We prioritise those sectors that facilitate development and need our capital the most. Our priority sectors contribute towards many of the Sustainable Development Goals. They range from investing in the power infrastructure that will provide people with better access to electricity, to investing in financial institutions that direct capital to the individuals and businesses that need it the most.

    :
    Food & Agriculture

    We provide capital in the following ways: directly – through direct equity, direct debt, guarantees and other non-intermediated financial instruments; and indirectly – principally through investment funds.

    For direct investments and fund investments, this is the date BII committed capital to the investments. This is typically the date on which legal agreements are signed by all parties.

    For the portfolio companies of our fund investments, this is the date (either the month or the quarter) on which the fund committed capital to the portfolio company.

    For direct equity investments, this is the date at which British International Investment exited the investment.

    For debt investments, this is the date at which the final debt repayment was made.

    For funds, this is the date at which the fund was terminated.

    For underlying fund investments, this is the date at which the fund manager exited the investment.

    The total amount committed, per financial instrument, per investment, on the date BII becomes subject to a binding legal obligation to provide funding or assume a contingent liability. This information is provided in US dollars.

    For direct investments, this is the amount that BII has committed to the business or project. For fund investments, this is the amount BII has committed to the fund.

    The currency in which the investment was made.

    Investment type :
    Equity
    Start date :
    July 2021
    Amount :
    $11.6m
    Currency of investment :
    INR,USD
    Domicile

    The company or investment fund’s place of incorporation.

    :
    India

Related investments made by BII into this company:

Investment name Commitment Region Sector Start date Status
Investment 01 $40m South Asia Food & Agriculture April 2019 Active
Investment 02 $1.79m South AsiaSouth Asia Food & Agriculture March 2020 Active

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