Progressive Grocer (India) - - Cover Story -

The story of Nav­jee­van Su­per Shop goes back to the time when the Kankariya pa­ter­fa­mil­ias Zum­bar­lalji Kankariya opened a ki­rana store mea­sur­ing 44 sq. ft. in mid 1946 at Jal­gaon, north Ma­ha­rash­tra. Even since, the Kankariya fam­ily has been car­ry­ing for­ward the fam­ily gro­cery busi­ness, which in the past 25 years has grown and trans­formed into a suc­cess­ful food and gro­cery su­per­mar­ket re­tail en­ter­prise with seven stores in dif­fer­ent parts of Jal­gaon, which rake in about Rs. five crore in monthly sales.

In 1964, the fam­ily opened its first proper gro­cery shop in the neigh­bor­hood store for­mat. In 1993, the fam­ily opened its first self-ser­vice su­per­store in Jal­gaon. “The in­spi­ra­tion for open­ing our first su­per­mar­ket store came dur­ing one of my vis­its to Chen­nai, in the late ‘80s, where I came across a self-ser­vice store that of­fered me a glimpse of the fu­ture of Re­tail. Later, I vis­ited sim­i­lar stores in Ma­ha­rash­tra at Kol­ha­pur and Mum­bai and got to ob­serve this new phe­nom­e­non of mod­ern re­tail. My el­der brother, Kan­ti­lalji Kankariya, was a firm be­liever of up­grad­ing the cus­tomer and he saw it as nat­u­ral suc­ces­sion to the tra­di­tional way of re­tail­ing. Af­ter de­lib­er­at­ing the pros and cons, the fam­ily fi­nally de­cided to ex­pand into mod­ern re­tail. The year 1993 was a wa­ter­shed year for us as the city got its first su­per­mar­ket store and it turned us into the pi­o­neers of mod­ern re­tail in north­ern Ma­ha­rash­tra,” says Anil Kankariya, Pro­moter, Nav­jee­van Su­per Shop.

Since 2007, Nav­jee­van has been ex­pand­ing con­sis­tently and from one su­per­store it has ex­panded to seven stores to­day – five self-owned and two leased – with 21,000 sq.ft of to­tal re­tail space un­der op­er­a­tion. Another turn­ing point came in 2015 when the Kankariyas opened their 6,000 sq. ft. mini hy­per­mar­ket – Nav­jee­van Mega Mart – on na­tional High­way 6, Jal­gaon. “It is our be­lief that even in Jal­gaon, which is con­sid­ered a Tier III town, peo­ple here have as­pi­ra­tions too. So it is only fair that we have dif­fer­ent for­mats to meet their ex­pec­ta­tions. Since we keep our ears to the ground and treat each of our cus­tomers with ut­most re­spect, we have been able to win their trust and loy­alty. Nav­jee­van has to­day be­come Jal­gaon’s very own Re­tail brand and we see our re­la­tion­ship with the city and its peo­ple get­ting even stronger over time,” says Anil Kankariya.

He adds: “We are the first re­tail chain in In­dia to give one month shop­ping free to our cus­tomers. This is the sim­plest and most re­ward­ing loy­alty pro­gram by a re­tail chain. The beauty is the sim­plic­ity and di­rect vis­i­ble ben­e­fit to the cus­tomer. In this scheme, we give one month shop­ping free to the cus­tomer against her shop­ping at Nav­jee­van dur­ing the 12 months of a year. We also pro­vide free home de­liv­ery to our se­nior ci­ti­zen cus­tomers. We are pleased to be com­plet­ing 25 years of our su­per­mar­ket op­er­a­tions in Au­gust 2018 and we have been one of the ear­li­est pi­o­neers to have achieved this feat.”

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