Emergency condoms and midnight chocolates
After a long, hard day at work, relaxing with your friends or that special someone over your favourite movie with a chocolate bar or a soft drink may seem the most natural thing to do. But what if you are running short of these items? It’s an ordeal to rush to your nearby grocery store, and your empty refrigerator isn’t helping. This situation may soon be a thing of the past, thanks to FlyByKnight (.in), a midnight home delivery service which was launched this week.
Started by former Google India employee Neha Jain, the website caters to those living between Bandra and Andheri and provides soft drinks, water, cigarettes, chocolates, biscuits, chips, chewing gum, Maggi, antacids and even sanitary pads and condoms, between 11 pm and 3 am from Wednesday to Sunday. Apart from the retail price of the products, patrons have to pay Rs 50 delivery charge on all orders. All you have to do is log on to the site, browse through the menu, dial 99300-Order and place your order. Your ‘knight’ will be at your service in 20 minutes.
Jain got the idea for this service from her own experience. Working at Google at Bengaluru called for long hours and she would often find herself asking the office boy to get some snacks for her. The self-confessed night bird says, “Also since I lived with my friends, I would often end up staying awake till 3 or 4 am and felt the urge to gorge on chocolates. But I always ran out of supplies. Not only is it a bad idea to step out of the house in the wee hours of the morning but you also end up paying more since most stores levy midnight charges.” She adds that her site is primarily looking at media professionals, freelancers and individuals who stay alone in the western suburbs.
Starting the service seemed the perfect thing to do for the 26 year-old after one of her friends suggested the idea to her. Jain started off by stocking the supplies beforehand so she could provide prompt service. She admits that her technical and sales experience at Google has also proved to be handy in starting the service. “I have learnt from my five-year stint at Google that one needs to work out a proper model before starting any service and study the demand. We are first looking at stabilising the business and will expand it after a month.”
The Gurgaon resident also knows that it’s important to connect with consumers. So she is looking at digital advertising and promoting the service actively on social media to get better feedback. “My target audience thrives on social media and it’s the golden rule of any business that you need to understand what your consumer needs.”
On a parting note, ask her if she is perturbed by competition from NightCall (.in), which delivers a similar array of snacks and drinks to South Mumbai residents from Friday to Sunday, between 11 pm and 4 am, and Jain says nonchalantly, “Competition only helps you get better!”