Subziwalla, an online specialty food merchant that currently delivers to residences in the metro-Atlanta area, is fulfilling a demand for authentic Indian ingredients, catering to a niche audience that allows it to “hyperfocus on their specific needs and build trust within the community through authenticity,” co-founder Manav Thaker told WGB in an interview late last year.

Thaker and fellow founder Sajal Rohatgi sought to eliminate some of pain points they both had experienced at Indian grocery stores: lack of service, lack of assortment and excessive time it took to shop. They were not alone.

“We surveyed over 1,000 people online and offline to determine the size of the problem, and found that it was much bigger than just a lack of convenience,” Thaker says. “Testimonials from our customer discovery told us it was obvious that brick-and-mortar stores and store experience did not value the consumer. This is at the core of the problem we’re solving at Subziwalla: valuing our consumers by providing them with value through service, quality and transparency.

Part of that service is delivering as soon as the next-day, which allows Subziwalla to “better group deliveries and plan for profitable routes, while receiving better rates from third-party last-mile providers,” Thaker says. Subziwalla also collects and reuses packaging (after two weeks of sanitization), which has turned what has traditionally been a cost into an asset, he says.

• Executive Editor Jon Springer contributed to this report.

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