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GoDirect - building Food security in Canada
It may seem like a fancy term especially when spoken in a corporate context. However if done right, empowerment of the right group at the right time has the potential to pave way for an array of opportunities which either didn’t exist or werent accessible otherwise. And if repeated by a handful of people across various geographical regions, with the right intent and skin in the game it can potentially change the socio-economic landscape of an area, a city, a region, a province or an entire country. Think of all the great leaders who led a social movement in their times-Gandhi, Martin Kuther King. Nelson Mandela and the likes. One of the major change they brought was the empowerment of a section of the population which otherwise was dormant and not inclusive to the social shift that was looming over the nation. The shift could be political freedom, inclusiveness, education, or in today’s context technology adoption-a change GoDirect believes Canada is going through at a slow pace. The mode of empowerment, the tactics deployed, the geo-political landscape, all of that is subjective to the context, the time and the resources available to the leaders at that time. A leader may choose civil protests, print or digital media, call for autonomy, and other such modes. GoDirect has chosen Consumer retail or more specifically Groceries. Today, I will talk about an empowerment opportunity in Canada which lies in front of leaders, academicians and professionals today:
1) can we empower a percentage of immigrant population to adopt technology for their grocery needs and free a major part of their daily/weekly worries which can then be utilized on more productive, fulfilling avenues.
2) can we catalyze a number of immigrant entrepreneurs to become entrepreneurs in the eGrocery supply-chain and build valuable businesses in the quick commerce industry
I the past decade or so, Canada has become a hotspot for ethnic population movement due to its welcoming immigration policy, higher and standardized hourly wages, the growing skilled jobs, proximity to the United States, and the social media marketing about starting a new life in a developed world, all of which has spread like wild fire. This hotspot has invited more than 6 million immigrants since 2015 (inclusive of skilled, trade professions and international students). The mean of number of days each immigrant has spent in Canada is about 4 years. If we further drill down by their Visa status, few have received their PR status, few are in the queue, and few still have to apply once they are eligible. GoDirect is empowering these 6 million immigrants of different ethnicities through our mobile-first eGrocery platform. We categorize this empowerment into 2 categories:
Consumers: This 1st category of empowerment applies to all 6 million who today are dependent on physical retail infrastructure to shop their daily, weekly, and instantaneous grocery needs. On an average, they do 3 grocery micro trips a week, visit upto 5 retail points, and spend upto 10 hours a week from planning to picking, to storing, and replenishing. Add to that the psychological fear of not having when its needed, of not engaging in leisurely or more productive activities because of a grocery run. The need of this gets even more pertinent once the immigrant population starts moving up the economic curve, with more disposable income, own house, children and a social status to maintain. In the past 10 months of our operations, we have touched 0.5mn consumers on social media, of which 20k have registered with us from Sep’2023 till June’2024. We intend to empower 100k such consumers by end of Mar’2025.
Entrepreneurs: This 2nd category of empowerment applies to those who have achieved a PR status or awaiting a final response because these are the ones who are at an inflection point in their professional career and want to lay foundation stones for their future, whether they want to remain in odd hourly jobs or get hired in a more rewarding organization or want to pursue a business opportunity. The ones who are attracted to the business/startup world (from their erstwhile career mostly in home country), are the ones who GoDirect is looking to empower.
In our analysis, there’s an opportunity to empower 1000 ethnic individuals directly and up to 10k ethnic individuals if we include their direct/indirect team members as well. The catalyst for the reaction can knowledge, insights, exposure to interesting business models (not just AI, Blockchain etc), networking and talks so that these individuals are well groomed to take an informed decision whether the startup world is for them or not. This is where Godirect is trying to make a difference, by giving these high potential, eager potential entrepreneurs the right platform, the right insights mentorship, handholding, tools, relationships, technology, product roadmap, and access to capital so that they can build great companies in Canada. Unless this is done at a mass scale by startups like GoDirect along with senior professionals, business owners and opinion leaders, the retail industry in Canada wont evolve and match the speed, design and efficiencies compared to rest of the world.
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