Set up to tap demand from a largely rural populace, the Valpoi Super Market is doing remarkably well. It offers a modern shopping environment for residents who previously craved smart ambience while buying. A modern day store was badly needed in the taluka and the supermarket addresses the need admirably.
“The store is doing remarkable business despite its location and the limited catchment it faces. Our service focuses specifically on rural Sattari, which is a unique market compared to other talukas of the state. About half of the population lives in remote villages and Valpoi being at the centre serves the shopping needs of residents. Our super market is a one stop shop for the buyers,” says 40 years old, Rudresh Manerkar, founder.
The super market is housed in the new municipal commercial building which is slightly away from the main market. It encompasses total area 196 sqm and true to the spirit of supermarkets has variety of products under one roof. This includes groceries, fresh produce, frozen items, health and beauty aids, dairy and beverages, stationary, vegetables, bags, jewellery and plastic materials.
“Our objective is to increase people’s accessibility to food and, hopefully, give them a more affordable option for buying daily essentials,” adds Manerkar who also handles his ancestral business of ‘sweet confectionary.’ The confectionary is sold in the numerous fairs across the state but the supermarket displays Manerkar’s business acumen as it is started from scratch by him.
Recounting his journey from running a traditional general store to a supermarket owner, Manerkar says, “Way back in 2006, after my father Tulshidas Manerkar expired it fell on me to earn money to support the household. I took over my family business and started a general store at Tisk Usgao. It was one of its kind during those times, stocking a majority of daily essentials.”
Having cut his teeth on running the general store, Manerkar was ready to scale up. He reveals that, his academic background is modest with a XII commerce from Bahusaheb Bandodkar Shikshan Saunsta, Tisk.
“I took my business lesson from my small store. In short span of time I developed good relation with all the communities and was actively involved in social organisation which helped attract customers from all over Sattari.” Recalling his days of managing general store, he continues, “Those days help me a lot in this supermarket business. I was in touch with suppliers and had maintained good relation with them. This reduced my headache of building relation with suppliers when I started the supermarket. As Valpoi started growing and residents got exposed to modern retail due to the establishment of Goa Bagyatdar and Sattari Bazaar, Manerkar decided it was time for him to take the plunge and convert his traditional general store business into a full-fledged supermarket.
“I am grateful to my friend Sanjay Haldankar and one of close relative Narayan Yedvi who stood behind me when I needed capital for starting this business,” he mentions while also remembering to thank his wife Rutuja for support whenever he needed it. Also including the Corporation Bank in his success story for extending capital, he attribute success to his staff members Pooja Gawas, Suchitra Rane, Shagufta Shah, Akshata Machak, Nelam Bandekar, Naushin Sayyad and Pandurang Gawas.
According to Manerkar, a good business runs with the skill of managing supplies, staff and customers. “I have good relationship with my suppliers and always keep my customers happy. Apart from this my staff members trigger business as they manage the store properly,” says Manerkar who believes that a good businessman should always remain down to earth with good communication skill with all in the society.
Thanking Valpoi MLA, Vishwajit Rane for bringing up infrastructure development which helps him to set up his business in the rented premises of Valpoi Municipal Council, Rudresh says, “I always respect Pratapsing Rane and his family and personally requested him to inaugurate the super market. I am also thankful to Valpoi Municipal Council for their timely support in terms of setting up the supermarket.” Elaborating his future strategy, he says, “I am planning to launch another super market in Sankalim. Initially when we setup, we were met with skepticism and discouragement and it was pointed out that the location was in a secluded area. But then contrary to all the negativity we encountered, the store was a huge success from day one drawing crowds from all sects and community.” Manerkar’s business strategy is to keep changing things and be dynamic in selling. He focuses on festive offers during festivals and important occasions. He says that, hard work, dedication, being good to staff, sincerity to suppliers
and maintaining quality of service to customers are very important and gives good outcome to any businessman.