iD Fresh Food is delivering its products directly to customers. Its ‘Trust Shop 2.0’ caters to customers in Mumbai, especially in the Covid-19 hit areas. In coordination with representatives of over 350 Resident Welfare Associations (RWA), the initiative has been launched to make fresh and healthy products available to residents locked at home due to the current situation. The customers do not need to step out of their apartment complex to get their products. The Fresh Food Buddy or co-ordinator from the apartment complex places the order with the company and within 24-48 hrs, the delivery personnel will drop the products at the security gate of the apartment complex and leave. The company trusts the customers to make the payment via e-wallets later. There are no sales personnel or CCTV cameras to hold one accountable and absolutely zero verification on who has taken the products! The initiative works on the principle of trust begetting trust. While a lot of companies are directly reaching out to customers through RWAs, they are struggling with collecting payments from hundreds and thousands of apartment residents. In fact, reconciling payments is becoming a huge bottleneck for companies and RWA members. To address this challenge, the company decided to do away with the reconciliation process, at the risk of losses that they may have to incur. Customer Trust – being the only motive driving the initiative. So if you are short of money or decide to pay later, the company will not follow up on payment and repose complete trust in you to make the payment later. “We got a lot of distress calls from customers in Mumbai, especially in the red zone areas, saying that they were unable to step out of their homes to buy food. We were aware that the retailers and other vendors were also struggling to navigate these uncertain times. Given the nature of the supply chain disruptions and shipping delays, we decided that it’s best to reach out to our customers directly, especially those living in gated communities without a grocery store or shopping complexes. However, there were several concerns raised by members of RWAs over challenges they were facing in collecting and reconciling payments from hundreds and thousands of apartment residents. We, at iD, came up with an easy and simple solution – Trust the customer to pay for the products they have taken,” said Musthafa PC, co-founder and CEO, iD Fresh Food. The company had first launched the Trust Shop model, in 2016, wherein customers could take products from iD chillers unmanned by sales personnel and with no CCTV cameras installed at 37 apartments across Bengaluru, Mumbai, Chennai and Hyderabad. The company trusted customers to drop off the money in a cash box attached to the chiller. The response was phenomenal then with 90-95 per cent returns in some of the stores and it’s no different now, according to him. Currently, the company delivers its flagship idly and dosa batter, along with whole wheat parota, Malabar parota, natural paneer and filter coffee, to close to 9,000 households, across 350 apartments in Mumbai, through the Trust Shop route. The company has expanded the initiative to Bengaluru, Chennai, and Hyderabad as well. Commenting on the response, Pavan Kumar BVS, chief business officer, iD Fresh, said, “While sales was a big challenge during the early days of lockdown, solutions came in the form of customer-focussed technology and some disruptive and innovative approaches that iD adopted.”