Pushkart.ph: Joshua Aragon’s Notable Solution towards Online Grocery Distribution
By Asha Gutierrez
When an Idea Turns Into Reality
Joshua Aragon is the Founder and CEO of Pushkart.ph, an online grocery delivery service that helps its users save money by connecting them to the grocery brands they love while providing convenience and on-time delivery to its patrons. Parents, entrepreneurs, and other career individuals frequently use this service for it negates the hassle of visiting the supermarket and wasting time, money, and energy. He grew up in a family of grocery entrepreneurs so he is experienced in this market. His aunties used to bring him in to their grocery chains since he was fourteen years old. This sparked his interest in managing grocery marketing.
Pushkart.ph becomes beneficial for those who want to save time and gain convenience through grocery delivery. As Joshua explains, “I live in a subdivision, so it is hard for me to get out of the house. I also notice that maids and drivers are asked to buy goods outside and they come back only after 3 to 4 hours… This is actually a waste of resource and time.”
Joshua was formerly the Director of The Society of Manufacturing Engineers, Board of Director of Philippine Red Cross Quezon City Chapter, Director and Asst. Secretary of Federation of Electrical and Electronics Suppliers and Manufacturers in the Philippines (PESA). Before, he competed his first start-up, Lapatronix, a minimally invasive laparoscopy surgical tool that won Gold in the Intel-DST Asia Pacific Challenge 2011 held in Bangalore, India and proceeded to compete in the Intel Global Challenge 2012 held in UC Berkeley, USA. Here, his mind got blown away by the startup community in the United States, getting to know 19-year-olds starting their own tech company. Joshua started to think about what he truly wanted to do with his life. This is one of the reasons why he started to take the leap of faith outside his family business. He studied in De La Salle University (DLSU) with the course of Manufacturing Engineering and Management specialized in Biomedical Engineering, and took up the Executive Master of Business Administration (MBA) in Asian Institute of Management (AIM). For his hobbies, he loves playing basketball and board games. He is also a licensed real estate broker and was also an athlete of the track and field team in DLSU.
The idea sparked when the team was brainstorming in a coffee shop three years ago given that the online grocery business was increasing in the States and Europe. Along with his co-founders, Bryan Reyes (Co-founder & CPO) and Lorenzo Yu, Joshua realized the complication of having a busy schedule and the lack of time to purchase their own grocery and thus Pushkart.ph was created. They realized that people are not yet consistently using this service in the Philippines. They formulated the team. Joshua cold called Fisher Supermarket’s General Manager explained the idea in 30 seconds and got a meeting the next week. He showed his 3-minute pitch, and the management liked the idea right away. From here, his progress just got better. He relays his first interview with Y-Combinator: “We had a call with Y-Combinator at around 2 AM in the morning, after the 10-minute interview, I got an e-mail telling us to fly to Silicon Valley the next day!” He stayed there for three weeks last June, did interviews, attended workshops, and met with Venture Capitalists.
One Step at a Time with full Guarantee
The timeline was created along with the MOA as the platform progressed into reality in 2016. In this platform, supermarket get sales in return. “As of now, the Philippines now have a $7.1 Trillion market in 2021 for groceries, the goal is to conquer Metro Manila first” he explains. Once they reach this, Pushkart.ph will expand to the other regions like Cebu and Davao. After that, they will proceed to expanding internationally, starting with Indonesia, Vietnam, and Thailand.
The product’s compatibility to become agnostic is its foremost advantage: The supermarkets who shared the same vision for increased sales and limitless scale are Fisher Supermarket, Ever Supermarket, Ultra Mega Supermarket, Puregold Supermarket and San Roque Supermarket. This is along with pharmacies like (TGP) The Generics Pharmacy, Pure Pharmacy, and The Office Warehouse, a school material provider. They have good user experience given that they unify the grocery chains into one product. Given that one item may not be available in the other store, this becomes beneficial to the buyer as well. “You just choose your location, buy your groceries, and have them delivered. This is compared to other services in which you have to select a particular store first and finding out that the store doesn’t carry the item you want, you go back and chooses another store that carries it, but what if you find out that it doesn’t carry it as well then it becomes a tedious cycle.” Joshua states. With Pushkart.ph, its algorithm captures the most efficient supermarket ground for each delivery in its unified platform.
Productivity is the Result of Compatibility
It is quite simple, they earn through requiring an undisclosed margin for each grocery transaction and they have a minimal delivery fee as well. “We work alongside brands like Nestle, P&G, and Unilever for promotions,” Joshua explains. They get the same pricing with a cheaper total because of the negation of transportation expenses for each individual. They get their tractions through their corporate clientele such as BPOs, restaurants, and sari-sari stores. For their marketing, the supermarkets also assist in creating campaigns for them to help with advertisements and product sales. Apart from that, they pitch their platforms to advertisers, they do profiling of customers to branch out what they truly need. “It is a win-win situation for us when we give them the right data and the customers benefit from it.” This can also be done through product suggestions, promos or discounts, and subscription programs.
Pushkart.ph now has more than 100,000 users already. The active customers are around 50,000 already and these are the ones only within Metro Manila, imagine the possibilities during the expansion stage. For now, these investments are from local given that they are now focusing on local business partnerships as they focus on the grocery market growth.
Joshua’s personal motto is to build fast, fail fast, and get back to your feet again. His message to other future entrepreneurs: Believe in your passion, do the leap of faith, and understand the problem first before creating a solution or business to pursue. Pushkart.ph is an invested winner in the Final Pitch Season 1 by History Channel and was awarded as the Top 10 Startups in Techtonic 2017, Top 10 Startups in YES! Startup Summit 2017, Top 6 Startups in ASEAN50 Slingshot: Startups to the RESQUE 2017 and a finalist for the Best Newcomer of the ASEAN Rice Bowl Startup Awards 2017, Top 10 Startups in Techtonic 2018, Top 10 Startups in Techsauce 2018, Top 10 Startups in Seedstars 2018, Interviewed by Ycombinator 2018, Selected Startups under JP Morgan Inqubation Program 2018.