Kabeer Biswas, the entrepreneur behind the instant delivery app Dunzo, is a computer science engineer whose journey into the world of startups and business began with a unique trajectory. Before diving into the entrepreneurial landscape, Biswas gained valuable experience working in a plastic factory in Silvassa. However, it was his pursuit of an MBA that set the stage for his entrepreneurial journey.
After acquiring business skills and honing them in sales and customer service at Airtel, Kabeer Biswas ventured into the startup arena. His first foray into entrepreneurship was with Hoppr, a company he founded. The startup journey took an interesting turn when Hopper was eventually acquired by Hike, providing Biswas with the impetus to explore further and expand his entrepreneurial aspirations.
Transitioning to Bengaluru, a hub for startups and technological innovation, Biswas joined forces with Ankur Agarwal, Dalvir Suri, and Mukund Jha to establish Dunzo in 2014. The initial iteration of Dunzo was a WhatsApp group, where users could place orders for various services. The platform evolved with time, offering instant deliveries of groceries, essential supplies, and other commodities—predating similar services from competitors like Blinkit and Swiggy Instamart.
The success and innovative approach of Dunzo captured the attention of Mukesh Ambani, the chairman of Reliance Industries. Ambani’s interest in the startup led to a significant investment of more than Rs 1600 crore (USD 200 million) from Reliance Retail. According to reports from The Times of India, this investment propelled Dunzo’s valuation to over USD 775 million (over Rs 6400 crore).
While Dunzo initially thrived and expanded its operations to multiple cities, the startup faced challenges in recent times. The past year has been particularly challenging, with Dunzo reporting a substantial loss of Rs 1,800 crore in FY23—a staggering 288% increase from the previous year. The startup has encountered financial difficulties, including delayed salaries for employees, departures of top-level executives, including co-founders, and mass layoffs.
Despite the current challenges, Kabeer Biswas remains a notable figure in the Indian startup ecosystem, and his journey reflects the dynamic and unpredictable nature of the entrepreneurial landscape. The story of Dunzo, from its humble beginnings as a WhatsApp group to its pivotal role in the instant delivery sector, showcases both the potential for success and the risks inherent in the startup world. As the startup navigates its current challenges, the resilience and adaptability of Kabeer Biswas will undoubtedly play a crucial role in shaping Dunzo’s future.