Gagan Agrawal (Founder & Managing Director – Gagan Agrawal)

The life and journey of Gagan Agrawal is not much different from any small-town boy trying to make it big in a Metropolitan City like New Delhi; humble beginning, son of School Teacher, sharp at studies with a flare of breaking stereotypes right from his very childhood. He never believed that he was meant to grow up into becoming an Administrative Officer or Teacher, or being placed into any other white-collar job for that matter. His only dream & ambition was to do things differently. He would always find ways & means of helping others & making a complete ecosystem out of it that would encourage others to follow in his footsteps.

As soon as he Graduated, he expressed his desire to open up a small business in his hometown, Mauranipur, in the Jhansi district of Uttar Pradesh. His father, a man of simple means resented the idea in the beginning but eventually agreed to help him. He set up shop & started his first commercial trade which soon grew manifolds. As soon as he made some money, he visited Delhi for the first time; little did he knew that this little trip would change the course of his life forever. This was between late 80’s & early 90’s; he stayed in a five-star hotel during that time with whatever resources he had, just to experience life, it is better form. He learned from his friends that for surviving & thriving in a city like Delhi, he must be highly qualified & resourceful. He didn’t have any dearth of the later, so he decided to concentrate of the former i.e., Higher Studies.
He went to Sagar University, Madhya Pradesh & completed his Masters in History; now entrenched with a Master’s Degree & with his elder brother by his side, he landed Delhi for the second time. His brother was preparing for Administrative Exams while this young lad, set out to find a suitable occupation. It was his resourcefulness that got him a job in door-to-door sales with Maharaja Whiteline; he was literally thrilled at finding this opportunity where he could gain first-hand knowledge of how trade worked in Delhi and with a crash course of sorts into Consumer Behavior. He excelled in this too; he used to finish his monthly targets by mid-month & made use of the remaining days in studying the various Wholesale & Retails Markets of Delhi. With the new found knowledge, he again made a switch into an unconventional trade of the time & joined a Plantations Company. The concept was new & only a handful of people knew about it. From door-to-door sales, he had now moved into appointment-based sales. Even with a completely alien product-line to sell, Gagan Agrawal, broke the market. Within three months, he had cracked the formula of selling “trees planted at a remote location in the country to an investor who practically knew nothing about the business”. He was promoted as the Associate Branch Manager within six months of service, and then soon after accomplishing the unthinkable within that timeframe, he left the job with an ambition of opening his first Start-up.

In the year 1995, he started homemade tiffin service for working professionals & students within the vicinity of Rama Krishna Puram (R K Puram) & Munirka, Delhi. This venture too, picked up pace in no time & from 5 orders in the first month he reached mammoth volume of 1100 tiffin box delivered in the month that he shut this business down. Question is why? He wasn’t satisfied; someone told him, if he kept doing stuff like this, he might make a sustainable business out it but he won’t have the respect of people, so he quit. Sometimes, truth is stranger than fiction. His regular Customers sought him out & begged him to start again, but he wouldn’t do that, even though it meant, the end of any means for survival in Delhi. Soon, hardships followed but that didn’t and couldn’t make this young visionary succumb. Soon enough, Gagan Agrawal, was back with a unique business idea that made heads spin & put the beneficiaries in awe, that someone had found a solution to an elementary problem that had persisted for ages but no-one ever did anything about it.

Year 1999, marked the inception of Achiever Hostels, Delhi’s first privately owned Hostel Accommodation for students migrating from every part of the Country for higher studies. Until then, only popular & reputed Government Institutions had hostel facilities which were solely managed by the Institution itself. But these Institutions were such low in numbers that nearly 80% of the students either had to stay with some of their relatives, or rent a house & live with other students. Maintaining a house, cooking, cleaning, purchasing, and other household chores took away a major chunk of their precious time & they had very little with which they could concentrate towards achieving their goals.

Gagan Agrawal, found a solution to this eminent problem by creating an entire eco-system around it. A safe & secured Hostel Facility, within close proximity of any deemed educational institution offering turnkey solutions that included: Fully Furnished Accommodation, Food, Housekeeping, Security Management & Administration. This was way better than staying on Rent or hiring a PG while making sure that there was optimum utilization of time saved for the students. This venture became so popular amongst students that his first two Hostels were filled within the same day it was launched. For the very first venture he tied up with one of most reputed names in the education industry i.e., Forum for IIT-JEE (formally known as FIIT-JEE Ltd).

While Gagan Agrawal had only invested his brain, the broth came in from the registrations he made on the first day. In 2005, this entity was Registered as Achiever Hospitality Private Limited, which, to this very day, stands as one of the largest chains of Privately Owned Boys/Girls, Men’s/Women’s Hostels in Delhi. Working with some of the most highly reputed & respected names such as IIT Delhi, National Institute of Fashion Technology, Made Easy, Fore Institute of Management, Birla Institution of Management & also the practicing Doctors of AIIMS & Safdarjung Hospital. Many have followed thereafter, some have prevailed while others have perished, but Man in Concern remains the strongest in his trade.
The Origin Story of Ompanzo – After a successful run with Achiever Hospitality Private Limited, there came a time when all hell broke loose in the world. The unforeseen global outbreak of COVID-19 Pandemic crushed people & businesses worldwide. It affected the lives of every living person on this plain. Gagan Agrawal & his business weren’t immune either; the Education Sector is the worst affected amongst all & since Achiever Hospitality worked closely with the Education Sector & students, mostly it took a major financial blow. Gagan Agrawal prevailed & his foresight ensured that his company sailed through.
Amidst the lockdown, Mr Agrawal identified a completely new problem area; this was again related to an elementary loophole in India’s emerging Ecommerce Market. He figured there are companies that deliver Fruits & Vegetables, basis Online Ordering on their respective Portals or Mobile Applications usually charge on the higher side (based on the logistical costs such as warehousing & cold storage), they also have longer timelines for deliveries, sometimes they have limited items & more often than not, Consumer find themselves in dilemma whether to trust them blindly with regards to the quality of products they offer to deliver? Prolonged Lockdowns pushed people more & more towards these Online Marketplaces purely because people preferred not to go out & risk exposure with others simultaneously “no contact deliveries” became the need of the hour.

As soon as the paradigm shifted & people became more inclined towards ordering online, these companies were witnessed crumpling under pressure of excessive orders. The orders started getting delayed & from 12 hour they moved to a delivery timeline of 24+ hours. This was the time when Gagan Agrawal realized that this model needed simplification and people were in dire need of a trustworthy entity for the sourcing of Fresh Fruits & Vegetables. Being a crafty business mind that Gagan Agrawal is, he soon came up with a problem solving & revolutionary solution for this emerging need.
Together is consultation with the wife & Co-Director of Ompanzo, Mrs. Munmun Agrawal they formulated this one of kind strategy that would connect two people who already have mutual trust of each other would be brought together on a single digital platform which would enable them to trade & while they would be assisted by the company which would infuse the support of delivery logistics for the trade to take place seamlessly. Mrs. Agrawal’s input was very specific in this case; she said, she & thousands of other households would rather not lay their trust on an Online Marketplace that sells fruits & vegetables but they will surely trust their known Vendor who has been providing them with these articles since ages & have rarely faltered. This marked the emergence of Ompanzo Ecommerce Pvt. Ltd.