KUALA LUMPUR, June 26 — Buying fresh produce is now easier with PasarTap, an online on-demand grocery service. For some, going to wet markets can be an overwhelming experience, with the strong smell of raw meat and the wet/dirty environment being big turn-offs.
“We provide an end-to-end service, delivering door-to-door from fresh markets within two hours of ordering,” said PasarTap marketing manager, Hisham Talib. On top of groceries purchased from wet markets, PasarTap also offers household products and dry foods sourced from Mydin and AEON.
You don’t have to worry about pricing as what is listed on PasarTap is the same price you are charged at the markets. The only extra cost you have to pay is the RM3 delivery fee.
In January this year, PasarTap did a test run with 1,000 customers to gauge their response. These customers were mostly friends and family. For PasarTap, it was a success, as out of the 1,000 customers, there was around 66 per cent return customers. In March, PasarTap was made available to the public.
“We don’t do any form of advertising as we are still a startup. We do use social media to get the word around,” said Hisham. Currently, the groceries are sourced from the wet market in Chow Kit.
There are plans to expand to other markets as well such as the markets in Selayang, Klang and Puchong. PasarTap Chief Executive Officer Mohd Hafiz Hassim worked in the F&B industry for the last 15 years so he is familiar with where to source for the best produce.
“We want to disrupt the supply chain. The current system is inefficient as there are many layers of middlemen, bad logistics and unconnected suppliers. We source directly from the middleman.
“Our goal is to make fresh markets accessible to people who go to markets and also for people who do not go to markets,” said Hisham.
Hisham also said that in the supermarket, you don’t really get much choices and varieties compared to the wet markets. In supermarkets, you get about 10 types of fish but in the wet markets, there are around 30 types of fish.
He adds that “most supermarkets are from overseas so they do not know local needs. We locals eat what is around us. What you find in supermarkets are mostly imported food.”
PasarTap aims to open up wet markets to the masses. Currently, PasarTap delivers to most of Klang Valley. They use crowdsourcing to deliver to customers but they have recently partnered with a delivery service that can serve a wider base of customers. According to Hisham, fresh markets are usually unsystematic and when PasarTap was introduced, it was difficult for the traders to accept.
“We want to create an ecosystem of suppliers. PasarTap have our own buyer in the market where they will select the groceries for you. These buyers have the experience in choosing the freshest produce. Customers who buy from PasarTap have the option to have their groceries changed if it is not fresh. For example, if a customer finds that the fish delivered is not in good condition, we can exchange it for a new one in two hours,” said Hisham.
Like wet markets, there is also seasonal pricing for certain groceries at PasarTap. Food like fish and certain vegetables tend to fluctuate in pricing so do check the pricing at PasarTap from time to time. PasarTap is also the first in Malaysia to offer durians to be delivered and to date, it’s their best-selling food item. The Musang King durian offered on PasarTap was snapped up in a short period of time.
PasarTap was formed by a group of friends who studied in the UK and caught the startup bug there. They came back to Malaysia, looking for issues where they can find solutions. One of the founders has a F&B background and he noticed that groceries are delivered fresh to the restaurant he worked in but when he went home, he had to buy groceries from the supermarket. Thus, that was how the concept of PasarTap was born.
“We are also looking to deliver to food businesses. There are many bakers and home cooks on Facebook and Instagram. We could provide this service to them as they don’t have time to go to the markets. We are also looking at delivering to cafes and restaurants,” said Hisham.
The minimum order for PasarTap groceries is RM20. You can pay for your groceries via cash on delivery, MOLPay and online payment. “The name pasar is a colloquial term that is used in all of South-east Asia. Tap refers to tapping on the mobile phone. We already launched the iOS app and we are looking to launch a Google Play app soon,” said Hisham.
Hisham said that none of the four co-founders have any tech background but they have a diverse background of marketing, finance, law and F&B. Aside from Hafiz and Hisham, there are two other silent partners.
PasarTap has plans to grow in Kuala Lumpur, Penang and Johor this year. Next year, they will be targeting Jakarta, Bangkok and possibly Manila.
Find out more about PasarTap at www.pasartap.com. You can also download the app from the Apple App Store.