News Column

New Business Owner Using Technology To Drive Success

Jan. 6, 2012

Alia Wilson

Moving from the corporate world to try his hand as a small-business owner, Pankaj Ansal of Cupertino, Calif., expects to open a new Indian grocery store in Sunnyvale in early 2012.

The Indian Spice Bazaar will be located at 1601 Hollenbeck Ave. in Loehmann's Plaza. The 113,309-square-foot shopping center is also home to CVS Pharmacy alongside Safeway, Nail Time and Starbucks.

"I felt the need in this neighborhood to have a neighborhood store," Ansal said. "I wanted to create the sort of ambience where neighbors would treat it like the neighborhood store and walk to it from their homes."

Ansal said he was unimpressed with some of the local Indian markets and wanted to model his own after such grocery stores as Sprouts and Trader Joe's.

Despite there being about six other Indian markets in the city, Ansal says he intends to set his store apart by establishing a strong neighborhood feel and incorporating technology.

"I want to use my background working with multinational, multimillion-dollar companies and projects and bring that together with this new project," Ansal said.

From wireless Internet access to eventually setting up Google Wallet for customers, Ansal hopes technology will help transform the shopping experience for busy Silicon Valley customers.

As the store becomes more established, Ansal said, he would also like to set up an online ordering system, where customers can order online and pick up items at the


"Not right away, but down the line I would also like to put computers in the store where we will make recipe recommendations based on products and spices customers are buying," Ansal said.

As a father of two children in Cupertino schools, Ansal also plans to organize school fundraisers through the store. The 4,480-square-foot specialty food store will also feature a produce section, a chaat, or snack corner, prepackaged foods and an array of spices.

"I think not only will the Indian population enjoy the store, but other ethnicities from all over, regardless of their backgrounds, will come to our store," Ansal said. "We will offer very competitive pricing, and customers will definitely see the difference between us and, say, Safeway prices."

Source: (c) 2012 the Sunnyvale Sun (San Jose, Calif.)

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