If you have ever passed by the busy Alto-Porvorim junction on NH-66, you may have spotted a grand hypermarket bustling with customers, located just next to the Mandovi hospital. This sprawling hypermarket, which boasts 7000 square feet of shopping area, is one of the three branches of the famous Delfino’s chain of hypermarkets run by the Armacar Group of Companies.
The Armacar Group is a large family-run business conglomerate that has been operating for more the past 55 years in Goa. The group is owned and operated by six brothers belonging to the Pereira family from Divar. Established in the early 1950s as L.A. Armacar, the group has since grown and expanded from trading hardware into multiple other avenues and industries, including retail, modern trade, hospitality, designer hardware, lighting and modular kitchens.
The journey of Delfino’s began when the Pereira brothers felt that there was a need to provide a nice and convenient, all-under-one-roof shopping experience to the people of Goa. They wanted to start a service, which could help people in procuring all their day to day needs in one place, under one roof, at fair and reasonable prices. It was this vision that gave birth to the Delfino’s chain of hypermarkets.
The first outlet of Delfino’s hypermarket opened in Candolim in 2012. A good response from the public motivated the Pereira brothers to set up a much bigger outlet at Porvorim in 2017. The highlight of this particular branch of Delfino’s is that it is equipped with deep freezers, which enables the hypermarket to sell fresh line items such as meats, chicken, fish and much more. The deep freezers help in prolonging the freshness of such kinds of perishable items, by preserving them at scientifically recommended temperatures. The store also features a pharmacy, where people can purchase commonly prescribed drugs and medicines.
The store receives huge footfalls and has slowly turned into one of the most popular shopping destinations for people living in Porvorim and its surrounding areas. The success of their Porvorim branch led to their third store at Taleigao opening its doors to the public in 2021.
In a brief telephonic interview, Mr. Prakash Pereira, one of the six brothers at Armacar Group, spoke to me about the journey of Delfino’s Hymart and offered a lot of insights on its vision, its USP, its product offerings, and much more.
All the items that a housewife requires for her day-to-day household needs are available at Delfino’s hypermarket. This includes fresh fruits and vegetables, groceries and staples, daily essentials, a wide variety of meat, fish, and poultry products, cooked food, liquor and beverages. In addition to this, it also offers kitchen appliances, hardware tools, sports equipment, stationery, and cookware, crockery and glassware.
All these items are organised neatly into different sections within the hypermarket, thus making it easier for the customer to find whatever he or she requires. All the branches of Delfino’s Hymart are air-conditioned and have a very nice, clean and peaceful ambience, which makes the shopping experience a pleasant one.
Unlike other hypermarkets in Goa, Delfino’s does not offer any loyalty programme for its customers. When asked why it is so, Mr. Pereira gave two main reasons. Firstly, he believes that the right way to earn the loyalty of his customers is not through loyalty programmes and schemes, but by offering them good quality products and good service at the lowest rates possible. Mr. Prakash says that the hypermarket chain provides the lowest rates among all the hypermarkets in North Goa. He says that if people compare the rates offered at Delfino’s with the rates and discounts offered at other hypermarkets, they will find the rates at Delfino’s to be at least 7-8% lower.
Secondly, he says that a lot of time gets wasted at the cash counter when you offer a customer loyalty programme. “There are cases where customers argue for 1-2 rupees, and a lot of time gets wasted doing recalculations and adjustments”, says Mr. Pereira. Since the outlets of Delfino’s Hymart receive high footfalls, Mr. Pereira does not want his valuable customers to lose their precious time waiting in long queues.
Mr Pereira says that youngsters in Goa must try to come out of their shell of 9-5 jobs. “Many people in Goa are reluctant to start their own business ventures, because they think that it is not possible to do business in Goa without indulging in corrupt and fraudulent practises”, he says. Mr Pereira proudly states that for the past 50 years, the Armacar group has been doing business in Goa and have been providing good quality services to its esteemed customers with sincerity, honesty and integrity. They have never indulged in any unethical and corrupt business practises. He says that Goan youngsters aspiring to start their business venture can become successful entrepreneurs if they have a clear vision of what services they want to provide to their customers and if they work sincerely and honestly while providing their services.
Mr. Pereira and his team at the Armacar Group are strongly contemplating the idea of expanding their operations to South Goa. They are currently hunting for an ideal location in places like Fatorda, Borda, and Gogol to set up their store. So, watch out guys! Hopefully, we might see a Delfino’s store somewhere in South Goa very soon.