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Basket CEO Neil Kataria: “Bringing price transparency to the grocery market can play a crucial role in tackling a major element of the world’s hunger problem” | Thrive Global

I had the pleasure to interview Neil Kataria. Niel is the co-founder and CEO of Basket. A graduate of University of North Carolina, Neil is highly analytical and never gives up until a problem is solved. Prior to building Basket, Neil founded newBrandAnalytics, a social analytics company, which he led through its acquisition by Sprinklr in 2015. During his time with the organization, Neil built newBrand into the premier analytical platform for consumer operational and loyalty insights for some of the world’s biggest companies.Neil has devoted most of his life to creating internet & software businesses that solve big problems for consumers as well as small and large businesses. As an angel investor, Neil has also invested in a number of companies with likeminded objectives. He has served on panels at Cornell University’s Center for Hospitality Research, the Michael Milken Global Institute and many others sharing how technology platforms, powered by data, can be utilized to serve customers and brands alike.

Thank you so much for joining us! Can you share with us the story of how you decided to pursue this career path? What lessons can others learn from your story?

The first company I founded following college focused on enabling product traceability and transparency within the consumer food industry. I believed that people had a right to know exactly what they’re eating or drinking based on what labels say. This was also my first foray into big data analytics.

Basket started following the birth of my second child. Like many families in this country, we were spending a ton on grocery and baby products, too much. One day I ordered from Amazon and was shocked to find that my 24 items came to over $300. I spent the next 12 hours (much to my wife’s chagrin) comparing that receipt to 10 local stores and found that I could be saving 40%…if I had the right data. Basket was founded with the intent to give consumers the power to make the most financially sound decisions when it comes to purchasing groceries and other household staples…without spending 12 hours to do the research.

Our first lesson? Big business is resistive to disruption. Centralized grocery entities didn’t want to share their data because transparency was ultimately a huge threat to their way of life. It would encourage more competition and give food producers a window into their margins. As a solution, we enlisted the crowd to contribute this information to build the first ever database of prices on the ledger for everyone to access.

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Basket CEO Neil Kataria: “Bringing price transparency to the grocery market can play a crucial role in tackling a major element of the world’s hunger problem”.