Groupon India: The Great Onion Digital Sale

Publication Type


Year Completed



This case looks at the impact of an innovative digital marketing campaign on bringing new customers and increasing brand awareness and recognition.It is set in September 2013, when Groupon India, a local e-commerce marketplace, decided to sell onions online. The price of onions in India had been rising sharply throughout 2013, making this humble vegetable nearly unaffordable for the average Indian household. With the idea of launching a bold public relations campaign, the marketing team proposed selling onions on its website at a heavily discounted price.

The deal, which was accompanied by a tongue-in-cheek advertising campaign, was an immediate hit. At the end of seven days, Groupon India had acquired 15,000 new and the daily average value of business had increased by an impressive 50% over the seven days of the promotion. The media coverage of the deal was even more remarkable – both the Indian and the global press couldn’t get enough of what was being termed as “the great onion digital deal”.

Now Ankur Warikoo, head of Groupon India, is thinking ahead. How will he ensure that the new and existing customers drawn in by the onion bargain continue to spend on his company’s website? How can he convert the strides made in brand recognition into brand loyalty?


Groupon, E-commerce, Onion sales, India, Asia, Marketing, Brand


Advertising and Promotion Management | Business Administration, Management, and Operations | E-Commerce | Marketing

Data Source

Field Research



Geographic Coverage


Temporal Coverage


Education Level

Executive Education; Postgraduate; Undergraduate


Singapore Management University

Case ID



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SMU-14-0001TN [Groupon TN].docx (413 kB)
Teaching Note (revised)