Myntra is a Bangalore based eCommerce company that has raised close to $40 million in three rounds of funding (have a look at their workplace). The company was recently in the news for shipping orders in less than hour in select areas of Bangalore and New Delhi which is a huge leap for an eCommerce company in India. We got in touch with Ganesh Subramaniam to learn more about the pilot.JM: Tell us about the supply chain at Myntra.
GS: We’ve always followed the stock and supply model of delivering. Once we have the products from the vendors in our inventory, only then do we display them and make them available for orders. Once that is done, the logistics is a mix, via our own last-mile operations, in 20 cities and delivering via partners.
JM: So, when did you decide to setup your own logistics?
GS: This decision completely lies on the volumes you’re delivering. We delivered via partners but it was only in 2012 when we realized the need to set up our own logistics and we went ahead and set it up in select cities where we had reached the critical scale.
JM: What are the key advantages of having your own logistics?
GS: One of the biggest advantages is obviously customer experience. For instance, is a customer wants the order to delivered at the office instead of his or her home, a third party wouldn’t do it. When you have your own logistics, this becomes possible. The other thing is that when you’ve hit a certain scale, delivering via your own logistics is cheaper.
JM: Tell us about the 1-hour delivery pilot.
GS: This pilot was conducted to improve the bar for customer experience. If you draw a parallel with mobile, we were thinking of what would be the equivalent of a 5G? Customer experience is improving but for a quantum jump, we decided to push for a 1-hour delivery time and we were successful with it. This pilot was conducted in Delhi and Bangalore and the quickest delivery was 58 minutes.
JM: How was this made possible?
GS: Optimizing the supply chain is the key. There are technological improvements involved but the basic problem solved is to reduce the queue time. To explain in simple terms, if you look at the airport, the check in is always quick but the checkout while taking the baggage takes time. This is the issue being tackled. There are buzzers for various orders and queuing is improved algorithmically.
JM: Is the customer charged extra for this?
GS: No. This was a pilot and something we tried out to raise the bars. Express delivery might become an option but not right now.
JM: Tell us a bit more about setting up the last-mile operations on your own.
GS: Apart from being a capital intensive process, last mile is finally about people. We have internal training sessions along with external help to make sure we have a solid team of delivery boys who are driven to achieve the maximum. And for any player getting into setting up logistics, it is always better to start out with a couple of cities and modify the strategy dynamically.
Myntra also recently launched their revamped logistics outfit called Style Delivery Associates for the last mile delivery team across Myntra’s logistic centers (photo above).