LetsTransport: Fledgling venture looks to shake up logistics space in Karnataka
The logistics industry in India is about $130 billion in size, with the intracity logistics segment accounting for $10 billion. With no dearth of players or new entrants in the fast-growing segment, how does a bootstrapped venture just a few months old make itself stand out?
The competition doesn't matter if, says 24-year-old IIT Kharagpur graduate, Pushkar Singh, one can differentiate oneself in terms of better product, better execution, and willingness to go the extra mile.
Pushkar knows how to stand out, having founded the techno-logistics solutions platform LetsTransport.in in Karnataka along with his IIT batchmates Sudarshan Ravi (economics 2013) and Ankit Parasher (electrical and electronics engineering 2012) early this year. The trio’s brainchild already has a 90% month-on-month growth.
A last mile techno-logistics solution provider for intracity deliveries, LetsTransport is based in Bangalore and is described as a “reliable, affordable, and professional service structured to serve businesses as well as consumers”.
“A professional and standard service is very much desired in the logistics space, which is pretty unique and has its own dynamics. That is what one needs to understand in order to cater to a client's needs. The growth potential is huge if the industry can be catered to through the right product,” says CEO Pushkar.
Looking after a range of transport logistics requirements throughout Karnataka - from large scale commercial requirements to more routine household transport requirements - the venture aims at revolutionizing intracity logistics, thereby allowing businesses and consumers to experience seamless logistic solutions at the click of a button.
Why it’s different
It offers customized attachment solutions for clients, along with other value added services such as screened drivers, audited and GPS-enabled vehicles, point-to-point billing, status updates, 24x7 service, and greater efficiency, all at transparent and economical pricing. For instance, the company offers services at Rs 350 for the first five km, when compared to local vendors, who provide the same at Rs 800 for that distance, and other competitors who charge Rs 450 for the first five km.
“The idea is to understand customer needs and build those into the DNA of our product,” says Pushkar.
When asked what LetsTransport.in has added to the logistics segment (which is expected to grow at a CAGR of 12.17 per cent by 2020, according to market research firm Research and Markets), or whether it has addressed any issue on which other startups failed to deliver results to the consumer, he says: “Being from an operations and business background, the founding team of LetsTransport has been working to gain operational insight and expertise, in order to build a product that can cater well to the diverse requirements of clients.”
Getting cash, players
Till now, the venture has been funded by investment raised from associates by the founding team, and the money has been spent in developing technology and building a team selected from top institutions like the IITs, NIT, BIT, etc. Pushkar, a former employee of ITC, reveals that investors are quite keen to pour more funds into the start-up, and his team is already in advanced talks with many of them.
LetsTransport.in made the smart move of acquiring another new player in the industry, Shifter, a Bangalore-based mini-truck procurement service available online or on call, within just five months of establishment.
Founded by Rubal Siddhu and Prashant Gupta in 2014, Shifter provides hassle-free truck rentals, with a technology-driven approach. This is good in that it ensures continuous income for drivers,
The acquisition has augmented operations in terms of fleet numbers and customer base for LetsTransport, which aims to expand rapidly in multiple cities.
People are warming to his startup, believes Pushkar. “The response is brilliant from those we have served. We have gained so much business in terms of volumes per client and referrals per client,” he says.
On challenges in the segment and overcoming them, he insists that it’s all about understanding customer need and supplying a product which can help fulfil those needs. “The way to overcome challenges is being operationally proactive and ensuring the techno-logistics platform fits well to serve this space,” he says.