Over the past few years, logistics companies have seen a high demand for their services. It’s fostered rapid growth in the industry, making it a good time to startup in logistics. News reportsclaim that the share of India’s logistics spend, in GDP, is 13 per cent (one of the highest in the world).The overall size of the market itself is estimated to be USD 180-220 billion. Because transport vehicles form an integral part of logistics, managing them efficiently helps optimise delivery processes and save money.
A recent entrant into the market, Maruti 3PL is a third party logistics company that tackles optimisation problems in logistics by leveraging technology and IoT. Their flagship product Fleeton, is a smart fleet management platform that helps track, monitor and collect analytics over desktop and mobile platforms.
The idea of Fleeton
Purvishkumar Patel completed his MTech from IIT Roorkee. While writing his thesis on the logistics and supply chain of disaster management, Purvish included suggestions on optimising response times during disasters. Through his research, he found a few cases where failure was caused due to poor prior planning and suboptimal distribution of resources. He thought that using technology to conduct real-time tracking might help the team at the helm to make quick, calculated decisions. For example, if Route A is blocked by an unexpected landslide, Vehicle A could take another route or a replacement vehicle could be sent through another route instantly.
Purvish decided to extrapolate the idea of his thesis to commercial logistics to create Fleeton. The odyssey first began with Mikul Patel, a close friend from IIT Roorkee, and a firm believer in the vision of Maruti 3PL. His first few clients came from industries like dairy , security and cash, construction and trucking (fleet management).
While most startups create products before registering companies, Maruti 3PL was registered even before the product development. The boom in e-commerce significantly helped Fleeton’s development and market acceptance. Around November 2014, Fleeton saw an official release. Currently, the company operates out of IIT Roorkee with a team of seven. Purvish says Maruti 3PL is actively looking for investments to scale and expand to Bengaluru and NCR.
A little more about the product
Fleeton’s use-cases are diverse and cover construction, disaster management, government and municipal corporations, logistics, schools and personal tracking. The platform is a combination of hardware and software. If one of the vehicles in a logistics fleet is stolen, the ignition can be switched off remotely, and the location of the vehicle can be tracked. Through Google Maps, smart algorithms and online cross-connectivity, Fleeton can also provide the most optimal route planning and monitoring for assets in-transit. It can track deviation through the platform and providing SMS and email alerts.
Other notable features of Fleeton include the platform’s ability to store data (available up to a year) for the customer’s perusal at a later time, upgrades over the internet (no hardware needed), fuel usage reports and validation of delivery.
The platform is hardware agnostic and can be integrated with any system or sensors.
Challenges and the road ahead
Since Maruti 3PL aims to develop and adopt organised SOPs for installation of sensors, travelling to a client’s office for installation uses up a considerable amount of resources. However, with the domain expertise of founders in technology, logistics and supply chain management, Maruti 3PL hopes that the quick adoption of its product will attract both potential clients and investors.
The venture is working on a multi-language portal for Fleeton for mobile and desktop. Purvish wants to expand his venture by recruiting developers. He wants to develop Fleeton’s own hardware instead of buying products off the shelf. In the long run, Maruti 3PL plans to expand to Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal and conquer the Asia Pacific region before going global.