Over the past few years, with the growth of e-commerce sector, the market of both the forward and reverse logistics has increased. However, there’s a huge growth gap between the two types of logistics; and in terms of growth, the former is much ahead of the latter. According to experts, reverse logistics is plagued by mismanaged returns, high distribution costs and retailer–manufacture conflicts, among other reasons.
While working with companies like IBM and Amazon, Sapan Jain realised due to ambiguity associated with reverse logistics supply, a bulk of unutilised or returned inventory has been lying unused in the IT sector. Despite the fact, there’s a large demand of refurbished products in the market, owing to inherent distrust in the unorganised market, there are not many buyers of such products. This is where he realised an opportunity to create a professional organisation to bridge the trust deficit and involve all stake holders ranging from enterprises, retailers, and individual consumers.
Launched in April 2014 by Sapan, Jeby Cherian, Amit Goel, and Jayathirtha P. Katti, Bengaluru-based Blubirch focuses on reverse logistics with a main focus on IT technology. It provides solution for IT asset management, remarketing and also deals with refurbished customer returns and excess.
The platform offers its services to enterprises, retailers, and individual consumers. In enterprise segment, it offers services such as asset life cycle management, asset buyback services, procurement services, trade-in program, refurbishment services, and rental services. To retailers, it provides services such as grading and valuation services, exchange programs, sell customer returns, and excess inventory. The platform’s customers include companies of all sizes across the industry, retailers, cloud and data centre providers, system integrators, business partners, and value-added resellers.
“We are an IT asset focused reverse logistic company that deals with assets ranging from enterprise level machines like servers and storage to consumer products such as laptops, mobiles, and accessories etc.,” says Sapan.
Instead of the taking transactional or single downstream channel approach, the platform is focused on end-to-end multichannel solution. Through this platform he is working to bring efficiency, transparency, and trust to ensure better value for both suppliers and buyers of the inventory.
He adds that he’s helping clients not only in defining policies related to returns or decommissioned equipment but also in inspecting, sorting, refurbishing, and liquidating to ensure highest returns at lowest cost and with fastest speed. To ensure that consumers of these products have complete piece of mind, the platform also gives warranty on these products.
Market and challenges
According to IDC, 2011 survey, the global IT asset disposition market is worth USD 300 billion. According to another report, between the year 2006 and 2015, this market has been growing at 10 percent CAGR. By 2020, in India alone, the IT asset disposition market will touch USD 50 billion.
Despite the large market size, there are few who takes the holistic approach and provides a complete solution in both the supply and demand side of reverse logistic in the IT sector.
According to Sapan, there are some challenges in the segment which have constrained the growth of the industry. The industry is highly fragmented, there’s lack of management focus on decommissioned or returned inventories, less understanding in reverse logistic supply chain, and the absence of organised players covering full range of IT assets.
Blubirch claims that it’s trying to address the issue at all the levels. It is creating various technology assets to bring together different channels actors in the reverse logistic supply chain and providing them a transparent and efficient environment to interact with each other. It is also taking a consultative approach to create solutions to meet the specific needs of customers. It works with management to highlight the impact of reverse logistic on their business.It is also using technology in the end-to-end value chain, including how devices are inspected, sorted, and liquidated.
“We have the ability to assist clients with complete range of technology assets ranging from enterprise assets down to consumer electronics,” adds Sapan.