The search for a quality and standardised relocation service sometimes throw you in the crowd of vendors with minimum expertise. Deepu Chandran took a plunge to organise the highly fragmented relocation industry in India and launched Pikkol in April 2015.
Pikkol is a Bengaluru-based relocation services aggregator and a technology-centric logistics firm. It aims to create the technological, analytical, and operational backbone to facilitate all relocation requirements in the market.
Deepu, an alumnus of IIM Bengaluru, says,
Pikkol was born out of extensive research that we did in the logistics and home services segment that helped us identify the problems the consumers face while relocating. We felt that many of those problems related to accountability, reliability, and transparency could be solved with technology and our unique approach of aggregation.
Pikkol provides standardised service experience and tailor-made relocation packages for customers. Its adaptive algorithm captures the inventory and computes the right truck size, packing requirements, and price. Once the consumer confirms the booking on the platform, based on its proprietary algorithm the right team is allotted to the move to ensure a hassle-free relocation experience for the consumers. Majority of customers place their request on the Pikkol App, which is available on both Play Store and App Store.
Currently, Pikkol has more than 1,200 trained movers and over 300 trucks through relocation vendors. The startup conducts sessions to train vendors in a bid to offer quality service experience to the customers. After a detailed evaluation and registration, the vendors receive trainings on the deployment of technology (strong analytics-based technological backend and logistics network) for process improvement and guidelines on the materials to be used on packings.
“We use the information engine to aggregate load movement to various destinations and generate real-time pricing based on demand and supply of right vehicles for intercity movement. Through this we intend to ensure reliable logistics for intercity moves for the entire unorganised segment,” says Deepu.
Thirty-three-year-old Deepu is a second-time entrepreneur. Prior to Pikkol.com, he co-founded Innomantra, a consulting firm, in 2010. After being successful in his first entrepreneurial venture, he took an exit and decided to start Pikkol.
At Innomantra, he worked with organisations such as Google, NetApp, ABB, and Larsen & Toubro. He began his career at Larsen & Toubro and was responsible for strategic planning and new product management. In 2008, he was awarded the India Innovation Prize by the Government of Karnataka and the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).
Deepu’s co-founders – Jayaram K., Siby Mathew, and Suraj Valimbe –also joined forces to kick start Pikkol. Jayaram is an alumnus of IIM Lucknow and was an entrepreneur who built a travel journal app in his earlier entrepreneurial venture. He handles product architecture and operations excellence at Pikkol.
Siby is an alumnus of NIT Calicut and was associated with HP for nine years, he now handles the technology team at Pikkol. Suraj holds an MBA from Welingkar Institute of Management and worked with Hitachi and Tata Croma. He heads operations in Pikkol. The startup has a team of 26 employees, including 10 technical professionals. The team also boasts of a lot of second time entrepreneurs which includes Siddharth Gulati, Sreeju Sreekumar, Rohan K, Anand Jacob, Aniket Gite, Aditya Prabhu, and Arun R S.
Pikkol since inception has grown close to 1,000 per cent and managed to reach a monthly revenue of more than 50 lakhs. The startup so far has facilitated over 6,000 house moves.
Pikkol initially started its operations in Bengaluru, and now it operates in Mumbai, NCR, Hyderabad, Chennai, and Pune and 10 tier II cities. The startup has also started facilitating moves to international locations such as Middle East, US, UK, and Singapore.
Deepu claims that initial customers came through social media and post that 40 per cent of new customers are referred by the existing customers. Pikkol does more than 1,000 house moves in more than 100 locations per month across India with metro cities generating 80 per cent of the requests. In the next one year, it intends to expand footprints in 20 other tier two cities.
According to Deepu, Pikkol’s cloud-based solution for order management and operational improvement is one of the sources of revenue. The cloud-based solution is a SaaS product used for capturing inventory of customers and other move details including date, source, destination, slot preferences, and packing specifications. The strong analytical engine that supports this cloud-based solution is the one that facilitates the logistics through the right choice of truck, route optimisation, load aggregation, and optimal price generation.
In the next three to four years, the startup is planning to reach around Rs. 500 crores revenue.
There was a time when relocation services was considered as a vertical of logistics industry. However, the last decade has witnessed a significant transformation in this space. Companies in the packers and movers industry have created a niche for themselves over the last few years by leveraging the new age technologies.
According to experts, relocation industry in India is estimated to be around $2–5 billion driven by the hassle-free relocation requirements, usage of innovative technology, mobile applications, tracking tools and software and more.