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How GoBOLT is using technology to transform B2B logistics

Sindhu Kashyap
1st Aug 2017
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The Mumbai-based startup GoBOLT provides smart logistics solutions to companies by harnessing data analytics and IoT.

Did you know that one of the major reasons for high inventory levels of companies in India is high transit inventory or the number of days it takes for goods to reach their destination? Parag Aggarwal and Naitik Baghla learnt this while they were working on a project at GSK, the British pharma multinational, which was looking at ways to reduce inventory levels at its warehouses across India.

Transit inventory in India is unusually high, thanks to a poor daily running average of line-haul trucks – these typically do a 500-600 mile trip between two terminals. While looking into this phenomenon, the duo spotted an opportunity in making asset rotation (average running of the trucks in a month) more efficient and bringing it up to the level seen in the developed economies.

They founded GoBOLT in September 2015 as a B2B logistics startup focused on short and long haul operations.

The duo roped in their friend from SP Jain days Sumit Sharma, who, in turn, brought on board his long-time friend and technology expert Yogender Verma. While Sumit had worked in the financial services sector, Yogender had led technology and product development teams in Alcatel-Lucent & Aricent and also worked as a CTO for an education-based e-commerce platform.

The GoBOLT team decided to focus on two pillars – disintermediation and increased asset utilisation, which would both be enabled through technology.

GoBOLT founders

The modus operandi

The platform provides all the transportation solutions such as right vehicle selection, route/delivery planning, real-time tracking, reliable documentation and control, reduced transit time to its clients. The platform harnesses data analytics and IoT to offer these services, which ensures high asset utilisation, efficiency and scale.

Explaining their modus operandi, Sumit says,

“We built a cloud-based platform with a modular framework where different modules manage different entities and operations like customer management, marketplace (brokers, market vehicles, drivers, etc) management, our own fleet and driver management, hub management, trip management, finance management, etc.”

The platform is designed to gather data (broker rates, route turnaround times, expenses, vehicle performance) while executing various operational flows in fulfilling the orders. This data is used to make intelligent decisions for further optimisations of cost and time. The team plans to use this data to build new business models and revenue streams.

Over time, the platform will be enabled to start using predictive analytics (for demand, supply, prices, etc) to achieve further optimisations.

The logistics market

The team claims to have got rid of intermediaries in the marketplace for trucks on many north-western routes by providing two-way loads or leveraging return trucks. These have helped increase returns by close to three to five percent.

The company-owned trucks run close to 10,000 km for non-e-commerce and from 15000 -20000 km for e-commerce businesses. GoBOLT is currently working in express and non-express full truck space (FTL) and plans to enter the part-load business shortly.

Currently, the market for logistics is exploding. The more the world of e-commerce grows, the more logistics companies find growth. According to Logistics Market in India 2015-2020, a study conducted by market researcher Novonous, the country’s logistics industry is worth $300 billion and expected to grow at a CAGR of 12.17 percent by 2020.

There are several players in the logistics space, but the prominent ones are the recently funded BlackBuck and Delhivery. Other players include Rivigo and Ecom Express. There also is the Blume Ventures backed Locus, a platform that leverages machine learning to help logistics providers to deliver products at the right place at the right time.

The differentiating factors

GoBOLT founders claims they are different from other players in the space as they leverage the marketplace format for express e-commerce deliveries. Explaining the differences, Sumit says,

“We strive to achieve regular and efficient asset rotation of all our vehicles and have managed to ensure 20-22 hours of driving time per day per vehicle by following a double-driver model, where we deploy two drivers on our express lane vehicles. We also follow a hub-relay model, where they create hubs at 250-300 kms on the express lanes and a driver shuttles exclusively between two hubs.”

The company also boasts an advanced fleet management system, optimised operations, route planning and vendor management, and use of big data to leverage real-time and long-term trends in the logistics space.

Revenue and future plans

The team claims to be working with companies like Reliance, Philips, Daikin, GSK, Tupperware, Cadbury, Panasonic, Macmillan Publishing House, Pepsico/Lehar, Patanjali Ayurved, Mochiko (the biggest supplier of Adidas & Reebok) and Anya Polytech (associate company of Kribhco), among others.

GoBOLT’s revenue model is based on contracts with industries (FMCGs, FMCDs, E-commerce) for their line haul movements. Their contracts are typically annual arrangements.

The team claims to have logged revenues of Rs1.18 crore in the very first year of their operation (FY 2015-16). They claim to have achieved a nearly 10-fold growth in revenue in 2016-17. The team has also raised an undisclosed funding from MCube Capital.

“Presently, the company has 20-plus clients and around $3 million annual revenue and is catering to marquee clients like Flipkart, GSK, Panasonic, Pepsi, Pepperfry, Tupperware, UB , to name a few. Our annualised revenues this year is expected to be around 10-15 times higher than the previous year,” says Sumit.

According to him, the company plans to expand its business by five to 10 times by next year. It is also planning to enter the part-load market with innovative operating models.

Sumit says they are looking to raise funding in the coming six months to fuel this expansion. “

The raised funds will be predominantly used in technology upgradation (owned and marketplace), and in expanding the team and operations,” adds Sumit.

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