Freight logistics startup Vaahika uses tech to bring vendors and transporters on same platform
Vaahika aims to drive continuous innovation, effectiveness, and efficiency in the Indian logistics market through better asset utilisation, higher equipment uptime and reduced empty miles.
Deepinder Singh owns 15 trucks and has over 100 registered as affiliates. Every day he has a little book in which he jots down details and manages the companies that contact him to take stock and deliver goods from Jaipur to Gandhidham.
However, his truck utilisation is only 60 percent. He is not able to increase it because he lacks the technology to track his own ecosystem and their availability.
Here is where Vaahika stepped in. The startup helped them with tech that connected him to businesses and increases his truck utilisation to 85 percent. The extra income changed the lives of his affiliate drivers. The more the haulage, the faster they can pay off their EMIs and spend the money on their families.
Siddharth Jain (34) and Shashank Jain (32) started Vaahika in October 2015 as a platform to helps transporters get loads from across the country by bringing both the vendor and the transporters onto the same platform.
The idea was to solve the existing problems of inter-city goods transport industry using an online marketplace bidding platform.
“We founded Vaahika with a vision to drive continuous innovation, effectiveness, and efficiencies in the Indian logistics market through better asset utilisation, higher equipment uptime, and reduced empty miles,” says Siddharth Jain. Both of them knew each other as family friends.
Siddarth is an alumnus of IIT Roorkee (2007) and has been a part of the logistics industry when he joined Tata Motors after his graduation. after his His family has also been in the logistics business for a long time, and continuing the tradition made sense.
He began his stint with the automotive industry in Tata Motors, and then charted out new horizons in Frost and Sullivan, as a Principal Consultant for the automotive team steering the commercial vehicle business.
Shashank completed his post-graduation from IIM Shillong (2012) and he too hails from a business family in Kota, Rajasthan, which has been in the logistics business for over 30 years. He started his career in Pidilite Industries, after which he joined FACE as the Regional Business Development Head for North.
He facilitated and strategised the entry of the company in the region. He is also the founder of Real Time Logistics, which provides comprehensive logistics and transportation solutions to its customers.
Vaahika is looking to create India’s first ‘logistics ecosystem’. It aims at digitising the intercity freight business by using a combination of technology and traditional approach.
It also aims at driving efficiencies by increasing asset utilisation, which means that transporters can even book their return loads in advance, which on one hand increases revenues for fleet owners and on the other hand reduces logistics bill for SMEs.
This a digitised ecosystem acts as a valuable platform for vehicle manufacturers, insurance and financing companies. It aims at driving the alternate business of promoting truck launches, facilitating new truck sales, selling motor insurance and selling used trucks for vehicle financing companies.
How Vaahika works
Vaahika helps transporters to get loads or cargo from across the country by bringing both vendor and transporters on to the same platform. The clients list the load on the website for which the truck operators bid, with the lowest bidder winning the load.
This way, Vaahika not only helps the transporters to get business but also helps the manufacturers to choose from different options. The only other company doing this on a national scale is Lobb and they have more than 10,000 truckers and 200 brands on the platform.
The Vaahika founders have been in business since 2015 and have invested their own money. Industry sources say they have crossed a ARR of Rs 6 crore in the business. The company did not want to reveal the total number of SMEs and truckers using the platform.
“Few companies work on asset-based solutions, as they have their own trucks. There are other companies, which work on a contract-based model, which will have a fixed rate throughout the year. We primarily have target-based customers, SMEs and MSMEs, which do not play in the contract based space, which means, all the bookings are done on the spot,” says Siddarth Jain.
According to IBEF, the logistics industry is a $200 billion market in India and is 90 percent is unorganised. The problems of this segment are that technology companies operating in this market have to generate revenues at scale. For example, for a $1 billion GMV on the platform, the companies make only three percent. So they have to scale fast, raise a lot more money and figure out additional revenue streams.
“This market has enormous potential. But for the effort the entrepreneurs have to prove that at the least cost they can scale the technology to large-scale adoption,” says Mohandas Pai, Chairman of Aarin Capital.
It's only a matter of time for logistics to be completely automated to get orders and for truck drivers to deliver.