This Kolkata-based logistics startup helps with seamless daily freight and reduced spends
India can save a whopping $50 billion if the cost of logistics and transportation is reduced from 14.4 percent of the GDP to nine percent. Compared to this, other developing countries spend less than eight percent of their GDP.
Even with several players in long haul, short haul, and last mile logistics like Rivigo, Blackbuck, Blowhorn, LetsTransport, Fortigo, and LoadShare, there is a dire need for an organised space in India. This gap in the logistics market led Varun Biyani, Anup Agarwal, and Manisha Saraf to start SuperProcure in 2017 in Kolkata.
A SaaS-based B2B startup that digitises and optimises logistics and supply chain management for manufacturing and infra companies, SuperProcure helps bring down logistics spends.
SuperProcure aims to make information reliable and visible to everyone by driving communication, coordination, and committment within the logistics workflow. Workflow automation improves manual productivity and hence creates higher income capability, which in turn results in greater social and economic value for each of the stakeholders — the logistics team, the carrier, the fleet owner, drivers, and customers.
The early days
Talking about how they started operations, Varun recalls that the three co-founders, who have known each other since 2010, wished to make an impact in this space as all of them had experience in logistics. He says,
“We started a similar pilot in 2010. However, given the technology penetration and the feedback we got from the transport players we decided that the timing of our solution was not right. We got back together in July 2017 and built a small POC around the daily spot market transactions. By December 2017 we had five paying customers and that's when we knew that our product had the potential to go big.”
He adds they started to address the tiny issues in truck availability as and when they cropped up. However, with increased interactions with people and organisations (both national and international), they found that the problem was bigger and broader.
“Logistics needs full transformation similar to what happened in accounts 30 years ago with SAP, Tally, Oracle and in marketing and sales with Salesforce,” says Varun.
SuperProcure’s freight e-negotiation software helps logistics teams get vehicles and rates without having to invest time in phone call or mails and thus removes the manual hassles in daily vehicle procurement.
The platform automatically floats users’ requirements to registered transporters, takes quotes from them, and generates comparative reports. The product comes with an in-built reverse auction engine that ensures competition among transporters and fetches the best rates within a few minutes.
“The platform ensures a 100 percent audit-compliant process for freight e-negotiation by maintaining a historical audit-trail for every action performed on the platform while also enabling companies to manage their pan-India freight negotiation from a single dashboard,” explains Varun.
The team and their client base
Anup, the CEO, is an MBA graduate from IIM Lucknow and has over 12 years of experience in heavy and agriculture industries. He has managed core production, dispatch operations, and fundraising. Varun, who is the CTO, is a graduate of Carnegie Mellon University, US, and has worked with IBM, UPS, and FedEx. Manisha, who is Anup’s sister and the company’s CFO, is a chartered accountant with 12 years of experience in cost optimisation, financial consulting, and portfolio management for HNIs.
While the team refrained from sharing details of their charges, they explained that they have a one-time license, customisation, or implementation fee. They also charge a recurring transaction-based subscription fee.
Some of the startup’s clients include LNTECC, Tata Global Beverage, Godrej Agrovet, Borosil, KEI Industries, ISGEC, PepsiCo, Jain Irrigation, Shyam Steel, Anmol Biscuits, and Dukes India.
Funding and future
India ranks 35th in the World Bank’s Logistics Performance Index, underscoring the low efficiency of logistics in India, when compared to that in other countries. This also highlights the potential to innovate and disrupt the large and growing logistics market in India.
Today, B2B logistics startups like SuperProcure that provide the tech to address the whole spectrum of logistics and supply chain needs of large organisations—from last-mile delivery and warehousing operations, to freight transportation and demand forecasting, among others—are in focus.
The team has received seed investment support from NIDHI through the incubator IIM Calcutta Innovation Park (IIMCIP). Speaking of how the startup has grown, Varun shares that the revenue from new customers has doubled in the last 12 months and that they are targeting to further double this in six months.
“Over Rs 450 crores freight per annum is being managed through the platform and the number is moving up every month,” says Varun. Currently in the early stage, SuperProcure aims to further expand its reach into global markets by the end of next year.
(Edited by Athirupa Geetha Manichandar)