[Startup Bharat] How this entrepreneur is solving transportation issues in Odisha with his logistics firm
Transportation has always been a problem in most small towns across India. When Biswajit Muduli started his own plumbing parts shop, he faced many challenges when it came to transporting materials to his shop.
As there was no way to track the vehicle, Biswajit was not able to provide the estimated time of delivery to his customers. He also found it difficult to book a truck in a short span of time. Coming from Balimela in Malkangiri district of Odisha, which is a Naxalite–Maoist area, Biswajit also saw the difficulties faced by truck owners/drivers and customers while transporting materials.
To address these issues, Biswajit launchedin 2018. The Bhubaneswar-based logistics startup is a transport aggregator that offers an online platform to book vehicles for shifting and moving-related concerns.
Biswajit completed his diploma in Electronics and Telecommunications from KIIT Polytechnic under KIIT University. Apart from the founder, the startup has 12 full-time employees across sales, tech, marketing, logistics management, and customer care, along with six freelancers.
Biswajit explains that Foliyoo Express was built to cater to the transportation needs of both customers as well as truck drivers.
It gives truck drivers an option to decide how much they want to charge for a particular booking, whereas customers can choose the best option from the list of truck drivers and their cost of service. Thus, it becomes a win-win situation for both the truck drivers and the customers.
Biswajit with truck driver in Bhubaneswar
He adds that the startup doesn’t compromise with the safety of customer’s information and material, which is to be transported from one place to other.
The startup onboards truck drivers on its platform only after verifying their background. Once this is done, the drivers are registered with Foliyoo Express and are guided on how the app works.
How it works?
Available both as a web version and on the android app, Foliyoo addresses shifting and moving-related concerns in a three-step process.
Explaining the process, Biswajit says, “The customers use our app to book a truck driver. Users get multiple options of truck drivers in the app when they search for a particular route where they want to transport the material. The app will also show the review of the truck drivers. The user can choose the driver and do the booking. Post the delivery, the payment has to be done in cash to the driver.”
“We also plan to provide online payment options,” he adds.
All trucks have a tracking system through which customers will be able to get real-time tracking information.
The team of Foliyoo Express
The categories of truck on the platform include – Small (one to five ton); Medium (Six to 15 ton); Large (16 to 25 ton); and Extra-large (26 ton and above). Customers also get an option to select the vehicle type such as open, container, troller, and others. They can even select the material to be transported such as automobiles, construction materials, food-agriculture, etc.
So far, the online fleet booking platform claims to have on-boarded 600 truck drivers and completed 3,000 bookings.
The market and business model
A report by ResearchAndMarkets suggests that India’s logistics market is projected to reach $11.48 billion by 2027, growing at a CAGR of 18.8 percent.
Started by Biswajit with an initial investment from his own savings, Foliyoo follows a commission-based business model, and charges between Rs 500 and Rs 750 per booking from the truck owners.
At present, the startup is operational in Bhubaneswar, Sambalpur, Rourkela, Baleswar (Balasore), and Cuttack in Odisha. These locations are its pick up areas, and they deliver pan India.
YS Design Team
The startup plans to launch its services in Kolkata, Sikkim, Bihar, Jharkhand, Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, and Telangana soon.
While there are other prominent players in the segment like Blackbuck, Rivigo, and Trukky, Biswajit says Foliyoo’s USP lies in the fact that apart from its customers, it also focusses on the drivers. Any driver who uses the portal gets to decide what they would like to be paid for a particular booking.
Foliyoo is currently incubated at KIIT-TBI and has also been incubated at AIC-Sikkim Manipal University Technology Business Incubation Foundation (AIC-SMUTBI). It is also selected by Startup Solution for COVID-19 supported by COVID-19 TASKFORCE.
The startup has also qualified for the CHUNATI 1.0 Challenge. Under the NGIS (Next Generation Incubation Scheme), the Government of India will provide seed fund of Rs 25 lakh to each startup along with other facilities.
The road ahead
The startup is planning to expand its services in other sectors like medicine and books delivery. In the long run, Foliyoo aims to bring more drivers on the platform and focus on the pan India market. The startup is also planning to focus on electric vehicles for green transportation.
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