To secure her daughter’s future, this entrepreneur took her logistics business to provide last-mile deliveries for Amazon, BlueDart
The logistics sector in India is male-dominated. However, like their counterparts in other professions, women in this industry are steadily seeing success and growth.
Sunita Joshi (50) startedin Chandigarh in 2016 after getting separated from her husband. In an interaction with SMBStory, she shares the difficulties she faced while setting up the business and how she overcame the challenges along the way. Sunita says,
“After separating from my husband, I started the business primarily to ensure my daughter’s well-being and secure her future. When my husband and I were together, we had started a logistics company which gave me some exposure. Thus, I found it best to utilise my knowledge and skills and enter the industry on my own.”
Logismith is a third-party logistics service provider that supports the last-mile operations forIndia and BlueDart.
How it began
In 1990, Sunita had set up Mitali Associates along with her former husband to support last-mile deliveries of Blue Dart.
“My ex-husband’s acquaintances in BlueDart told him about the need for logistics support for their last-mile deliveries. He believed that this was a lucrative business opportunity and we started Mitali Associates. The company has been providing third-party logistics services to BlueDart for 29 years,” Sunita says.
Sunita’s daughter was in class 9 when she separated from her husband. However, with experience in the logistics sector, it didn’t take her long to start again separately.
Sunita faced some challenges in the initial days. She says she was often told by people that she would not survive alone in the logistics industry because she was a woman. However, she was firm.
Her mother and close friends supported her and even offered monetary support as initial capital.
Sunita Joshi, Founder, Logismith
Sunita launched her business operations in Chandigarh, Mohali, and Panchkula with six boys. In a span of four years, the company now serves close to 30 upcountry and rural pin codes including Manali, Rampur, and Bilaspur and employs over 120 delivery executives.
Logismith even entered Patiala for its delivery operations recently. On an average, the company delivers 2,000-3,000 packages a day.
The logistics sector in India is forecasted to grow at a CAGR of 10.5 percent between 2019 and 2025. It has been awarded infrastructure status which has facilitated investment inflows.
Ecommerce sector will be one of the biggest contributors to the growth of the logistics industry during the forecast period. While the ecommerce industry sees a surge in its sales during the festive season, the logistics sector too thrives during the season. Ecommerce companies have started looking forward to a strong logistics support.
In 2018, during the Great Online Shopping Festival, Amazon India was looking for a last-mile delivery operator who could help them in serving pin codes in Himachal Pradesh. It was at this time that the ecommerce giant reached out to Logismith.
Sunita says the partnership between Logismith and Amazon India helped her expand her business operations to other pin codes besides giving her more exposure to the world of logistics.
“Amazon has created several opportunities that help its partners and associates to develop technological and operational skills. They have given us a mobile-based e-learning platform. It includes content and videos in regional languages focussing on formal customer interaction etiquette, grooming, safety, and overall delivery for an enriched customer experience,” Sunita says.
“A major part of Amazon’s training to delivery partners ensures that they are adept at new technology that is widely used across our facilities and during deliveries,” she adds.
In times of COVID-19 pandemic, Logismith received help in numerous ways from Amazon, right from ensuring the safety of the delivery executives to providing a Partner Support Fund, she says.
The way forward
On her future plans, Sunita says she is waiting for the Rohtang-Lahaul-Spiti Valley Tunnel to open which will reduce the distance between Manali and Lahaul by about 45 km.
The tunnel opening will enable Logismith to expand its business to a few more pin codes and take its operations to new geographies for both Blue Dart and Amazon India, she says.