MD, and CEO at Smartr Logistics, discusses challenges faced by the logistics industry and role of digital transformation
Yogesh Dhingra, MD, and CEO at Smartr Logistics, discusses the distinguishing factors of the company, the problems faced by logistics firms and the possible solutions, and lastly, the crucial role of technology in transforming transportation. Excerpts from his exclusive conversation with ET
What is the USP of your brand? What distinguishes you from the competition?
Smartr Logistics was envisioned to provide world-class logistics services at competitive prices. As a new-age brand, we have always believed that ‘quality service need not come with a high price tag.’
Building upon this belief, we became the first logistics company to launch offerings across the B2B, B2C, BFSI, B2C E-comm & D2C industries. We offer customized solutions and ensure quality and trust via real-time and end-to-end tracking of shipments, as well as 24×7 customer service. Smartr has some of the fastest transit times in the industry with logistics experts leading each of our first, mid, and last-mile processes. As a result, we emerged as the first brand to achieve same-day interstate express delivery through our flexible point-to-point optimum network routing that ensures faster connectivity across the country.
Despite being a new player, the confidence of our customers in our air express product ‘Aerex’ was overwhelming. This encouraged us to accelerate the launch of our ground express service, ‘Wheelex’. Owing to our customer loyalty and reliability, we believe that it is our customer-driven approach that distinguishes Smartr Logistics in the market.
What do you think are the top three challenges faced by your industry and how can they be overcome?
One of the biggest challenges is the lack of human capital. Logistics is highly dependent on human skills and experience, but there is a lack of a workforce that has the required skillset for first and last-mile delivery operations. Initiatives to train agents can lead to improved performance and better execution of business operations.
Quality infrastructure is another pressing challenge. It is imperative to focus on quality warehouses and cargo terminals at airports as well as high-speed internet connectivity in industrial areas. The current common user terminals are extremely cost-prohibitive and lead to significant time lost in retrieving loads post-flight arrival. The development of cargo terminals will increase efficiency and productivity for express logistics, benefiting providers as well as customers.
Reducing the cost of the logistics industry remains the most impending challenge for India. Introducing the National Logistics Policy was much needed and the right course of action to reconstitute this sector and bring about significant change in improving overall efficiency and reducing costs within the Indian logistics market.
What are the top technologies you plan to work on in 2023?
Smartr was conceptualized by a team of industry veterans who are well-versed in the sector, and its dynamics. Therefore, our products reflect the resolve to be tech-enabled and advanced. For example, we have secure products for passports to e-comm solutions with convenient payment options and OTP-based delivery.
Technology is constantly evolving and at Smartr, we believe in providing state-of-the-art technology with real-time visibility and tracking. Hence, we continue to evaluate improvements that can benefit customers.
In 2023, we plan to further improve our technological offerings through additional automation for our first mile and last mile processes to improve efficiency and reduce transit time, use of geo-location and geo-fencing technology to ensure accuracy of delivery attempts, and integration of enhanced calling and text features to reach customers when communication is required. With these, we aim to maintain the utmost transparency in our processes and ensure we always keep our customers satisfied.
To benefit our customers from a shipping and monitoring standpoint, we will upgrade our self-service Customer Panel with real-time dashboard level tracking and visibility, as well as exception management and increased reporting such as non-delivery and return to origin.
Moving forward, Smartr plans to facilitate international services in the next six months along with hyper-local offerings and subsequently 3PL, warehousing, and fulfilment centres in the near future. As we develop these offerings, customers can expect further enhancement of our technological features to simplify supply chains and contribute to the nation’s goal to improve logistics efficiency and develop India into a globally leading logistics market.