During the interview with TechGraph, Eugene Panfilov, General Manager of Borzo for the India and Brazil region, discussed the company’s innovative approach to providing delivery services to SMBs as well as direct-to-consumer (D2C) brands in India, and how it is using feedback from customers to improve the company’s logistics and shopping experience.
Read the complete interview:
TechGraph: Can you provide an overview of Borzo Delivery’s current logistics and operations strategy for product and document delivery in India? What sets your approach apart from competitors?
Eugene Panfilov: Borzo’s strategy in India and other markets centers on leveraging its unique technological platform to provide efficient on-demand delivery services for various categories. What sets us apart is our focus on serving the needs of small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) and direct-to-consumer (D2C) brands, making us a valuable partner for growth in these segments.
In addition to this, Retailers, large enterprise clients, and hyper-local businesses who require last-mile delivery support form our core customer base. Our primary differentiator is our tech platform, which allows businesses and individual customers to place orders in real time and receive prompt responses from our network of delivery partners.
This technology-driven approach is especially useful for SMBs and D2C brands that often struggle to predict customer demand accurately as they have a lower daily delivery volume. By offering on-demand deliveries, Borzo helps these businesses manage their logistics effectively and ensure timely deliveries to their customers.
In the hyperlocal delivery space, Borzo caters to a range of products, including perishable items like food and groceries as well as pharmaceuticals. These are the popular categories of deliveries. When it comes to the SMB segment, the categories are widespread such as electronics, apparel, and e-commerce deliveries.
This flexibility allows Borzo to address the specific delivery needs of SMBs, providing them with a comprehensive solution to streamline their logistics operations. Document delivery is also a prevalent category and delivery partners find it the easiest to deliver.
In India, the deliveries comprise 70% from SMB and Hyperlocal segment and 30% from Enterprise segment.
In a nutshell, Timeliness, hassle-free delivery, and being cost-effective in a competitive market are what sets Borzo apart from its competitors.
TechGraph: India’s diverse geography presents unique challenges for logistics. How does Borzo Delivery ensure timely and efficient deliveries across different regions, including remote and less developed areas?
Eugene Panfilov: Now that e-commerce sales in India’s Tier II and Tier III cities gaining immense momentum, we are exploring long-term solutions for making the final mile delivery in remote areas beyond the city limits.
The company also caters to businesses in distant locations around Mumbai, such as Kalyan, or Vasai-Virar, and, in Delhi, it serves satellite cities with booming economies, such as Noida, Gurgaon, Ghaziabad, and Faridabad. As we expand regionally, more satellite towns will be added to our delivery radius.
The success of a same-day delivery business model depends on a careful balancing of delivery speed and cycle time. It may be necessary for last-mile delivery to have a robust network chain of local warehouses with technological interventions to simplify the picking and packing procedures.
Last-mile delivery delays can be avoided with the use of tracking, traceability, delivery routers, etc. Availability of the product and the disposition of the delivery staff also play critical roles and cannot be discounted. Borzo’s focus is on enabling small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) by providing them with fast, precise, same-day delivery to all zip codes within a city.
TechGraph: What regions or cities in India does Borzo Delivery currently serve, and are there expansion plans?
Eugene Panfilov: Currently, Borzo has a presence in 22 cities in India namely Mumbai, Delhi/NCR, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad, Chennai, Kolkata, Pune, Surat, Jaipur, Goa, Kanpur, Indore, Bhopal, and Chandigarh, Amritsar, Guwahati, Jodhpur, Kota, Lucknow, Udaipur, and Dehradun.
The purpose of the growth is to support the company’s hyperlocal delivery efforts. Our expansion strategy is simple, We enter each city, start operations and later re-adopt the city with added force for mass expansion and we will continue to follow this approach going forward as well. The current focus of expansion is big cities in South India and subsequently expanding to other cities in the region.
TechGraph: Returns and exchanges are common concerns for e-commerce deliveries. How does your company handle these processes to ensure a seamless experience for customers?
Eugene Panfilov: Our approach to handling these processes centers on efficiency, transparency, and customer satisfaction. Our interactions with customers after delivery provide valuable data that contributes to effective reverse logistics (returns). This data serves as an asset, offering insights into the strength of our organization’s supply chain and the performance of our logistics partners.
Furthermore, it presents an opportunity for us to continually enhance our product offerings and improve the overall customer experience.
If an item is missing, damaged, or incorrect upon arrival, if customers (brands as well as end customers) inform us as soon as possible, it allows us to swiftly investigate and rectify the situation.
Regarding refunds, the process is simple. Once we receive a refund request, we review the order, and if approved, the funds will be credited back to the customer’s original payment mode within 7 days.
TechGraph: With the rise of on-demand delivery services, customers expect real-time tracking and updates. How has Borzo Delivery incorporated technology to provide transparency and keep customers informed about their deliveries?
Eugene Panfilov: The convenience of knowing exactly where the package is at all times is a major selling point for on-demand delivery services. Knowing exactly where the package is and when it will arrive gives customers transparency and peace of mind. It also helps people organize their day better.
For the business customers, our Automation solutions for the business platform include Free API integration & CMS Modules to integrate with the App/website, Same Day COD remittance – Courier partner will directly transfer/deposit the COD amount to the business account within 24 hours and Delivery partners are assigned in less than 5 minutes of order placing and Pickups are done within 10-35 minutes. The process can be tracked in real-time, effectively.
TechGraph: The delivery space in India is competitive. How does Borzo Delivery differentiate itself from other major players in terms of service quality, speed, and innovation? And how do you plan to stay competitive and capture market share in this evolving landscape?
Eugene Panfilov: The last-mile logistics segment is highly competitive and saturated with both traditional logistics companies and well-funded new-age firms filling in different gaps. However, if you observe closely, Borzo is one of the most capital-efficient companies in the segment due to its technology and marketplace. This efficiency is a competitive advantage for the company.
Borzo’s business model focuses on SMEs and aims to increase its market share in that area while also targeting the hyperlocal segment and serving B2C customers in an optimized manner.
Despite the intense competition, Borzo has maintained a strong market share with its superior products and services and plans to continue expanding.
On the tech front, we are building anti-fraud algorithms to enhance security which will be rolled out soon via app update. We are also continuously updating our app to resolve bugs and provide a smooth user experience to the users.
Our dedicated services for business customers give us the edge to expand our offerings in Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities while being the top player in Tier 1 cities.
TechGraph: Technology plays a pivotal role in modern delivery services. How has Borzo Delivery leveraged technology, such as AI, route optimization algorithms, and IoT, to enhance its delivery operations?
Eugene Panfilov: Artificial intelligence (AI) and other smart technologies are now ubiquitous in the logistics and supply chain sector, aiding in a wide variety of tasks across the industry.
Borzo understands the importance of flexibility in catering to evolving customer demands. The company is poised to adapt to the changing landscape by embracing a “solution for everyone” approach. This means that Borzo is prepared to collaborate with a wide range of technology partners to deliver diverse solutions ensuring a flexible and responsive supply chain model.
Borzo’s Tech team is focused on developing solutions that are of utmost importance which include Anti-fraud features in the app, real-time tracking, API integration, and cloud solutions.
The company utilizes route optimization algorithms to plan and optimize delivery routes. This minimizes fuel consumption, reduces travel time, and enhances overall operational efficiency. This technology ensures that deliveries are completed with maximum efficiency, benefiting both Borzo and its customers.
Generally, Logistics firms may make better use of their fleets and inventory management with the help of IoT devices as it helps in monitoring shipments to enhance productivity and transparency. Logistics firms of all sizes are collaborating with IoT SaaS startups to leverage this.
TechGraph: Sustainability is a growing concern globally. Could you share any initiatives or practices Borzo Delivery has adopted to minimize its environmental impact in the delivery process?
Eugene Panfilov: Borzo has taken significant steps to minimize its environmental impact in the delivery process. One notable initiative is the company’s deployment of Electric Vehicles (EVs) in strategic partnership with Zecat to facilitate last-mile deliveries using
We have ambitious plans to extend our EV fleet operations to other major metro cities across India to transition 20% of its last-mile delivery fleet to EVs by the end of the year.
These electric vehicles will play a crucial role in ensuring efficient, reliable, and environmentally friendly hyper-local deliveries. This move aligns with Borzo’s vision of reducing its carbon footprint and promoting eco-friendly delivery services.
Through this collaboration, Zecat will periodically lease electric two-wheelers to Borzo, which will then sub-lease them to its delivery riders.
Eugene Panfilov: To strengthen the EV move based on the data, we surveyed our delivery partners to understand their perception and preference for EVs and the reasons behind it. The survey revealed that a significant portion of respondents are experiencing substantial financial benefits from using electric vehicles for deliveries.
Over 50% of participants reported saving more than 30% amount on petrol expenses each month. Respondents identified several key advantages of using EVs for delivery work, with 77.4% highlighting fuel or petrol cost savings. Other advantages mentioned include lower rent expenses, a quieter and smoother ride, and the availability of charging incentives or discounts.
A majority of respondents, 72.8%, believe that electric vehicle scooters offer better cost-efficiency and comfort compared to petrol vehicles for delivery work in the city. Among the respondents, 59.8% expressed a preference for using electric vehicles.
The results indicate a growing inclination towards electric mobility solutions. In addition to this, we are also exploring sustainable packaging solutions to further our sustainability initiatives.
TechGraph: Lastly, how does Borzo Delivery navigate regulatory challenges and compliance issues in the Indian delivery market?
Eugene Panfilov: Our legal team ensures that we are compliant with the changing regulatory landscape of Last-mile delivery. We and our partners respect the personal space and privacy of all our customers.
We are collaborating with insurance companies to provide medical insurance for Gig Delivery partners. We maintain absolute transparency in payouts to partners and ensure that they are not burdened.
We have also integrated insurance to protect orders to fairly compensate the customers in case of damage or theft which enables us to create fair compensation for the customers.
It goes without saying that for any kind of emergency, we assist and take appropriate action as needed, including cooperating with law enforcement. Right now, we are exploring and evaluating the regulatory framework of ONDC and plan to action it.