On Wednesday morning, Amitava Saha, Founder & CEO of XpressBees sat down with TechGraph for a wide-ranging interview. We discussed about the XpressBees journey, the impact of COVID-19 on the logistics business, and more.
TechGraph: Can you update us on Xpressbees’ journey so far?
Amitava Saha: We started as an E-Commerce focused logistics service provider and later expanded Logistics Solutions to provide 3PL, Cargo, and Cross-border services to our clients thereby providing one-stop-shop Order Management for logistics needs.
Today, we work with almost all e-com companies of the country big or small, and are present across 3000 plus cities, Our client base range from leading retailers, pharma companies, manufacturing companies to automobile manufacturers. We are the fastest growing express logistics service provider in India, our network spreads across 19500 plus pin codes covering 90% of the key business areas of the country.
TechGraph: What is your view on the role of technology in redefining the logistics sector amid the outbreak of the covid pandemic?
Amitava Saha: Every crisis forces people into new ways of thinking, considering that the recent disruptions have affected the market trajectory to a considerable extent, factors like convenience, scalability, end-to-end visibility, and flexibility have become critical for businesses of any size.
The pandemic has remapped how the supply chain and logistics sector operates. COVID did push the demand for warehouses, alternative locations, and emerging markets and an increased in usage of technology to accelerate the speed of delivery of goods.
Technology has indeed brought about a revolution in the entire supply chain process processes for both the consumers as well as the service provider. New technologies have become more relevant and imperative and the need to have the most efficient supply chain management has become paramount.
Of late, there are rampant changes to ensure a much more robust and emphatic gameplay of supply chain and logistics in overall business efficiency and brand image.
TechGraph: Can you elaborate on the XpressBees plans and innovations that you are looking at (from a tech perspective)?
Amitava Saha: At XpressBees we are growing aggressively and continue to invest in people and technology to meet the growing demand of the industry. The plan is to build on the team size and technology expertise.
We already have our entire operations working on our in-house technology and we will continue to invest heavily into automation and technology in the future as well. From an ecosystem perspective, we support around 45,000 people in some capacity or the other. We have a team of 250 odd people, which are largely working on the technology front and we see these numbers go up substantially shortly.
TechGraph: Do you think tech-powered logistics players can address the logistics gap in India?
Amitava Saha: Technology has revamped the entire logistics sector; it has come in handy to reduce the cost, helped in accelerating the speed of deliveries, adopting sustainable measures, streamlined operations, and has helped better customer relations. With a heavy focus on the latest technology to support the business, logistics companies are relooking and restructuring the way traditional businesses are done.
Technology advancements are the major contributory factors giving the requisite push to the sector. We believe Digital transformation has and will play a pivotal role in improving the overall customer experience and will indeed revolutionize the entire supply chain and logistics sector in the future as well.
TechGraph: How exactly does the technology work at XpressBees?
Amitava Saha: At XpressBees, we have invested heavily in creating tech-empowered solutions that offer customized logistics services ranging from collection and storage of goods to transportation and door-step delivery and predictive analytics.
We have built central technology platforms for all logistics processes, which helps in building fast workflows of various first mile, mid mile, and last-mile use cases.
All our business verticals are fully integrated with our in-house core technology platform to reuse all types of assets, resources, and manpower. Over 75% of our operations run on fully automated, technology-driven workflows and material movement processes.
TechGraph: Why do you think the logistics sector witnessed a strong rebound in H2FY2021?
Amitava Saha: The strong growth was supported by an upward trend in the increasing demand for e-commerce in the non-metro cities of India. In recent years, e-commerce expanded aggressively to tier-2 and tier-3 cities across the country.
Also, key factors like government reforms, development plans, growing retail sales, rise in digital-savvy businesses, and end-to-end automation have contributed significantly to uplift the logistics sector.
TechGraph: When it comes to the logistics sector, what are the tools and technologies used to redefine the way of doing business in the new normal?
Amitava Saha: While infrastructure readiness and tech are expected to be the key factors defining the way of doing business, we believe there is a huge need for innovation and experimentation to optimize operations in the logistics sector. In the coming years, we do see a major emphasis on AI, IoT, Blockchain, RPA, and ML as these are critical in supporting the next phase of growth for the sector. Also, there has been a lot of focus on bringing sustainable delivery solutions as it will help manage traffic congestion and will extend the reach to the remotest parts of the country.