Supply chain management has been recognized as a logistics or procurement department since its initial stage; however, it experienced a drastic change with the active involvement of technology. Technology and its advancements introduced efficient solutions to improvise and expand the global market for goods and raw materials.
As a result, the need for highly trained individuals and companies that understood the complexities in the modern supply chain went on increasing.
Moreover, there was an immense thrust in the companies to provide significant and effective solutions to enhance the exchange and distribution process for businesses and their potential clients. This was when GRAB came into the picture.
GRAB, a home-grown start-up pioneered tech-enabled last-mile solutions in India since its inception in 2013. It is India’s leading and thriving logistics company that is providing its logistics service and solutions to businesses and other essential service providing platforms. These platforms include general stores, medical stores, and financial institutions.
In an exclusive interview with Insights Success, team GRAB sheds light on the company’s journey, the current industrial scenario, and opinions on the future of the company.
Please describe our audience about GRAB in detail.
GRAB (Grab. in) is India’s largest and fastest-growing logistics company that focuses on providing last-mile delivery services to various businesses ranging from restaurants, online grocers, offline and online retail, e-Commerce platforms, general stores, pharmacies, banks, etc.
GRAB’s service offering is not just sector and business agnostic, but also we offer our clients a bouquet of options ranging from forward, reverse, exchange, distribution, and many such supply chain services.
With one of the widest presences in over six hundred cities, we have built an expansive fleet network of 100,000 that comprises bike riders, three and four-wheeled vehicles, and electric bikes and vans. The unique part of this network lies in being crowdsourced, allowing our suppliers to expand and compress, catering to its clients’ demand patterns.
In a recent transaction, Reliance Industries has obtained a majority stake in GRAB that has fuelled growth towards Reliance’s digital commerce initiatives in catering to both it is Jio-Mart and new commerce platforms.
Please brief us about Mr Nishant Vora and shed some light on his professional tenure.
Mr Nishant Vora is the Co-Founder and Director at GRAB. Nishant has paved the way for the company to mark a presence and pioneered tech-enabled logistic solutions.
Nishant leads the Operations and Strategy at GRAB. Having founded three successful companies himself, Nishant not only has a strong business background but is also a visionary and people person.
Nishant is an alum of the Mohawk College, Ontario, Canada, and has won many accolades through his academic and professional journeys.
He has worked with esteemed brands like Toyota, General Electric, etc., before founding GRAB (Grab a Grub Services Ltd or Grab. in) along with two of his childhood friends, Pritesh Sanghvi and Jignesh Patel.
With over 15 years of diverse experience, Nishant now envisages taking GRAB to new heights of success.
What was the inspiration behind the commencement of GRAB in the supply chain solution providers’ industry?
A decade ago, the logistics industry in India was pretty unorganised. We encountered many businesses that were struggling with fixed delivery setup, no technology input, unoptimized costs, unutilised resources, etc. These were just a few amongst the many challenges.
During some conversations, we realised the ground realities and saw a potential for change. One of the restaurateurs we met told us how he had a fleet of three bikers that are idle on most days and were utilized fully only on Saturday nights, and despite that, struggles with delivery timelines on weekends continued.
His customers were unhappy when delivery was delayed while the restaurateur had no alternative cost option.
This was when we were determined to create a tech abled delivery platform that elevates the entire delivery experience from smart order assignment, delivery tracking, navigation to the customer while optimizing the cost for our client.
This was obviously the foundational idea we initiated with, and over the years, we have improvised and built on the operational and tech stack that provides our clients’ customers with an unparalleled delivery experience.
Brief us about the diversified services GRAB offers to its clients
GRAB specializes in providing last-mile logistics solutions. Our sector agnostic tech platform allows us to cater to businesses ranging from restaurants, online grocers, offline and online retail commerce stores.
GRAB is the fastest growing logistic platform offering services ranging from forward, reverse, exchange, distribution, and many such supply chain services.
By combining local know-how and technological expertise, Grab provides time-specified services, ingenious and customized solutions, and maximum satisfaction to our discerning list of clientele, including JioMart, Flipkart, Amazon, Swiggy, McDonald’s, KFC, FedEx, Big Basket, Big Bazaar, and many more.
What were the initial challenges you encountered while establishing GRAB?
A decade ago, when we launched our platform, we were the first movers offering such services to businesses. There were no ready reckoners for us to refer to, and we completely started from scratch.
Understanding the needs, meeting the demands, detangling, and assimilating all processes required to set up all the hyperlocal logistic models, we did it all. We went through our challenges of trial and errors to arrive at the right delivery model that has evolved today.
How was GRAB affected during the pandemic, and how did you manage to curb the damages, all the while providing the best solution to clients and maintaining the safety of your employees?
The pandemic and the resulting lockdowns and curbs actually fuelled exponential growth to our company, given that our last-mile delivery offering was critical to get the necessities and essentials at the doorstep for people.
We saw this uptick, especially in our grocery segment. While we saw our delivery volumes boom, we also took on the challenge of ensuring our delivery partners remained safe by having continuous sanitization processes and subsequent vaccination drives.
There were COVID protocols set in place, and all our staff and riders were given the training to follow them. We also equipped our riders with necessary requirements like PPE kits, gloves, sanitisers, etc. Our focus was the safety of our clients, our fleet, and our staff.
What would you like to advise the aspirants who want to become entrepreneurs and make a mark in the supply chain management solutions space?
India is a massive market for logistics, and while this industry is transforming, there are still plenty of areas that remain untapped and unsolved.
The two cents for budding entrepreneurs would be using technology to solve local logistics challenges rather than adapting an internationally proven model. The sector has immense potential for growth and innovation.
Where do you envision GRAB eventually and what are your goals in the future? How do you plan to embrace the innovations happening in your industry?
We are confident of maintaining the top position in our segment of last-mile services for businesses and leading the way for the logistics sector. While we will continue to grow geographically and expand our business, we also have some unique and innovative offerings in the pipeline that will add to a new vertical of businesses.
We have always taken initial moves in adopting innovative methods to maintain operational excellence and integrate tech innovations.
Whether it is the three-minute digital onboarding or the only logistics platform to have a virtual wallet enabling daily pay-out to partners or a COVID audit application to track our fleet safety, we will continue to revolutionize logistics.
What is the current industrial scenario of the supply chain management solutions space?
Given the ongoing pandemic, there is a lot of momentum in businesses that have logistics as a cornerstone. Whether it is the quick commerce grocery segment or express solutions for B2C brands, many opportunities require a unified tech solution that can cater to varying supply chain demands.
This approach, coupled with a flexible fleet network, is the primary means for time and cost optimizations.