How a logistics gateway is empowering micro entrepreneurs
The story of Shadowfax – a Bangalore based tech startup that has empowered 40,000 micro entrepreneurs in the last three years, fulfilling 1.5 lakhs unique orders a day in food, grocery, fashion, pharmacy, furniture, e-commerce and traditional business sectors
Shadowfax was started in 2015 by two IIT Delhi alumni, with an aim to make instant deliveries a reality in India. The Bangalore based startup is a logistics gateway for businesses, operating on a plug-and-play format, offering an on-demand delivery service platform to its clients. “The technology enables customers to make fast, safe and reliable deliveries by instantly connecting them (businesses/e-tailers/retailers) with our extensive network of 50000+ delivery partners spread across 150+ cities and towns in India,” says Abhishek Bansal, Co-Founder & CEO, Shadowfax, adding that operating on an asset-light model, Shadowfax currently fulfills 1.5 lakhs unique orders a day in food, grocery, fashion, pharmacy, furniture, e-commerce and traditional business sectors.
The company’s strong technology platform is integrated with every new age e-commerce venture, the likes of Amazon, Swiggy, BigBasket and many others including smaller restaurants, merchants and retailers. “Shadowfax is on a mission to connect the next million micro entrepreneurs and suppliers in logistics and aims to deliver 15 lakh+ orders per day by 2021,” informs Bansal.
- 80 per cent same-day returns across a network of 100 cities : With this achievement, Shadowfax has set the gold standard within the industry. “The acquisition of NuvoEX and Pickingo has helped the organisation in building a fine-tuned and widespread reverse pickup service for clients. The launch of e-commerce logistics 2.0 helps in pickup services into 300+ cities, covering 3500+ pin codes. The new processes allow the riders to manage pickups and check returned products for quality, using only the app,” states Bansal, reminding that the technology also helps the merchants as they can view the shipment with the same transparency as the customers and riders, allowing them to effectively plan for inventory and replacements.
- Focus on unit economy : Shadowfax was conceived with an idea to redefine last-mile logistics and solve the problems that impacted this process in terms of efficiency as well as customer experience. “During our initial days of operation, we looked at various business models and soon realised that focusing on unit economics will give us a better sustainability in the market instead of burning assets and money. The primary idea was to drive the business without depleting too much capital. With this move we wanted to make sure that it is bringing in more revenue than our costs. This helped us in turning the business into a workable investment opportunity,” explains Bansal.
Shadowfax’s client list is long with names like Dominos, BigBasket, Amazon, Paytm, Flipkart, Myntra, McDonald’s, 1MG, and many others. It also connects a huge segment of clientele, comprising smaller restaurants, merchants and retailers, with their customers with a instant/same-day delivery/pick-up service. “We are India’s most trusted B2B on-demand last mile logistics network offering tech-enabled one stop delivery solutions for e-commerce, restaurants, FMCG, pharma and online and offline retailers. Our technology allows e-trailers, retailers – big, small, national, regional, local, hyperlocal – to schedule and make deliveries without incurring the overhead cost of hiring, maintaining and retaining a logistics chain and resources,” he states.
Bansal believes that through their venture Shadowfax, they have enabled and empowered people by helping them adopt and leverage technology to become economically self dependent – essentially turning them into micro entrepreneurs – in fact 40,000 micro entrepreneurs in the last three years.
“We are the fastest growing startup in last mile delivery. We are on a mission to connect the next million micro entrepreneurs and suppliers in logistics using singular platform/IoTs to bridge the information gap and eradicate inefficiencies across the value chain,” he asserts.
Acknowledging that the logistics sector is going through an era of exceptional transformation as digitisation catch hold and customer prospect are evolving, Bansal says, “Technology is shifting each facet of how logistics companies are operating. We have invested heavily in AI-based routing algorithm for improving delivery time to enhance customer delight and to make deliveries easier for partners in real-time fraud detection to minimise loss and improve customer experience; and optimal slot utilisation to tackle peak hour demands and maximise earning potential of partners.”
Pointing out that India as a country is typically following the trends showcased by China in the past, Bansal affirms, “We are looking forward to tech adoption penetrating deep into the grass roots of our nation thereby bringing in substantial ease of doing business, transparency and increased earnings for the masses. Logistics and supply chain itself will grow by leaps and bounds on the back of these latest technologies and moving goods will become much easier and safer in the coming years.”
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