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Leveraging AI to Empower Logistics

Girish V S - Director, ISCM
July 14, 2021

Girish V S, Director, ISCM speaks to Parinay Itkan, Founder and COO, Shyplite on “Leveraging AI to Empower Logistics”

Logistics sector is set to grow at a faster rate – including attracting USD 500 billion in investment by 2025. However, the need is for higher penetration of technology. Girish V S Director ISCM speaks to Parinay Itkan, Founder and COO Shyplite – an AI embedded logistics platform and service provider on their plans for a brave new world of logistics.

What is the vision behind Shyplite?

In 2015, when Sugam and I were both scaling our own e-commerce businesses, we both could not grow at an expected pace as all our time went into managing multiple courier partners and the completely tedious logistics management. This is where we realized a gap in business logistics in India and the only available resolution in the market were online aggregators. Now it’s been half a decade to the day when Sugam, Nisschal, and I together dwelled upon a solution for all the e-commerce sellers in India and conceptualized the idea for Shyplite- a single shipping gateway for logistics automation and end-to-end management.

What is Shyplite’s USP? How is your offering different from other platforms?

We have become India’s most trusted end-to-end shipping gateway empowering sellers with a tightly wired network of the most robust, secure, and cost-effective logistics infrastructure to enable businesses of all sizes to seamlessly expand their reach to every corner of the world possible, overcoming all the barriers of shipping. We have established ourselves on the four powerful Customer-Centric forces of Performance, Processes, Innovation and Technology to give business’ logistics a seamless and successful flight. One of the biggest reasons why we have emerged as the most trusted shipping gateway to tens of thousands of businesses in India is that we listen and care for our clients with a dedicated support team in place. Manifesting an excellent delivery experience to their customers remains the cornerstone of all that we do at Shyplite. We find our success in enabling their business towards limitless expansion and helping them delight their customers every single day.

How has AI helped your customers in real-time? What are the advantages of AI-based solutions?

At every level of shipping that you do on our LPaaS Shyplite, AI has a role to play. Like: there is an API to handle the creation of the order on the logistic partners’ platform, another that prints shipping labels, another for AWB (airway bill) generation, and then for assigning a delivery agent to pick up the order. Even the NDR process is completely automated with a real-time tracking system. Advanced methods, such as geocoding and location intelligence are being used for optimum performance, and there’s much more to it. As technology continues to advance, we will continue to innovate, finding the best uses for it that can improve our sellers’ logistics

In a hyper-competitive world, how will your solution help a small business catch up to the big daddies?

We have established ourselves on the four powerful Customer-Centric forces of Performance, Processes, Innovation and Technology to give business’ logistics a seamless and successful flight

Technology will continue to affect the growth of SMBs in this decade or rather it would be a techade for the SMBs. We have seen our customers grow 2x-3x, even more, as we improve and innovate our platform. Businesses have gone from local to national, and now will go global with the help of technology. In e-commerce logistics we are seeing very strong demand for warehousing and fulfilment, return prevention and reduction tools, shipping through retail outlets, hyperlocal deliveries, which used to be a struggling segment is now a thriving industry. Hence, we at Shyplite are aggressively evolving to deliver global growth potential to businesses with robust technology, innovation, and end to end shipping services.

With the increase in demands of local products, people have started ordering pin to plane, online. For SMBs to cater such a huge demand of varied product categories, there has been a change in the overall sales system as well. From production to display of products online, choosing the best platform and then ensuring smooth deliveries, post shipping experience and also maintaining the quality while in transit. And in a competitive market, businesses need to ensure best practices for customer experience. 

Who are Shyplite’s major customers? How have your solutions helped them during the recent disruptions?

Any business having shipping needs is a customer to us. While e-commerce businesses have been the major focus in recent years. We cater to all e-commerce sellers, social sellers, retailers and SMBs, large enterprises, D2C businesses and individual sellers. Businesses have gone from local to national and now aims to go global aided by technology. In e-commerce logistics, we are witnessing a high demand for warehousing and fulfilment, returns reduction tools and shipping through retail outlets. Hyperlocal deliveries, which used to be a struggling segment, are now a thriving industry. Hence, we at Shyplite are aggressively evolving to deliver global growth potential to businesses with robust technology, innovation, and end-to-end shipping services to adapt to the recent market disruptions at ease. We will offer a robust fulfilment network powered by best-in-class technology to help D2C brands grow at a faster pace than ever.

You are entering Fulfilment Centres and Hyper-Local deliveries? What is the role you see for yourself in these areas? What pain points will you address?

Yes, we are soon launching our fulfilment centres enabled with hyper-local last-mile deliveries in India to relieve online businesses of the necessary physical space to store all products and direct management of inventory. Shyplite fulfilment centres will give sellers a competitive edge in reaching a larger volume of customers, faster and more affordably. Inventory management is a prevalent operational problem for many online stores but is an essential component of cultivating the best possible customer experience. Our fulfilment services will make inventory management much easier to give our sellers more time to focus on other areas of your business. We are going to stand out with our Comprehensive rate slab based on orders per month with one of the lowest rates in the market, faster intracity shipping and last-mile delivery and much more.

You are a differentiated technology player. What is your approach to technology in Logistics? What other technology stacks are you examining?

In e-commerce logistics, we are witnessing a high demand for warehousing and fulfilment, returns reduction tools, shipping through retail outlets and Hyperlocal deliveries.

Before walking you through how Shyplite is forging towards excellence with technology, I think it is crucial to understand the genesis behind the birth of Shyplite. In 2015, we, a bunch of E-commerce enthusiasts- Sugam, Nisschal, and I, huddled together on how to solve limitations faced by modern businesses arising out of unorganized delivery management, having tackled several such pain points being sellers ourselves. It was the idea behind solving this problem that gave birth to Shyplite. Shyplite, this brand name, was conceptualized keeping in mind the simplicity element that we are trying to imbibe in the complexity of shipping and logistics.

And thereafter, vigorously transforming the Business Logistics landscape with intelligent automation and innovation!

In e-commerce logistics, we are witnessing a high demand for warehousing and fulfilment, returns reduction tools, shipping through retail outlets and Hyperlocal deliveries. Hence, we at Shyplite are aggressively evolving to deliver global growth potential to businesses with robust technology, innovation, and end to end shipping services.

What challenges do you see emerging in the logistics sector in the foreseeable future?

With increasing demand from tier 2 and tier 3 cities, finding the right target audience, reaching out to them with the right content strategies, ensuring quicker deliveries, managing and predicting returns, reporting and inventory management, cross border logistics, ensuring customer loyalty are some amongst many areas I believe most innovations are going to happen.

As technology continues to advance, we will continue to innovate, finding the best uses for it that can improve our sellers’ logistics

At Shyplite, we identify these problems day in day out and innovate and build solutions for our customers, to enable them to achieve their business goals.

Logistics and supply chain need to go hand in hand and provide a cost-efficient solution to the growing cross border shipping need. In our estimates there are over 100,000 Merchants in India who need a better logistics solution to what is currently out there.

We often hear that the role of logistics function is evolving. How is this role evolving and what role will the sector play in the near future?

We can observe that the Indian logistics industry has changed significantly post COVID-19. Leveraging the potential of new-age technology and digitalised features is extremely important for the growth of the logistics sector. Analysing and identifying these new opportunities combined with government regulations has the potential to revolutionize the entire logistics ecosystem in India. It is expected to grow to ₹492.8 billion by 2025 with a CAGR of 24% in terms of revenue during FY’2020-FY’2025F due to increased demand from Tier 2 and below cities with increased internet penetration in these areas.

The Logistics industry as a whole should provide as much visibility as possible for sustaining better business prospects in the future, focussing on providing scalability and a fully automated end-to-end solution to the customers to meet the operational needs

After the situation in our country comes back to normal and the pandemic is over, it is expected that the logistics industry in particular will focus on providing real-time data to streamline operations with ease. The logistics sector focuses on transparency and flexibility which will help the customers to make data-driven decisions. The Logistics industry as a whole should provide as much visibility as possible for sustaining better business prospects in the future, focussing on providing scalability and a fully automated end-to-end solution to the customers to meet the operational needs. The work from home and social distancing norms have opened new doors for the rise of hyperlocal delivery platforms which used to be the toughest segment to penetrate within online commerce. But, due to the rise of technology, COVID-19 pandemic and customers who experiment, the Hyperlocal, Same-day and Next-day Deliveries model is now a business reality.

How will your platform improve the delivery experience for your customers?

Shyplite is a dynamic platform enabling merchants and e-commerce businesses to access highly optimized and innovative shipping tools. They can tap the most cost-efficient carriers for their deliveries and manage every minute and massive shipping element proficiently using our platform.

Today, we have emerged as the most trusted shipping gateway to 90000+ sellers in India, providing them resourcefulness and helping them delight their customers every single day. We are soon transforming into a full-service shipping gateway providing our customers with 360-degree support for their businesses by covering key capabilities like fulfilment, cross-border transport, e-commerce logistics and bulk deliveries.

What has been Shyplite’s strategy to deal with disruptions in the logistics sector?

Logistics requirements for all the e-commerce retail sectors are getting reshaped with automation and fulfilment for continuously evolving business demands and cross borders expansion. With increasing demand from tier 2 and tier 3 cities, finding the right target audience, reaching out to them with the right content strategies, ensuring quicker deliveries, managing, and predicting returns, reporting and inventory management, cross-border logistics, ensuring customer loyalty are some areas where most innovations are going to happen.

Therefore, our strategy is simply to equip our customers with the best technology and features that increase their global growth potential. We are aggressively evolving our cross-border services and soon launching our disruptive Cross border service to serve the growing need of Indian Merchants.

What is the future roadmap for Shyplite?  

We have become India’s fastest-growing logistics player trusted by 90,000+ sellers and are on track to surpass 1 million shipments per month. Currently operating as a team of 160+, we’re planning to hire an additional 140+ people in the next 1 next year to support our expansion drive. To drive growth and product innovation and build product portfolio, Shyplite is actively investing in technology-based logistics ancillary companies.

Technology and supply chain needs to go hand in hand to provide a cost-efficient solution to the growing digitization, same day deliveries and cross-border shipping needs. Backed by recently raised growth capital, we are evolving and upgrading into India’s first 360 Degree 4th Party LPaaS providing end-to-end shipping solutions. Making sure our sellers and the consumers get an amplified shipping and delivery experience with our enhanced processes, a wider spectrum of services and more powerful design. We are also launching our disruptive Cross-border service, to serve the growing cross-border shipping needs of Indian Merchants and D2C brands.

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