Logistics space in India has been primitive, unorganized and dominated by the conventional pen-paper system. The biggest challenge that the sellers encounter is a proper logistic partner. When we talk about big logistics/carrier partners, we think of the usual Delhivery or Bluedart, in India. While these companies were the ones that introduced the concept to urban Indians, little did they realize that there’s a small portion of SMBs in India. Witnessing the void in the segment, Shiprocket- AI backed Logistics Technology Platform addressed the issue and provided them with a hassle free shipping along with the most advanced cutting edge tech and AI and Lowest RTO. Shiprocket also allows the sellers to scale their business and take it international. We are publishing an interview of Mr. Saahil Goel, CEO & Co-founder of Shiprocket.
Q.: Please tell us about the founders of Shiprocket.
Ans: We are three founders:
- Saahil Goel – CEO, Co-founder
- Gautam Kapoor – COO, Co-founder
- Vishesh Khurana – VP, Co-founder
Q.: Please tell us about the investors (if any).
Ans: Bertelsmann India, Nirvana Ventures, 5 ideas, 500 startups, Beenos
Q.: What is the problem you are trying to solve? Can you share with us any insights that led you to believe that this is a big enough problem?
Ans: With the growing eCommerce market, sellers find it difficult to provide their customers with a smooth shipping experience. Some of the prominent reasons for it can be restricted pin code coverage, fewer payment options, no scope for negotiations in the shipping costs, and outdated shipping practices without the interference of technology for good.
Through the means of our platform Shiprocket, we aim to offer sellers an opportunity to ship their products in different parts of India and the world at the lowest rates. Along with this, we aim at providing them with a technology-backed platform consisting of inventory management, automatic order mapping through marketplace and website integration, and help them reduce return orders with an automated platform to process undelivered orders faster.
We also try to help sellers in finding the right courier partner with the help of our courier recommendation engine that is based on a machine learning algorithm. Through the means of our API integration with courier companies, we provide the customer and the eCommerce seller regular tracking updates to bridge the communication gap between the seller and the buyer. With technologically advanced tools, we focus on providing the seller with an automation platform that is also backed by data and AI, giving a delightful experience to their buyers.
Q.: Tell us about the Product / Solution. Explain how you went about the Product-Market Fit Process.
Ans: Shiprocket is a tech-driven courier aggregation platform that provides sellers with a logistics solution where they can ship forward and return orders nationwide and the world using 15+ courier partners at the lowest rates starting at Rs. 27/500g. Not just this, we also offer inventory management, a machine learning based courier recommendation engine, API integration with websites and marketplaces to automatically import and process orders, and systematized order tracking with timely updates from courier companies.
Q.: What is your USP?
Ans: With Shiprocket, we provide eCommerce entrepreneurs with an automated platform that helps them process forward and return orders much faster, at the cheapest rates in the market. The panel has a plethora of features for sellers such as order creation, invoice and label generation, shipping, order tracking, up to return order management.
We provide the lowest shipping rates – domestic and international shipping starting at Rs. 27 per 500 gm and Rs. 110 per 50 gm respectively. Along with these, we help sellers choose the best courier partner for their shipments using CORE- our machine learning based courier recommendation engine. Using CORE they can choose from 15+ carriers for each shipment, giving them flexibility. Along with this, we offer features like flat rates for surface orders, automated NDR dashboard, channel & cart sync, and a customizable tracking page that helps sellers market their products to buyers, which no other logistics partner currently provides.
Q.: What were your assumptions when you entered the market, learnings that you have? Who in your mind is your ideal customer? Do you have at least one of them signed up?
Ans: Our assumption when we entered the market was that SMBs will use websites alone as the most prominent way to sell directly to consumers (in addition to selling through the marketplaces). However, over the years we have realized that social commerce is booming and is becoming the first step into online selling for the large longtail seller community of India.
Our focus is on the Direct-to-consumer (D2C) online sellers. D2C online retailers make around 30% of eCommerce volume in India. This segment comprises of millions of social sellers who sell through Whatsapp, Insta and FB, hundreds of thousands of online-only brands which sell through their own website and thousands of large offline brands which also serve consumers directly online.
We work with over 15,000 paying customers today.
Q.: What has been your biggest failure as an entrepreneur and what did you learn from it?
Ans: My biggest failure was trying to solve multiple problems for the SME segment. We realized that SMEs in India face multiple challenges when selling online and we initially tried to solve multiple problems for these sellers at the same time by offering a full stack solution. The inability to focus on solving ONE key problem for ONE segment of the market early on was my biggest failing. The key learning was to focus on a single problem area that was challenging and affecting a large group of customers. Whilst we have multiple products and offer a full stack solution all online sellers whether they be individual sellers operating from home to large multinationals via our omnichannel offering, our focus remains on solving shipping problems for SMEs.
Q.: How are you pricing the Product? What is the logic behind it? What is the model you are following – Free / Freemium / Premium etc. ? Explain your thought process.
Ans: For a new user, there are no set up charges. We offer sellers with a plan where they can ship their products by paying shipping charges for each shipment. As our sellers needs increase we also offer other plans which offer more features and better shipping rates. But the seller is not bound to upgrade his plan at any point, our plans help sellers scale their shipping as per their needs.
|Plan||Cost (Rs.) / Month|
For more information, please visit https://www.shiprocket.in/pricing/
Our thought process: We believe that every seller has a different demand. Thus, we have provided them with different pricing options, to make sure they can choose a plan that suits their business best, based on the number of shipments they process every month.
Q.: How did you get your first customer?
Ans: Cold called a few leads from friends and family 🙂
Q.: Is there any interesting success story? If yes, please write about it. ?
Ans: Whilst the platform has been built for SMEs, our technology is very robust and we have been able to work with several large brands to help them build word class shipping solutions. One such client recently came to us and we are building a customized omnichannel solution for them. Also many startups are leveraging our technology to build their own e-commerce platform.
Q.: What is the big picture of your startup? Is this Product leading to something bigger? If so, how?
Ans: We are planning to enhance Shiprocket by providing a platform for omni-channel retail for customers. We have started working on this process and are devising processes to provide sellers a channel for online and offline sales. This would provide an integrated channel wherein the seller can process shipments from his mobile applications/website and also allocate customers with slots to pick up orders from the store. Ultimately, it would be an automated retail flow with multiple touch points which would include all processes from order capturing to delivery. We are also growing our carrier network by bringing on regionally superior partners as well as smaller partners with spare capacity. This will allow us to create a truly collaborative platform between online sellers, carriers and consumers.
Q.: What is the insight that you have about this market, which no one else has? The uniqueness about your Startup.
Ans: We aim at solving the eCommerce shipping concerns of sellers so that they can provide a quintessential delivery experience to their customers, without turning shipping costs into a burden. And it’s not just about the parcel delivery costs. We are targeting multiple pain points of a seller and the hassles they face while shipping a parcel. One of the key areas where we are working is reducing return orders.
Return orders are one of the most challenging aspects of eCommerce and also the biggest reason why small sellers refrain from scaling their business. However, with our NDR management tool for undelivered orders and buyer flow, we try to reduce return orders. And till now, we’ve been able to bring down the number of eCommerce returns up to 5 percent along with helping sellers reach out to 26000+ Pin codes.
Our uniqueness lies in our problem-solving approach for helping eCommerce sellers. And this is the reason why we are improving our platform every single day to make it better for sellers, ultimately helping their business grow.
Q.: List all the names of the core Team Members, along with their Designated Roles.
Ans: Saahil Goel – CEO and Co-founder
Gautam Kapoor – COO and Co-founder
Vishesh Khurana – VP and Co-founder
Akshay Ghulati – CBO
Gautam Bansal – SVP Finance
Q.: Who do You Perceive as Your Competition? How do you differentiate yourself with them?
Ans: We are the market leaders when it comes to eCommerce shipping. Our core competencies lie in providing sellers with the cheapest pre-negotiated rates starting from Rs 27 per 500 grams from more than 15+ courier partners that deliver to 26000+ Pin codes in India and 220 countries across the world. We are the only eCommerce shipping platform in the market that offers an opportunity to ship via Android and iOS app. We are constantly helping sellers reduce their return orders and provide a distinguished level of delivery experience to their customers.
Through our AI backed panel and machine learning based courier recommendation tool (CORE), we are also assisting eCommerce entrepreneurs in finding the best courier partner for shipping their products. With features like COD mode of payment, multiple pickup locations, real-time tracking updates for seller and buyer through email and SMS, we are making hassle-free shipping an achievable dream for the seller.
Q.: What would be your goal to accomplish in the next six months?
Ans: We’re constantly improving ourselves with each passing day to make Shiprocket even better for eCommerce sellers. In the span of the next six months, we aim to-
· Cross 10M annualized shipments by July this year
· On track to double the number of active sellers in the next few quarters
· Provide an omnichannel solution (Shiprocket 360) to sellers which bridges the gap between online and offline selling.
Thanks Saahil. Best wishes!