- About iThink Logistics & idea of establishing the brand
Vipul and Zaiba, Co-Founders of iThink, were interested in tech product development from the beginning of their college days. Their commitment helped them to develop Depasser Infotech, where they serviced large brands. During this phase, they worked closely with e-commerce enterprises and observed their issues. COD orders in this sector often brought high return ratios, indicating logistical inefficiencies. Zaiba’s friends and fellow co-founders, Paresh and Nikul, joined the team with their logistics background. They were able to marry technology and logistics to build iThink Logistics. Today, they are the only logistics aggregation company to possess a patented technology to help logistics companies reduce return ratios.
The core iThink team, which comprises five friends, Zaiba, Vipul, Bharat, Nikul, and Paresh, were working closely with e-commerce companies, and they observed the very intricate details of how logistics was proving to be a challenge within the sector. Manifesting a tech mindset at their foundational levels, they scratched the surface and found an opportunity within the logistics space in the e-commerce ecosystem. This awakening of ambitions to enter the logistics space was not just seen as an opportunity, but as a responsibility too. The trailblazing features that are seen in the iThink logistics platform today can be attributed to the strong sense of responsibility that the iThink team has towards improving logistics in India and the world. iThink wants to take e-commerce logistics to the next level.
2. What are the new technological developments in AI in the Logistics segment?
In the logistics domain, there have been significant technological advancements in AI:
- Automated Warehouses: AI has revolutionized various warehousing operations, including data collection and inventory processes.
- Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning: These technologies are harnessed to identify trends and make decisions within the supply chain, enabling logistics firms to implement necessary organizational changes. This, in turn, reduces human errors and facilitates the rapid compilation of reliable forecasts.
- IoT (Internet of Things): In the logistics sector, IoT has fostered increased connectivity among goods, packaging, transportation hubs, and vehicles. This connectivity provides a wealth of data for managing various aspects of logistics. Moreover, when combined with blockchain technology, IoT may offer end-to-end visibility of packages.
- Transportation Management Systems (TMS): TMS plays a crucial role in carrier management and route automation. It enables real-time tracking of delivery drivers, leading to reduced freight costs, heightened transparency, and improved overall customer satisfaction scores.
3. How do you keep updated with the ever-evolving AI?
Extensive industrial research efforts are dedicated to staying current with AI advancements, with prominent companies like “Open AI” serving as noteworthy examples in this field. These companies frequently provide code releases that prove invaluable for reinforcement learning. Additionally, for those interested in fundamental applied research, “Microsoft” is another notable resource to consider.
Furthermore, academic research conducted by esteemed institutions like Berkeley, MIT, and Oxford can be easily accessed through their Twitter, YouTube, and podcast channels.
4. What are the challenges in your role? How do you resolve them?
The challenges we encounter include the following:
- Many rural areas lack proper address structures. To tackle this issue, we’ve developed a technology capable of comprehending and organizing intricate Indian addresses. This technology identifies incorrect or incorrectly entered addresses, replacing them with accurate ones to enhance overall delivery success rates.
- Unconfirmed customer orders contribute to a high RTO (Return to Origin) percentage. To address this concern, we’ve implemented a module that aids vendors in confirming orders with customers before dispatching parcels. This verification process helps ensure the customer’s intent and sincerity, ultimately reducing the rate of returns.
- We’ve established a verification procedure for products to guarantee that items sent by vendors are accepted by customers and that no counterfeit products are shipped. This initiative is designed to build trust with customers and foster stronger customer-vendor relationships.
5. What are the prospects of growth in AI-enabled courier Platforms in the next 2 years?
As per Gartner’s findings, supply chain organizations anticipate a twofold increase in the level of machine automation within their supply chain processes over the next five years. Consequently, there is a growing imperative for the industry to harness the potential of Artificial Intelligence (AI) within supply chains and logistics.
Autonomous Delivery: Driverless delivery employs self-driving vehicles equipped with LIDAR technology. These vehicles operate on electricity, leading to reduced transportation costs and ultimately heightened productivity.
- Risk Detection and Fraud Prevention: This system aids businesses in identifying potential risks and thwarting fraudulent activities, significantly mitigating risks for both drivers and cargo.
- Route Optimization: Leveraging GPS technology, the system identifies the most efficient and secure routes to customers’ destinations, considering factors such as traffic, the number of stops, and vehicle capacity. This facilitates timely deliveries and contributes to revenue growth.
- Precise Inventory Management: The technology ensures the smooth flow of goods in and out of warehouses, effectively preventing issues like overstocking, understocking, and unexpected stock-outs.
6. How AI can help MSMEs to choose the perfect Logistics partner for them?
AI has the potential to enhance customer service and reliability through various means, such as monitoring shipment schedules according to the customer’s preferences, consolidating pricing information into a single platform to streamline the shopping process, fostering consumer confidence via favorable reviews and recommendations, and making informed choices when selecting an appropriate 3PL partner based on their specialized capabilities, among other benefits.
7. What according to you will be the primary business game-changer for the next 5 years in specialization?
Darkstore is poised to be a major transformative force in India over the next half-decade. I anticipate that the upcoming five years will witness a substantial shift in supply chain management, fundamentally altering the landscape of shipping and logistics. Companies that have yet to embark on their journey toward digitalization will struggle to remain competitive within their respective sectors. In response to the ever-evolving demands of consumers, businesses are increasingly embracing innovation.
The full extent to which technological advancements in the supply chain will streamline shipping and fulfillment processes in the coming years is something we can only begin to grasp. In the last five years, customers have come to expect rapid e-commerce order deliveries, often within a day or even the same day. The technologies we start implementing now will set the stage for customer expectations over the next half-decade, whatever those expectations may be.
Furthermore, the future decade is set to witness significant contributions from robotics, automation, and drones. These technologies will substantially reduce both the duration and volume of manual handling, resulting in noteworthy cost and time savings for companies. Ultimately, these advancements will lead to enhanced supply chain management.
8. Has she always been entrepreneurial? What led you to take that first step and set up your own business?
Zaiba Sarang’s journey into entrepreneurship wasn’t just a chance occurrence; it was a deliberate choice rooted in her desire to make a positive impact on both her life and society as a whole. She recognized that there were challenges, both personal and professional, that needed solutions.
While opting for a conventional 9-to-5 job might have addressed personal issues, Zaiba aimed for something more significant. Entrepreneurship provided her with a platform to uplift not only herself but also her community. It allowed her to tackle the pressing issues faced by e-commerce sellers and create employment opportunities, thereby contributing to the larger societal good.
For Zaiba, the driving force behind her entrepreneurial journey was not merely financial gain, but a deep-rooted commitment to purpose. She was motivated by the desire to solve problems on a broader scale, to be a part of the solution. Her story serves as an inspiring reminder that entrepreneurship can be a powerful vehicle for positive change, offering the opportunity to address challenges, create value, and leave a lasting impact on the world.
9. USP of the brand
Brand’s Unique Selling Proposition (USP):
Minimizing Returns through Our Exclusive 6-Step Patented NDR Solution: This feature effectively reduces return rates and prevents fraudulent feedback from couriers, emphasizing our commitment to enhancing delivery success.
Personalized Account Manager: Clients can reach out to a dedicated point of contact to address any courier-related issues, a convenience not available when dealing directly with couriers.
Expedited Cash-on-Delivery (COD) Settlement Options: We provide flexible COD remittance choices, including 1-day, 2-day, and 3-day settlements.
Customizable Branded Tracking Page: Clients have the option to have their own branded tracking page, offering a seamless and consistent customer experience.
Real-Time Notifications via SMS, Email, and WhatsApp: We keep customers informed with timely updates across multiple communication channels.
Intuitive and Informative Dashboard: Our user-friendly dashboard includes insightful Pincode analysis, assisting clients in identifying target demographics and areas for improvement in customer acceptance and performance.