Co-Founder and COO
Co-Founder & CTO
Co-Founder & CEO
The logistics cost has been a major worry for most industries as it amounts to a fair share of the final product cost. The total logistics cost (TLC) is about 30-40% for the cement industry and 10-30% for the FMCG industry which is substantial. With a vision to optimize the logistics and make the process simple and seamless, a team of three professionals formed a company known as Pickrr.
Today at Insellers we have Mr. Gaurav Mangla, telling us his journey in detail. According to him, “In the end, the startup should be solving something- it should be a value addition for bigger players and a complete problem-solving thing for smaller players”. To know more, read the full interview below:
Insellers: Let’s begin the conversation knowing about the founding team members and how Pickrr was formed.
Gaurav: Pickrr was founded in 2015, started in June, and incorporated in November. I am an IIT Guwahati graduate in Maths & Computing, worked in Ironway where I met Ankit, who is an IIT Kanpur alumnus. Rhitiman Majumder, MBA from ISB, was also a manager at Ironway.
All three of us had complementary skills which helped us like I can handle the product part, Ankit can handle operations and logistics part, Rithiman can handle business, sales, and finance part.
Founder of Ironway is an earlier angel investor of Pickrr as well. Me and Ankit left Ironway and co-founded a company dealing with hiring that replicated live PI online. We sold the idea and came to Delhi, where we met Rhitiman and started Pickrr as pick- pack delivery service. We raised an angel round and, in another year,, we raised a seed round of funding. Pickrr was totally an operations company when it started- highly intensive problem, delivery boys involved, warehouses, hub-spoke & milk runs models, etc.
Earlier while dealing with Snapdeal & 1mg, Pickrr existed like a hyperlocal delivery model for them. Then we moved our focus towards sellers- SME and MSMEs. So, we went to build a reputation as Amazon has in the eCommerce market that they can deliver it in 1 or 2 days after ordering even when it is 1 order per day seller or 1000 order per day seller. Now we have that kind of perception and not only for eCommerce but for other businesses as well.
Insellers: What was your motivation and how did you decide that this is the industry where you want to build your product?
No one at Pickrr was into the logistics industry before. When we were looking to start something, Rithiman came up with the idea that hyperlocal has a lot of demand to be catered. In 2015 we had a huge boom and everybody was into hyperlocal, which got us excited about future prospects.
Insellers: Great to know that Gaurav. What challenges did you face in segmenting and targeting new customers and what was your go-to-market strategy to reach out to customers?
Gaurav: Initially, we planned to reach out to everyone online or offline. Whenever we start a new feature, we go very bullish about it, and open it for all customers small or big, and then iterate fast i.e. fail fast and learn fast.
There are lots of hidden costs in logistics company- every partner had a different structure, and we were not aware of that, and we ended up losing lots of money because of that unawareness. That was a great challenge in initial phases.
When we started Pickrr, in 1 -2 months we got 1mg onboard. 1mg was a very difficult use case at that time. We even did not have a license for distributing medicines at that time and we realized it after delivering around 10,000 packets.
But we were not burning money as we were trying to be as efficient as possible. Funding is a key metric for growth but first of all, one should figure out what needs to be grown. You should not be married to any idea or any process flow because they keep evolving as the company matures. So focusing on these, we were able to scale Pickkr.
Insellers: What were the first geographic divisions you focussed on ?
Gaurav: Our operation mainly started in Delhi, Gurgaon and Noida and then it expanded to Jaipur, Bangalore and Mumbai. Now we are planning for all pincodes in India- we have mainly become a tech-model which can be replicated anywhere around- we can pick up from Jammu or Kerala and deliver anywhere. It has become a very dynamic model now.
Insellers: If you can tell me the comparison between how you started and what model you are following now, how has the company evolved into that?
Gaurav: We now follow the Milk-run model, hub-spoke model, which started with hiring delivery boys, trying to solve the optimization problem we had, and the apps helped the delivery agents.
Tech was completely in-house, our main motto was to achieve as much efficiency as possible, we wanted to reduce costs, have complete control over entire operations. Previously, we were doing manual warehousing and packaging of shipment as well. It was a complete operations solution and that is why big players were partnering with us.
In our pursuit to become like amazon, we tried aggregating all the logistics partners. We acted as a tech-enabled aggregator also giving full-stack solutions to sellers to manage different stores like shopify or other online platform and even if they sell on WhatsApp, Instagram, we have complete integration for that.
Before there were lots of software for order tracking, processing, billing, reconciliation, etc and if you are a seller, they are tied up with 5-6 partners. So, Pickrr eliminated all this and we provided one plug and play logistics provider. Sellers get complete visibility and better delivery times and conversion of their orders, This was the major value add on of Pickrr which has made us money as well. But we do not charge for any software, we only charge for the service.
Insellers: Earlier you have partnered with Swiggy, 1 mg, and now you are partnering with local businesses and small sellers. How did this change happen?
Gaurav: Yes even for small traditional retailers, whoever has a logistics requirement, we have a complete logistics API in India, which can transfer any kind of load through Pickkr, be it 500g, 5kg, 10kg, or 200kg. Now we have started aggregating LTL( Less-than Truck load) & FTL ( Full truck load) as well. Now we don’t have delivery persons but we are full stack logistics solutions providers. Aggregations are at the backend but for sellers, the entire responsibility is ours, we give lots of customization to sellers, and if you and to bring in changes it can be done.
Sellers just have to integrate with Pickrr and everything will happen automatically. Sellers just focus on their LTV (Lifetime Value) and CAC (Customer Acquisition Cost) and the rest of the logistics is taken care of by us. Use of AI (Artificial Intelligence) and ML (Machine learning) is also used to suggest the best partner, best route, etc.
For a seller, Pickrr becomes a completely virtual company, there is no lag between courier company and Pickrr, all parcels are automatically allocated, customised, whatever seller want we try to give as much flexibility, to gain retention, whatever our customers want for business growth we are ready to provide it to them.
Insellers: Who are the competitors and substitute for this industry and how are you different in the market?
Gaurav: Major competitor is Shiprocket who are the number 1 in the business while Pickrr is no 2. They have raised around 200crores and Pickrr has raised only 20 crores. They are just 2 times our business but our technology and approach to execution has been different. We try to remain as qualitative as possible and we try to keep a small team size, we do not over-hire and hire quality people. The toughest and fun part in Pickrr is that everything is real time. Shiprocket initially used Pickrr as delivery partner but then they copied our model and through VC backing, they came with their new venture.
Insellers: Being a tech company, you must be dealing with a lot of tech aggregators. How do you manage the same quality for all the customers at all pin-codes?
Gaurav: This problem has actually been solved on economies of scale. We are among the top players- Bluedart, Delhivery or ecomExpress. We also have solved their problems of handling every small customers as well, where they get better pricing, better services.
Major distinction is that we have data regarding which companies are good in which of the pincodes. So, in case any order fails, we know bluedart or delhivery is good in these 1000s pincodes. We deduce all the problems and provide solutions through use of two – Customer service and couriers servicing. We have tried to maintain a good balance here.
Covid has changed perceptions. People now want to buy things online and sell online. To keep intact those customers, we need to keep evolving and stay at least 2 years ahead in the game. We ideate and try new things which work or fail but we learn.
Insellers: How does your sales and marketing strategy work ? What is the sales process at Pickrr?
Gaurav: We don’t have any sales and marketing team as of now but there’s a big scope of that. If you want to do a business where logistics become a bottleneck, the sales team is good.
90% sales are in-bound and 10% sales are outbound. In 2020 we have started marketing and it has increased the business. As you deliver higher value it penetrates very fast. The expectation also scales up. Sales is a critical partner of Pickrr. In 8-10 months down the line, marketing will get set up.
Insellers: What are marketing plans- going online or offline?
Gaurav: Online has given us a good start and we are using pulp strategy currently. And by the quarter of 2022, we will be able to solve our marketing problem as well. So we are open to ideas in marketing.
Currently, we are looking to hire A+ talent who can drive marketing growth initiatives. So, there are huge opportunities available.
Insellers: Are you trying to build an in-house marketing team or are you willing to outsource it as well?
Gaurav: We are open to try new things, whatever works. Also, we are building some vernacular apps where local people can use it in local languages as well. As we are trying to scale it up, marketing will play a big role in this.
Insellers: As most of business comes inbound, what was sales initiatives carrying to increase those inbound business?
Gaurav: Pickrr makes things really fast, does not linger on and get better rates for them. Business of MSMEs is mainly driven through networking effect.
Insellers: Did you have a robust sales team from the start or was it built over time?
Gaurav: Till 2020, we had only 5 people in the Sales Team but now we have 20-25 members. Sales budget is mainly the hiring budget. Exploring plans for offline marketing and we are spending 6-7 lacs per month. Total revenue has been 150 crores. Budget can go at any level but it should be an ROI driven project.
Insellers: What is the future you are looking forward to, for Pikrr?
Gaurav: We believe in due processes and going aggressively to achieve our targets.
The plan for the future is to get into warehousing, products sales , from b2b to b2c and lnternational shipments. Utilising the economies of scale is something we are dependent on. Learning and replicating is what we believe in. So, the future seems promising.
Insellers views on Pickrr
Pickrr has truly evolved as a major alternative for eradicating logistics deadlocks. The problems solved by them have major growth opportunities. While relying on the technical expertise, the scope of solving practical problems through customization should also be present.
Pickrr should compete with the major stakeholder in logistics through more investments in their business to match up the potential. Not only would it hinder the growth prospects, but it would increase the market share gap.
Pickrr should focus on marketing along with sales. Marketing is the driver for sales and to increase market capitalization, hiring of required staff is essential. If needed, the marketing aspect can be outsourced while Pickrr can solely focus on product.
Insellers wishes Pickrr all the best in their endeavours.