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Bread, Clothes, Shelter & Digitization in the Logistics Industry.

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Social Media platforms of all hues are abuzz with Webinars, and Articles on the crying need for Automation through Digitization in the domain of Transportation, Warehousing & Distribution. There has been an entrepreneurial zeal around the opportunities of digitization in Logistics which has resulted in thousands of STARTUPS – 99.99% addressing the area of Technology Solutions for Logistics. Not getting into quoting news feeds that talks about the Billions of dollars raised in India and abroad for such ventures, we the older generation in this logistics business is happy to see the influx of smart PEOPLE, CAPITAL, and finally the acceptance of Logistics as the differentiator in business.

Roti (Food), Kapda (Clothing)& Makan (Shelter) is the Indian version of the hierarchy of needs for a human being. Similarly, organizations also ascend these hierarchies based on their progress. While the co-existence between the Logistics Service User (LSU- Manufacturer) and the Logistics Service Provider (LSU – Forwarder) has crossed a century and has attained maturity in terms of meeting expectations, often these status quos are challenged by disruptive technology which promises better productivity. What history tells us is that Productivity enhancement tool adoption is done only when it provides business sense – reduction in cost or increase in, efficiency.

First in the hierarchy of needs comes Roti – All things which are required for the LSP to breakeven and here tech tools are way down the list. Then Comes Kapada, the first step of sophistication – Like a transporter’s transition into a 3PL and here the tech tools are somewhere in the middle of the list. Finally, Makan, the established LSP stage where he moves from an Asset-Less to Asset-Lite to an Assetised Model. Here the tech tools feature at the top along with his Infra shopping list. However, the tech tools at this stage relate more to Financial & Process Control and he levels the playing field with the LSU in tech adoption by onboarding applications like SAP, Salesforce, Oracle, etc.

The impact of two models covered by the Disruptors in Transportation and Logistics are discussed here for the brevity of this article, even though there are a host of other similarly important models where such tech-driven disruptive solutions have made their mark.

AGGREGATION

Transport Aggregators provide Platform-as-a-Solution for Air/Sea Freight, Road Transportation, etc. Mostly working on the Subscription model, most of them do not handhold transactions that are left to the entities who meet on the platform and get into the business. While the model holds great potential, the Users have to work with a clutch of these platforms to cover the whole market and modes. Each platform is a silo and the silos do not talk to each other and the silos do not talk to customer’s systems very often. The disruption promise was to break the silos and level the playing field for the customer. In a lighter vein, a lot of these tech platforms end up being dating sites for transporters and Customers. There is a need for the aggregators to address the Freight Management landscape to remain in business in the long run.

VISIBILITY

Imagine sending a courier to your friend. Today, you can get a blow by blow account of how the package moves along the execution chain of the LSP and finally gets signed off and you even get the name and photo sometimes of the person who has taken delivery. Compare this scenario when you send a consignment weighing tons across the border – What you normally get is an ocean of emails and a DSR in an excel sheet from the same LSP as “tracking”. For sure, Visibility is a challenge and we need solutions for the same. When the execution chain is through its own assets and modes, there is no visibility tool externally needed. When the execution chain of the shipment is through the third party as in Freight Forwarding, visibility tools are required for internal consumption and only filtered information goes to the customer making disruption a lesser reality. Visibility tools are highly recommended for the LSUs, but adoption is very little as the IT depts are not ready to fund these initiatives of Logistics visibility. In most cases, it is seen as the service liability of the LSU to provide the same. The initiative in LSU IT is to in-source all these functionalities in the ERP itself as an IT solution. None of these ERP solutions has an evolved Logistics module like their Financial or S&D modules.

There are other models where a Tech invention creates an opportunity for new solutions like IoT, Conversational Systems, Big Data Analytics, ML, AI, etc. While Supply Chain is discussed as the biggest differentiator for businesses, the Supply Chain Execution process – LOGISTICS – is an Enterprise OUT function and outsourced. Most of the LSU tools lack Enterprise-wide Applications Integration and also lack External integrations with data sources. This makes those systems behave like form filling accountants providing no great disruptive value. Adoption of these tech tools will definitely be a reality as we go along as it will provide great value to enterprises. However, the enterprises first need to be ready with their operational systems to receive the benefits provided by these disruptive tech solutions.

That brings us to the discussion on where is it that the Multi-Billion-Dollar funded tech tools for the Logistics Industry find relevance and create disruption. While speaking to my customers who are both LSU and LSP, these days I am keen to discuss the new-gen tools of disruption they are using. The standard response I get from the LSU is that it is up to the LSP to use all those because, in the end, they are responsible for the Safe and Timely transit of the shipment. The response from the LSPs is quite interesting. They are dabbling with some of these new-gen solutions for sure, but mostly as trophies on the wall as the entities are quite popular in social media and find immense potential as Sales tools for more business rather than benefits accrued from using them. While delving deep on the benefits of the new-age tools, they are frank enough to admit that they evaluate outcomes in line with Customer happiness, the effect the expenditure has on the bottom line, and the Business Value they bring to the table. That means the new-gen apps and models are yet waiting to create the promised disruption. Imperative to add here that there are some highly adopted disruptive tech tools in the industry coming from entities who have designed very relevant solutions.

While tech-driven apps like Uber have hit the high ground of adoption by the people for personal use, Uberisation of Logistics Execution is yet to reach anywhere near the tipping point of going viral in adoption. In Business, there is very little of an emotional purchase. Every spend is weighed against the relevance of the solution and the benefits on the ground by the adoption of such solutions. Technology is not the panacea for every problem in Logistics. Technology is the chief facilitator of the Supply chain. As a facilitator, technology solutions have to be grounded in business reality and have to deliver leveraged value to make adoption go viral and make the business of creating solutions commercially viable.

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Sujit Varma
Sujit Varma

3 decades in various functional areas of Logistics - Sales, Solution Design, Operations, IT solutions for Freight & warehousing. Leadership level in Logistics organizations for 2 decades. Digital Transformation Champion in Logistics Industry.

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RAMESH K

RAMESH.K

COO

Mr. Ramesh will focus on setting up of our Implementation and Customer Support Team in India. He will be responsible for effective Pilots and conversion of Pilots to paying customer implementations and managing the relationships with the customers. He will be based out of Delhi and will be building the operations team along with HO at Delhi. Going forward, Mr. Ramesh would take SELLFREIGHT as the focus area and help us build the largest Transporter Community in India.

Mahesh K

Mahesh K

CPO

Mr. Mahesh is a self-motivated and result oriented technocrat with two and a half decades of industry experience spanning multiple domains like manufacturing, logistics and IT consulting. He brings along a proven ability in managing startup environments to building and managing large teams. Mr. Mahesh has worked in various capacities in Global IT services companies where in he could build new business divisions, incubated new technologies, handled strategic initiatives and managed large teams and Country operations

Jose d

Jose.D

CSO

As the Chief Sales Officer, Mr. Jose will develop the market for SOLOS platform in the country by targeting the mid and large corporate segments. He will help to increase and strengthen the Direct Sales Team with Regional Sales resources and Value-Added Resellers for the platform. Mr. Jose is convinced that he will be able to penetrate the Indian market for the Logistics Operating System which is proven with some of the customers he has already won for us in the past few months where he was involved as a Consultant.

MEENA M MANI , CRO SELLOGS

Meena M Mani

CRO

As the CRO, she will be the ‘One Point of Contact’ for the board, continually scanning the Development, Sales, Marketing, Implementation, and External Environment for any challenges in revenue realization.

salil varma CMO Sellogs

SALIL VARMA

CMO

Mr. Salil Varma has joined us in the key portfolio of building Eco System Partnerships and as our CMO for markets outside India through building a Reseller Network of Supply Chain Evangelists and Organizations. He will be responsible in identifying and building partnerships with other Eco-System products of Silo Solutions in Logistics and the customer solution. He has a dual role of marketing SOLOS in the international market through Sales Partnerships with individuals and organizations.

Vinu Thomas Koshy

Chief Marketing Officer

Vinu is a Business Transformation and Management Professional with 33+ years of hands on work experience that included but was not limited to IT Software and Hardware solutions, Business Development of unique products & solutions, IT Software development, IT training, Banking & Finance payment systems and solutions & Fuel Service station Automation. Vinu has worked in the United Arab Emirates, Kingdom of Bahrain, and India with Banks, Petroleum companies, Software development companies during the span of his career.

PREM KUMAR

Prem Kumar

Director - Enabling Services

4 decades of work experience with various MNCs, covering various industries like Supply Chain Solutions, Telecom, Engineering & Software Technology, handling Human Resource Management, General Administration, Business Development, CSR & PR Activities and Organization Development.

SINDHU VARMA

Sindhu Varma

Director

A lawyer by profession, a passionate people person and a die-hard entrepreneur with two decades of work experience in Operational and Managerial roles in an MNC and subsequently as a Corporate Trainer. A Traditional trainer with contemporary outlook, training means sharing knowledge and adding value to society by empowering people.

Ranjit KEDIA

Ranjit Kedia

Co-Founder

Ranjit is a people’s person and a great team builder. Rising from the ranks and working his way up through various roles in Logistics Operations and Sales, his passion for setting and running Logistics businesses has principally been to provide an opportunity to the Rural Youth of India to discover Logistics as a livelihood and profession. As a Cofounder in Sellogs, Ranjit with his unique and enormous experience, contributes considerably to the growth of Sellogs.

sanil nair

Sanil Nair

Co-Founder & CTO

With 30+ years of IT experience, Sanil is a seasoned software product development specialist with immense experience in developing SaaS based product platforms. With a strong techno-commercial acumen and sharp strategic focus, Sanil believes in simplicity and applies that throughout the product journey to solve problems and meet market needs.

TONY LUG

Tony Lugg

Co-Founder & CEO

Enthusiastic Supply Chain Evangelist of repute, Tony has a track record of leadership, growth, restructuring, integration, and solutions in dynamic and evolving environments with strong backgrounds in Asia and Europe. Former Chairman of leading industry association building supply chain resilience across the supply chain for Fortune 500 companies providing strategic directions and operating plan for the organisation.

CEO Sellogs meatamediary solutions

Sujit Varma

Founder & CEO

Sellogs Metamediary Solutions Pvt Ltd

3 decades in various functional areas of Logistics – Sales, Solution Design, Operations, IT solutions for Freight & Warehousing. Leadership level in Logistics organizations for 2 decades. Solution Engineering Consultant for the Logistics sector. Pioneering institutions set up in India in Logistics Education, Tech Enabled Express Cargo & In-City Lastmile Logistics company.