Not so long ago, logistics was something a brand needed to address to streamline their supply chain operations. This has undergone a massive and meteoric evolution, with logistics playing a major role in driving a better brand experience. “Today, one of the critical factors governing customer experience and expectations is speed of delivery,” says Anshul GoenkaCEO and Founder of QuickShift, a growing 3PL (Third Party Logistics) provider.
Headquartered in Pune with its own network of decentralized warehouses spread across multiple locations in India and data-driven technology, the online fulfillment company helps brands streamline their storage, distribution and fulfillment across retail, wholesale and e-commerce channels. . The startup, in addition to providing standard delivery services, also offers same-day delivery and three-hour delivery as its most recent offering.
Speed of delivery: Growth factor for brands
Earlier this year, QuickShift launched its QS-Rapid program same-day deliveries through transit hubs in Mumbai and is working to follow it up with the opening of transit hubs in Delhi-NCR, Bengaluru and Kolkata. The launch of these transit hubs is part of its latest offering – QS-Rapid – where it will allow D2C brands to deliver their shipment the same day the order is placed.
Anshul believes that the Rapid model would be a game-changer. “The era of fast commerce has arrived in India and we are witnessing it in the grocery and food category. With QS-Rapid, we are not aiming for the promise of 10-minute delivery, but we are looking at a four to six hour lead time for categories such as nutraceuticals, personal care, wellness and also fashion, accessories and footwear where delivery times are critical,” he says. that inventory is already available through Quickshift’s distributed inventory plan.
With QS-Rapid, QuickShift has implemented an express mode to pick and ship the order to centrally located transit hubs which then connect to last mile delivery riders. “While it’s only in its first few weeks of launch, we’ve seen return rates drop to almost 4%,” says Anshul, explaining that faster delivery has a direct impact on returns as the very nature of shopping has become largely impulsive today. “A lot of customers are buying because they like this product or because they want this product at that exact moment. And when the product comes to them after a five-day gap, which it used to, they may no longer being attracted to that product, which then increases the likelihood of the product being returned. The need for speed has become absolute,” he says.
QS-Rapid also offers brands the opportunity to directly interact with customers and build a relationship. “With QuickShift Rapid, a brand can scale independently without depending on a retailer. They are able to leverage their brand data to retarget or remarket the product,” shares Prodipto RoyCo-Founder, QuickShift.
Currently enjoying exciting traction, QuickShift Rapid is in talks with a number of brands, some of which are large traditional retailers looking to launch their private label brands. QuickShift is also developing an omnichannel model. “We realize that many businesses already have inventory placed in cities and also need to fulfill online orders. Many of these businesses need a last mile delivery service that connects online orders to current inventory points. and delivering them to customers’ doorsteps with all the features consumers have grown accustomed to, i.e. COD, notifications, tracking, feedback, etc. he jokes.
While QuickShift has always expressed how the company was built for speed, 2022 has seen the company “accelerate” its own growth and offerings. Approximately 20% of its existing brands have already been integrated with QuickShift Rapid and this number continues to grow. In addition, the e-commerce standards processing company serves nearly 26,000 PINs across the country and processes approximately 10,000 orders in categories including apparel, beverages, fashion, electronics, well- being and others.
Logistics as a transformative experience
“When we started in 2018, the idea was to become a complete solution for any brand going online for the first time and even for brands looking to expand across India. So we worked to standardize our offerings and make sure there was a good interaction between technology, infrastructure and services combined, to be able to enable a brand to go online and reach millions of customers in a transparent manner”, explains Anshul. “Logistics was still seen as a cost center. We wanted to change that narrative. We wanted logistics to be a center of efficiency, a catalyst for brands.
Prodipto believes that e-commerce has undergone a significant evolution over the past five years. “Typically, brands, especially traditional brands, saw e-commerce as a way to liquidate their inventory. E-commerce was a secondary sales channel. But, with e-commerce fulfillment solutions like QuickShift, we’re increasingly able to show brands how e-commerce can contribute a significant portion of their sales volumes,” he says. He tells how QuickShift spearheaded the transformation of an Indian textile and apparel client conglomerate. “Nearly 95% of the brand’s sales happened offline. Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, they integrated QuickShift to increase their online and e-commerce sales. Today, 40% of their sales come from e-commerce and their own website. And we led that transformation for them,” he adds.
Anshul says their work with the Indian textile conglomerate client is just one of many corporate clients and legacy brands that have benefited from QuickShift. “A lot of them don’t have the expertise or the network to go online. With QuickShift, they could really see the tangible benefits of going online,” he adds.
Growth projections and plans
A 2021 study by the early research arm of consulting firm RedSeer, RedCore, predicted that the road logistics market in India is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 8% over the next five next few years, reaching $330 billion by 2025. Titled “Study of the Intercity Logistics Market,” it noted that this increase is expected to be fueled by factors such as the rapid growth of the e-commerce industry, among others. Intercity road logistics expenditure in India stood at $209 billion in 2021, accounting for about 87% of the total road logistics expenditure, according to the study. The results align with those of a 2019 McKinsey Global Institute (MGI) report which predicted that India’s logistics sector would reach at least $320 billion in 2025.
Anshul agrees that industry findings are reflected in QuickShift’s experience in the field. “In 2018-2019, our consolidated distribution center space was 30,000 square feet. We now have 1,80,000 square feet of distribution space spread across five cities. Having started with just five brands, we currently serve over 150 brands including Fresh to Home, Arvind, Society Tea and Neeman’s.
The CEO explains that in addition to the industry push, another factor that propelled the adoption of QuickShift in the market is that they were able to identify internal market triggers and drivers, by particularly with regard to execution opportunities. “There is a huge increase in D2C brands going online and traditional brands going online. But, there is a lack of expertise on how a brand can grow online. We see ourselves well suited and able to push the lever for these brands. Custom packaging, attention to detail, flexible pricing are just a few of the few steps along these lines. ” he says.
Although QuickShift has seen 120% year-over-year growth over the past three years, this is still only a small percentage of what the future is likely to unfold. “Only a handful of D2C brands have crossed the Rs 500 crore mark in the market. In the next two years, we will likely see these brands grow between 10 and 20 times,” says Anshul. The e-commerce fulfillment company has clearly laid out its roadmap. “We are fortunate to be in a space where there is a lot of incoming demand coming from the demand side, so we focused on getting the supply chain equation right and standardizing it,” he adds. -he.
As a brand grows, it is important that its partners and agencies are able to keep up with the rapid acceleration in terms of creating sufficient supply in terms of inventory, fulfillment capacity, maintainability of the PIN code, speed, etc. very simple – to be able to strengthen the robustness of our technology so that we can not only continue to deliver the experience that we have today, but also ensure that we bring together the various moving parts of supply chain operations on one platform and build a seamless experience for our partner brands. We are taking a step forward in creating Business Intelligence for our client brands, providing them with data and insights to power their business, through sophisticated technology integration,” adds Prodipto. From listing marketplaces to managing inventory to managing fulfillment, QuickShift brings all of these different functions together in one platform. In addition, the startup is also building its capacity to be able to process at least 50,000 orders daily.
After raising $770,000 in rounds from Anicut Angel Fund and Axilor Ventures in 2021, the startup has multiplied and opens the roadmap for further rounds. “Our recovery has been steady and business indicators are also positive. And, we see the injection of funds helping us grow further,” says Anshul.
A fast rewind
What started as a team of about four people is now a team of 45 and growing. “One of the things that has helped us build this team is staying aligned with the vision and mission of the company and driving execution. We are customer-centric and that shows in what we bring to the table in terms of technology solutions and the problems we are able to solve for our customers.As a business, we understand how critical speed is and even more so when it comes to failing We are open to fail fast, fail fast to grow,” shares Anshul. He says the past few years have been exciting for QuickShift. And, the first three months of 2022 are anything but an indication of what is likely to happen. “In a way, we’re just getting started,” he concludes.