Sanket Sheth, Founder & Managing Director, ElixiaTech, is deploying technology to help reduce wastage of fuel, manpower, paper, time, and money, and in managing everything in the logistics sector - from fleet to material.
What is the current logistic scenario in India?
The logistics sector is the backbone of economic growth; its efficiency has a direct influence on the growth of other sectors. Post-pandemic, the market has picked up pace and there is renewed demand for efficient and tech-enabled logistic services. The cost of logistics in India continues to remain high in comparison to developed countries, however, Government’s initiatives in developing the logistics infrastructure, new policies, and technological investments, will help grow India’s logistics sector.
A technological push is needed for logistics to reach international standards of operations. An efficient logistics system is an interplay of technology, infrastructure, and manpower and we are currently lagging behind in all of these factors. Almost 70% of logistics businesses are still relying on manual operations. Almost 71% of India’s freight is transported through road transportation, which is unorganized and costly. We also lack skilled manpower. Experts in the domain express the need to educate people in automation and digitization. We also need to look for alternatives to reduce carbon emissions, fuel costs, and thus improve the overall efficiency of logistics operations and processes.
How does the logistics sector in India differ from its global counterparts?
The actual logistics spend in the US is very less viz. 8-9% of the actual sales cost. The global average stands at around 10% but in India it is a whopping 13-14% and has a huge scope of reduction. There is a lot of traction and hence, need of automation in this sector.
The market here is very unstructured, fragmented, and there is no central body governing the entire logistics. 91% of the logistics market is composed of single fleet owners, and the number of vehicles is around 12 million, which is humongous. So, it is very important to consolidate and build something revolutionary.
In western countries there are nationally defined rates and processes. In India, since we have 18-20 different languages which the drivers speak, so, the technology needs to be localized. I would like to highlight here that our software is multilingual with 9 languages including English, so it is easy for transporters and drivers.
How important is analytics in Supply Chain Management?
Thanks to Big Data analytics, there are a lot of things possible. The budget predictions can help managers take decisions on load optimization and vehicle utilization. Visibility on trucks helps track continuous driving or night driving, to avoid mishaps. The billing platforms can help in reducing time and paper wastage. Efficient placement of transporters and vehicles by software like our Elixia Connect can help avoid vehicles returning empty. Temperature monitoring is another important aspect.
Please tell us about your company and its Fleet Management assistance.
Headquartered in Mumbai, Elixia Tech Solutions Limited is an ISO 9001: 2010 certified company whose mission is to provide comprehensive software solutions for transportation, logistics, and supply chain management across industries.
The company was founded in 2011, beginning with intelligence associated with GPS devices, to study about location, speed and distance of a vehicle plying on the roads. In 2015-16, we started working on Logistics Control Tower, to provide logistics solutions to service providers, fleet owners, and 3PL companies, to automate their operations, books, fleet management and maintenance. It helps keep track and manage accounts, track battery and tire replacements, tire inventory, repairs, and services, etc. Logistics Control Tower also provides a cloud facility to store documents like the PUC, Insurance, fitness certificates, permits, etc. It also sends alerts on expiration of documents and parts replacement.
Subsequently, we started working on Supply Chain Control Tower for pre-transit, in-transit, and post-transit solutions for process inventory, automation, and warehouse inventory. Our USP is temperature monitoring for food and pharma industries.
Recently, we launched India’s first WhatsApp-driven, end-to-end tech-powered logistics marketplace ‘Elixia Connect’ that provides shippers and transporters a common platform to interact and negotiate to meet their on-ground logistics requirements. Our other latest offering is Elixia Lite which is a lighter version of the supply chain control tower that helps in fleet maintenance to order allocation, tracking to delivery documentation, etc. at an affordable yet seamless operational efficiency across all the logistics operations.
What support does Elixia provide for transport of ODC?
There is a significant system altogether, wherein we have captured data of bridges, permissions, and traffic. So Elixia can optimize routes for ODC and help in deciding route, and give time and cost estimates inclusive of loading and unloading of cargo.
We have partnered with Google Maps since the past 6-7 years and we use their APIs to bring in intelligence and send alerts. We write our own algorithms for this. Our route optimization can help save travel time, fuel and cost, reduce carbon emissions, making it a Green Supply Chain solution. Alerts can be sent if there is delay in transportation, or if vehicle is idle for more than 2 hours, or in case of route violation.
Which all modes of transport does Elixia cater to?
Currently, we are into surface transport of all segments of logistics catering to inbound, line haul movement, distribution, first mile pickups and last mile delivery - both for imports and exports. We have started investing in the air and sea segment and by the second quarter of 2022-23, we will be launching the product for it.
For rail transport, we will be launching products by the third or fourth quarter of 2022-23. We also plan to get into drones as well, because that is going to be a very important mode in future. So, all in all, we aspire to go for multimodal transport, not only for India, but in the global arena too.
Which industries is ElixiaTech catering to and how do you plan to grow the company?
We have a business presence, operational presence, and a wide customer base across 100+ cities in India across various sectors including FMCG, Chemicals, Cement, Steel, Pharmaceutical, and 3PL and clients including Mondelez, Nestle, Sanofi, Delex, UPL, Transworld Group, Monginis, Pharmeasy. We work closely with a variety of businesses to create unique solutions while working on various platforms to enhance productivity and pave the way for technology integration and automation in the entire logistics value chain.
We are catering to companies like the United Phosphorus Limited, with whom we are working in India and Brazil, and Maersk in UK. We have expanded 10 times due to the logistics boom in the past two years.
We plan to keep Singapore and Dubai as our base for venturing into Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia, Qatar, Yemen, and UAE. We plan to open a subsidiary in USA as we want to scale up in USA and Europe, and enter the drones segment.
Please tell us about a recent successfully completed project.
I would like to share a case study of our client Mahindra Logistics, where we helped reduce costs using our load optimization tools. Mahindra used to spend 80-90 lakhs in one of the warehouses. We imported data of just 3-4 months in our system, analyzed it, and helped them change their models and take decisions on using dedicated vehicles. This helped them save a whopping 7-8% on their expenditure.
Our load optimization tool analyses weight and dimensions of product & vehicle and helps save cost of heavy vehicle utilization. Our product – Optimization Engine - works in the pre-transit area can help take decisions on procurement of vehicles for the needs of specific logistics companies. Our Supply Chain Control Tower can optimize cost/ton or rate/kg using our algorithms.