Article by: Anirudh Raheja

Story by : Anirudh Raheja

Trucksuvidha.com was set up to facilitate trucking by employing technology on the basis of internet proliferation.

In this proliferating era of websites and apps., there is no sector that has remained free of ecommerce. Not the logistics sector either. It may not come as a surprise therefore, that two friends Ishu Bansal and Amit Punaini, over a cup of coffee, figured out the opportunity to facilitate trucking by employing technology on the basis of proliferation of internet. The premise of their opportunity was based on the fact that ecommerce was still at a nascent stage in the trucking industry. The USD 10 billion market offered a big potential. Enough to drive the duo to engineer an internet portal called Trucksuvidha.com in September 2014. Bypassing the traditional ‘Pukar’ (to call out in Hindi) system, which the duo felt was dependent on the whims and fancies of the transporters and unions, Trucksuvidha.com built on the idea of creating a platform where an individual can post a requirement for a truck to transport goods, and can connect to many transporter members that have registered on the portal. Explains portal co-founder Ishu Bansal, “Currently, our services are apt for people who are looking for full truck load of transport served by HCVs having 10 wheels or more as the demand for trucks in the 16 to 25-tonne segment (GVW) remains high.” Drawing attention to how his portal ensures real-time availability, Bansal states that an individual can avail a truck in five hours. At the most it takes 14 days depending on what the requirement is, he adds.

The success of Trucksuvidha.com can be gauged perhaps by the fact that it has been winning the respect of transporters. “Our site has lately won accolades from transporters as it allows them to access their business from any where in the world, says Bansal. Trucksuvidha.com has close to one lakh trucks listed as of current. The number of transporters is close to 23,000 transporters. Among the ones who have registered on the site also include brokers, commission agents and fleet operators. The biggest challenge the duo faced in the initial stages was the laid-back approach of the transporters and drivers. It was difficult to convince them. Gradually the transporters, drivers and even the other stakeholders of the transport industry warmed up to the site. Till date, 8000 contracts have been executed claims Bansal. He emphasises that those connected are happy working on the subscription based model which offers a big opportunity to connect transporters with their potential customers. The role of mediators is largely eliminated. “Things are gradually becoming fair as transporters are also looking to uplift themselves. If they commit to transport goods, they turn up on time. They are keen to honour their commitment,” Bansal avers.

In what can be termed as a achievement of the sort, the site has come to be a platform for corporates like JK Cement, Ambuja Cement and Jaypee Cement. It has satisfied their transportation needs. There are other companies too who are lashing on to Trucksuvidha.com according to Bansal. In its first quarter after inception, Trucksuvidha.com facilitated the arrangement of 40 specialised tankers out of the 100 tankers that a transporter was looking for. He wanted to transfer bulk cargo from petroleum major HPCL to a location in Bhiwadi, Rajasthan. And, this was done in a short span of 10 days. “Our research focused on problems faced by truck drivers and transporters. Their laid back approach however made it difficult to convince them that they could conduct their business better, reasons Bansal.

Backed by a strong know how, work on the portal started in 2011. There was some delay in launching as the duo thought it apt to first understand the needs of truck drivers, transporters, brokers, government contractors, commission agents. This would help them to provide the right apparatus. “It is important to serve every entity involved in the business,” avers Bansal. The registration process calls for answering seven questions. The questions are based over algorithms which segments the inquiries and segregates them on the basis of date of transportation, type of truck, material and number of trucks required. Post successful registration, a new post is displayed. Depending upon the goods to be transported, transporters are notified by Email and SMS as well. Opines Bansal, “In case they (transporters) can satisfy the need, they can directly reach out to the customer. Trucksuvidha.com is thus a platform that could minimise the possibility of the truck returning empty.” The website has various filters, which grant access to multiple layers or facilities, including the size of a truck or trucks available; the type of load to be transferred. Alternatively, one can post the load that needs to be transferred. Transporter would post the size of truck.

Headquartered at Yamunanagar, Trucksuvidha.com has been expanding its reach across the country. It has also come to have an office in Jaipur. Offices at Hyderabad and Ahmedabad will soon spring up; well before Trucksuvidha.com turns one. As many entities are involved in the stream of business Trucksuvidha.com conducts, to offer better services, a call centre manned by 30 people has been set up at the headquarter. It has a centralised number to facilitate easy connectivity. “We will soon increase the strength to 75 people amidst the growing demand for better services,” Bansal expresses. Inculcating new age technologies, Trucksuvidha.com will launch GPS services. These will be made available at a premium. GPS services in India, according to Bansal, work well during intra-city transportation, but go haywire in the case of inter-city transportation. The need is to build them, and see them operate successfully. Bansal adds, “We are planning to soon launch part truck load services to expand horizons as many customers may not be looking at hiring the entire truck. We don’t want to miss out on this business model as it amounts to a good chunk of the transportation industry.” Trucksuvidha.com would soon expand its gamut of services to the packers and movers domain. This service is currently limited to beta customers. To ensure a successful expansion into the packers and movers domain, the portal has already reached out to over 1600 entities. More are being contacted.

 

Finding its way into a market that has been unorganised for decades, the going is not easy. Says Bansal that many issues are interconnected, and call for a need to streamline. “Transportation of goods takes place over issues like regional and local permits, time taken to execute end-to-end transportation, transport authorities, required labour to load and unload a truck,” he adds. Committed to providing an efficient platform for transporters and those looking to transport their goods, Trucksuvidha.com is leaving no stone unturned. The founders of the site are even toying with the idea of a franchise model. Bansal is not very keen to divulge more, and says that the need is to streamline the information flowing into the logistics industry, and communicate better so that the goods are delivered in time.

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