Will AI and Blockchain Disrupt the Disorganised Indian Logistics Space? Courierhome CEO Thinks So
When retail goes high tech with e-commerce blossoming across India, logistics cannot remain behind. Still, the Indian logistics industry faces many problems, such as lack of transparency in supply chains with many end consumers not knowing where their products come from. There is also the problem of complex processes with intermediary freight brokers and a lack of accountability when it comes to losses that occur within the various processes.
Prateek Sharma, CEO and Co-founder of Courierhome told The Tech Panda, “The Indian logistics ecosystem is entirely unorganised, making it one of the least profitable and challenging of industries. The major problems of the Indian logistics industry, particularly, the courier industry, are lack of transparency and standardisation, high operational costs, and negligible customer support.”
While the Indian logistics sector still has a lot to be desired, startups like Courierhome, are trying to bring order to this disorganized market. Calling themselves a one-stop logistics solution, it aims to disrupt the logistics industry with the use of blockchain technology and ALIS (Advanced Logistics Intelligence System).
Incorporated in May 2017, Courierhome is the brainchild of Prateek Sharma and Sushant Kumar, who zeroed in on the idea of such a startup following their personal experiences. After research and study on the logistics industry, they figured that it is predominantly unorganized and non-tech. Using their penchant for technology, the founders wanted to turn the logistics industry into an organized market.
Customers can book queries from the Courierhome website or App available in Google Play Store. The highlight of their service is anytime, anywhere pickup and delivery. For instance, a customer sitting in Delhi can arrange pickup from Andaman and Nicobar and get the products delivered to anywhere in the world. They can track their order and get updates directly through the app.
Logistics companies around the world are undergoing a transformation and moving towards using advanced analytics, increased automation, and hardware and software robotics. ALIS can help generate data, predict demand, optimize routes, and handle network management.
Explaining the significance of ALIS, Sharma says, “ALIS is an advanced technology, a fusion of blockchain, AI, and ML. ALIS increases the level of transparency by imitating real-time shipment status to both senders and receivers, which is just one of using ALIS.”
By using technology such as Blockchain and ALIS, Courierhome aims to automate the purchasing process thereby cutting costs and saving time. “ALIS does also offer India’s first AI-based chat bot for the courier industry, solving problems and guiding customers/users on a real-time basis. This ALIS chat bot can interact with customers without any human intervention and also enables time stamping of tracking on to blockchain,” Sharma explains.
Blockchain technology will further allow computers in different locations to access the same information in real time and help courier companies to carry out transactions safely. This will further ensure transparency and help in live tracking, on-time delivery, and review.
Behaviour and practices in the logistics industry need redefining, taking operations from reactive to proactive, planning from forecast to prediction, processes from manual to autonomous, and courier services from standardized to personalized. Courierhome is trying to do that. The company has exclusive partnerships with logistics giants, like FedEx, Aramex, Holisol, and Delhivery, for both domestic as well as international deliveries. A self-funded company, Courierhome has started generating revenue and is looking at creating a strong user base before monetizing. They claim to be growing at an overwhelming rate of over 150% per month in customer base, covering over 20,000+ pin codes.