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ET Startup Awards 2019 - Delhivery has upended the highly-fragmented logistics industry

July 22, 2019Article Originally Posted By: tech.economictimes.indiatimes.com

ET Startup Awards 2019 - Delhivery has upended the highly-fragmented logistics industry

Delhivery, which bagged the coveted Startup of The Year award, received high praise for touching remote corners of the country, encompassing more than 17,000 PIN codes and creating impact by being a full-stack logistics platform.

Equating its efforts with that of India Post, the Indian government`s postal system, jury members after multiple voting rounds gave their nod to the company for the top honour in a tightly contested category.

Delhivery, which has upended a highly fragmented logistics industry, won votes for transforming itself from being a last-mile delivery startup concentrated on the e-commerce industry to now being a complete logistics and supply-chain services firm.

"On behalf of the over 50,000 people who are part of the extended Delhivery team, we are very grateful to the jury and The Economic Times for selecting us as The Startup of the Year. It is a tremendous honour to be recognised by a jury of one`s betters. Delhivery was started with a simple idea — to make logistics in India more efficient,” said Sahil Barua, its cofounder and chief executive.

Delhivery started life as a hyperlocal food-delivery startup, ferrying food from restaurants to customers, several of whom happened to be e-commerce entrepreneurs. Enthused by the quick service — it would deliver in 30 minutes — customers asked it to also deliver their companies’ products. The company moved from local food delivery to e-commerce fulfilment, because it spotted an opportunity to create an integrated, technology-driven solution for what would become a multibillion-dollar market.

After having spotted the potential of e-commerce delivery and tapping the market, the company started facing saturation of demand, as e-tailers like Flipkart and Amazon strengthened their own logistics and moved the business in-house. This was when Delhivery showed its nimbleness and began expanding to cover all pieces of the supply chain. The eight-year-old firm diversified into areas such as cross-border, business-to-business logistics and integrated distribution solutions to enterprises.

“We believe that the next global integrator must emerge out of India, and that for India to reach its economic aspirations of becoming a $5 trillion economy, a sea change in logistics is inevitable. We will continue to invest aggressively in building our logistics infrastructure and technology platforms and growing our team as we have done since 2011, when we began our journey," Barua said.

Today, Delhivery processes more than 500,000 parcels a day and is valued at over $1.5 billion. It provides a full suite of logistics services, including express parcel transportation, freight, reverse logistics, and B2C warehousing and technology services. It raised funding from SoftBank Vision Fund in February this year, catapulting it into the unicorn league.

“There was a compelling need in India for a company like Delhivery given the serious impact of the logistics sector on the country’s GDP. Also, logistics is relevant for a lot of industries like engineering goods, fashion, auto, logistics…,” said Renuka Ramnath, the founder and MD of Multiples Alternative Asset Management and a jury member.

Ramnath and Satyan Gajwani, vice-chairman of Times Internet, recused themselves from the vote, given their standing as existing investors in Delhivery. Times Internet is part of the Times of India Group that also publishes The Economic Times.