In the last century, globalisation opened trade borders and allowed large Indian corporations to expand their operations across the world. Today, the advent of Internet and e-commerce has offered that opportunity for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) as well. In fact, the micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) segment are expected
to contribute over 60% of India’s exports by 2022.
Just because something is possible does not mean it’s easy. While large corporations have their own fleet,fulfilment services and centres, SMEs have to rely on logistics partners to get their products across borders. This leaves most of the operations out of their control and prone to challenges.
For starters, they need to coordinate with multiple vendors
— one each for warehousing, shipping, transportation, customs, last-mile delivery etc. This makes the process a lot more complex, from unnecessary paperwork to difficult returns processing. And equally frustrating. A small business owner will not have the time or energy to resolve issues across multiple parties in various time zones through phone and email.
Customs can be intimidating.
Small business owners are hardly savvy about the international shipping processes, customs guidelines, local clearance rules etc. As a result, they end up with products stuck in customs, delayed delivery, and customers themselves having to sort out issues. Worst case, they could fall into legal troubles and have their products banned from several countries.
Shipping expenses can overshoot the value of the product itself.
This ends up being a lose-lose relationship for the SME and the customer. For instance, if shipping charges are separate, the customer might not be willing to bear the expense. If the SME has to bear it, it might result in losses.
While working with SMEs, we learned that they are reluctant to sell to customers abroad, considering these challenges. They miss out on the humongous opportunities that exports present merely for lack of a reliable logistics partner. To help such SMEs, we built Delhivery SME.