Indian logistics unicorn Delhivery bets on direct-to-consumer model

Visual from Delhivery website

Logistics unicorn Delhivery expects the direct-to-consumer (DTC) model to gain steam, as retail brands go omni-channel and adopt automation in a post-covid world, said a top executive.

The Gurugram-based firm, which traditionally focused on large clients, including e-commerce majors, is now seeing increased demand from enterprise firms, smaller brands and even home entrepreneurs, as social distancing norms impact offline shopping.

The need for further digitization of supply chains and allowing DTC models has taken centre place in the past three months of lockdown.

During the lockdowns, Delhivery added over 200 clients, which primarily include fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG), pharmaceutical and other retail brands, enabling transactions through an omni-channel format.

The startup has active pilots going on with large brands. Under the DTC model, customers, instead of visiting the store, can go online and find the nearest store, and Delhivery can enable the transaction through an omnichannel format, from the store to home.

“Enterprise firms and even smaller brands are changing the way they do business and want to do DTC whether it’s fashion, pharma or baby products. We continue to add more clients each month, but beyond the large retail brands, the real focus is to enable supply wherever possible, including small sellers and homepreneurs (home-based entrepreneurs), leveraging online platforms to sell both essential and home-made goods,” said Sandeep Barasia, chief business officer, Delhivery.

With the post-covid era accelerating the hyperlocal model for retail brands, they are adopting it to optimize last-mile fulfilment metrics such as cost, time, logistics and inventory turns.

With large FMCG and pharma firms demanding a faster supply chain, Delhivery is also facilitating the ‘direct to retail’ model— from the warehouse to the store—to ensure availability is high, and there are no bottlenecks that can slow down the movement of goods.

Like DTC, it is conducting pilots for direct to retail as well with large players.

In the current scenario, hyperlocal delivery is becoming part of Delhivery’s business for which it relies heavily on its last-mile delivery network, the startup’s co-founder Mohit Tandon said in a recent Mint webinar.

As part of this, the startup had to figure out how to ensure deliveries in 2, 3 or 4 hours to customer’s doorsteps, at a cost that is viable to the retailer.

This article was first published on livemint.com.

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Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.