Post-lockdown, there is an acceleration of the trend of digitisation of logistics. There are multiple opportunities today, for instance, digitising the client side and helping existing service providers digitise, says Sanjay Bhatia, CEO, The Freightwalla.
Q How has the pandemic changed the thinking of the logistics provider?
We are a digital freight forwarding company helping move the cargo across the borders. The pandemic has affected us equally like the others. There was hardly any business during the lockdown. But as soon as the lockdowns were lifted, there has been a lot of interest shown by the logistics providers to upgrade themselves.
Earlier digitisation was considered as a cost centre by many and this often resulted in trying to cut costs from all the possible corners. However, the pandemic has forced the logistics companies to realise that cost cutting is no longer profitable. Many big companies now have started showing interest in bringing a balance in their decision-making process, where cost is no longer the determining factor. This is where a lot of companies have started showing interest in our services.
Q How has the company’s performance been post-lockdown since last year?
Post-lockdown, there is an acceleration of the trend of digitisation of logistics. There are many different approaches that can be taken to improve the services with the help of digitisation. The client today is looking for an upgraded logistics provider, which is going to be the future trend. There are multiple opportunities today, for instance, digitising the client side and secondly, helping existing service providers digitise. Presently we are focusing on the smaller clients and are in the process of improving their logistics functions.
Q What hurdles were faced in transiting from the traditional to digital?
Initially, being new in the logistics field, we faced a lot of difficulties since we were doing things differently. In the first year, it was challenging convincing the clients that things can be done differently. Client hesitation took some time to overcome. Currently, the challenge is re-scaling the people in the industry. Compared to earlier, they should now be more technology savvy, and have a better understanding of the technology systems being built. Failing this, it would be very difficult for these providers to rise beyond a certain point. Thus, there is a need to have more of such professionals, especially in regard to the freight forwarding company.
Q India is currently facing a medical exigency of oxygen concentrators. Are you offering any services?
No, because we don’t have our expertise in it and also in such sensitive times, I would refrain myself from getting into this and avoid creating any problems.
Q In your opinion, how has the second surge impacted the economy?
With the second surge, factories are facing a lot of heat, where labour is either testing positive or has migrated to villages. The situation on the ground is pretty bad since no one knows how long will this last.