Serial entrepreneur Praveen Sinha (Founder of Jabong, Aqua brim, and many more) has invested in iKargos.com, an online cargo management company that is using technology to ease international and domestic logistics.
iKargos.com is the brainchild of seasoned professional Rekha Atri, who has a decade of experience working with companies like Deloitte, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), Genpact Enterprise Risk Consulting, Cairn Energy and finally Navbharat Shipping India Ltd where this idea came to her.
"My primary motivation to move into this project was after seeing many of my friends dissatisfied with their cargo handling. Due to COVID-19, many issues came to the fore as most forwarders, customs brokers, transporters could not function at all. The need to reduce human interaction was very clear and that was my call-to-action. The pandemic has left people stressed with their jobs and health and in such a scenario; shipping service provision should be seamless and effortless. I made sure that I don't miss this opportunity when it's needed the most and hence worked on both these areas during these stressful times. Thankfully, my experience had me ready for my new job!" said Rekha Atri on the development.
She also recalled two specific cases: One where the customer had to pay up to 200 per cent duties without being aware of the cost before ordering the shipment and the other case in which, the client was not aware when the shipment had reached and that resulted in demurrage cost and late penalty charges running in lakhs of rupees.
"When we had started Jabong, one of the most complex and unreliable services was the supply chain. Though it was a problem area it also gave us an opportunity to differentiate in that space. We were the first company to start same-day delivery, open box delivery, reliable tracking using GPS on phone, try and buy, etc. When Rekha shared her idea, I could easily see the spark and passion to solve these bottlenecks. It's nostalgic to see teams like these which are innovating practical solutions to major bottlenecks plaguing the supply chain," commented Praveen Sinha on the association.
"The decision to back the iKargos team was based on three parameters - Experience of the leadership team, the Sector that they were working on, and the Solution they had in mind," he concluded.
iKargos.com has a detailed roadmap of upcoming features they plan to add to the product. Some of the features which are present on the platform currently are:
1. Certifications: Find out information about various certifications required to import/export products.
2. HS Codes: Search for Real shipment data like description, the value of the cargo, HS code used, certification required, etc.
3. Catalogue Verification: Upload catalogues to check their correct HS codes and whether they can be imported or exported
4. Freight: Search for all-inclusive freight rates. Choose from a variety of options
5. Tracking: Check the exact status of your cargo
6. Reports: Request market reports based on actual customs and market data about various products
7. Chat: Customers can chat live with subject matter experts and get all their questions answered immediately.
We spoke to some industry veterans and they were welcoming of the solutions ikargos.com had to offer. They were highly impressed to learn that a woman is a front-running the company, as the sector has very few women in leadership positions. This brings diversity to the industry and will inspire other women to join the sector in the coming days.