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We Want To Positively Impact Lives Of 100,000 Truck Drivers By 2025: Rivigo

Rivigo is a technology-enabled logistics company that was founded in 2014 and has been disrupting the sector with its unique operational model and cutting-edge technology to consistently provide unparalleled delivery times

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Rivigo is a technology-enabled logistics company that was founded in 2014 and has been disrupting the sector with its unique operational model and cutting-edge technology to consistently provide unparalleled delivery times. This has been possible because of its innovative ‘driver relay' model which ensures that its delivery people, aptly referred to as our pilots, live a life of fulfillment, dignity and respect. 

In a freewheeling conversation with BW Businessworld, Deepak Garg, co-founder, Rivigo, stated his company looks to positively impact the lives of lakhs of so-called pilots. 

Edited excerpts:

It’s been nearly three years since you floated Rivigo. What are the key milestones you have achieved?
I started this company in 2014 and there have been a lot of milestones that we have achieved apart from deriving a lot of learnings. During our first year, we were largely dependent on e-commerce sectors. But over the last two years, we have expanded across various sectors such as cold chain, industrial, pharmaceutical, automobiles, etc. We are pretty much pan-India in terms of coverage. 

Our technology adoption and usage has increased significantly. We have also rolled out a truck driver application wherein we also give trips to them using a smartphone application. Over the next 10-15 years, the logistics sector will be the core need of the country and Rivigo can take a pole position in terms of building that logistics network for the country.

Who inspired you into this venture?
I have been inspired by quite a few visionaries who have brought data and technology such as Jeff Bezos, who disrupted the retail industry (in the US) by using technology and processes to create Amazon. Logistics (like retail) is operationally intensive and now tech-driven. Besides him, people like Steve Jobs (Apple), Elon Musk (Tesla) have made a huge impact on me. I have already read Fred Smith’s (FedEx) story and that too was very inspiring.

How is the Indian logistics sector different from the one in China and other developed countries?
The Indian logistics sector, which contributes around 13-14 per cent to the country’s GDP, is very inefficient as compared to China and other countries. But in the US, it accounts for 7-8 per cent of its GDP. The biggest difference between the two (US and India) is that in the US, there is a very high efficiency and very low cost of inventory. 

Companies have consolidated their warehouses and the inventory holding is much lower compared to India. Moreover, they have used technology, road and warehouse infrastructure very smartly to build an environment which is enabling faster logistics and lower inventory and higher technology usage and also lower wastage. But in India, out of the 14 per cent (contribution to GDP), nearly 50 per cent of the cost is inventory and warehouse-related costs. Once GST kicks in, things will hopefully move in the right direction. This will be further supported by the smartphone penetration in the country.

How many vehicles do you have in your fleet and are they going to be ramped up further?
Currently, we have a fleet of 2,100 vehicles which will be ramped up to 3,000 by the end of this financial year. Most of them are Ashok Leyland models. 

How upbeat are you about the ‘relay model’?
It is the greatest innovation we have brought, which ensures pilots (read drivers) come back home every day thus spending less time away from their families, helping them lead a meaningful and well-balanced life. I think this model not only leads to a better life for the driver, but also faster delivery (of goods). 

We are able to give jobs to pilots (truck drivers) from villages but not from metro cities such as Delhi, Mumbai or Chennai. Their cost of living goes down as they stay at their villages only. 

The safety rate is 7-8 times better than a transporter in the country. It will only go up as we build more processes and technology. We are open to license our ‘relay model’ to other transporters in the country. It is for the larger interests of the people as it will make goods transportation faster apart from improving the drivers’ life.

What are your future aspirations?
At present, India’s rank in the World Bank Logistics Index is 34 and Germany is number one. We want India to be the number one logistics nation in the world. For this, a whole lot of things need to be done, from technology to faster transportation, skilled manpower, trained pilots (read truck drivers), etc. 

Our journey has just begun and would like to bring a positive change to the lives of 100,000 truck drivers and their families by 2025. Through that, we can inspire many hundred thousands more to join the workforce. Our ‘relay model’ is already changing the lives of many such drivers. They fight everyday (through check posts) to make sure that our goods are delivered on time on a daily basis. 

We need about a million truck drivers every year, which is about 10 per cent of the new jobs that we create.


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Rivigo logistics company pilots

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