Alok Sharma, CEO & Co-founder, NebulARC explains the dynamics of one of India’s fastest-growing logistics SaaS platforms
What are the solutions and services in the NebulARC portfolio?
We ensure profitable supply chains by providing IoT and AI-based analytics for predictive decision-making. With these unique technologies, we allow our customers to have 24×7 control of goods and assets from the start of their journey until the final destination through comprehensive Asset Lifecycle Management, hence leading end to end visibility and transparency across the entire supply chain. This also helps businesses in forecasting Demand/Supply, First Last mile Dynamic Routing and Product Freshness Index through ML-based predictive insights. Besides predictive supply chain visibility, we also equip enterprises with an automated Virtual Assistant that leverages the power of AI to help the companies to automate the entire supply chain and make supply chain management smarter.
How has NebulARC automated the supply chain?
Back in 2010, we observed that about 80% of the Indian market was unorganized and companies were facing approximately 14% losses owing to inefficiencies in the supply chain. The major challenge that most of the companies were facing at the time was the lack of real-time visibility of goods and assets at every step of the supply chain. They needed 24×7 visibility to eliminate the chances of errors and to reduce uncertainty. With NebulARC, we have committed ourselves to solving these challenges and bringing excellence in the market. We believe that delivering remarkable customer experience is key to achieving success. We aim to help companies to orchestrate their supply chains and gain real-time predictive visibility for intelligent decision-making. We enable enterprises across industries like pharma, agriculture, retail, warehousing, manufacturing, and the logistics space to save huge costs resulting from inefficiencies and lack of real-time visibility across the entire supply chain.
The value proposition of the product is the availability of real-time control over physical assets in their supply chain with the ability to take corrective actions on possible anomalies much before they can disrupt the operations. We make this possible by enabling decision making capability driven by real-time data and automated the entire supply chain processes and operations using the power of AI & Blockchain. We have enabled enterprises to achieve massive reductions in their operational costs while also providing them with detailed new possibilities to generate revenue via optimal usage of their supply chains.
How has an automated supply chain helped industries in the current pandemic situation?
The coronavirus outbreak has severely impacted our lives. Posing challenges to every industry, the novel virus has brought testing time for businesses across the world. However, the logistics industry has assumed a crucial role during this challenging time. Fortunately, logistics today has evolved to an extent where it is no longer just about transporting goods but leverages advanced technologies such as Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, etc. to bring in the required visibility and efficiency, and save costs. By integration of technologies, we were able to help businesses mitigate the disruption brought by the pandemic. During this hard times, NebulARC has removed the visibility black box for B2B shipments, we have created a one-stop-shop for our customers, catering to their varied needs right from Vendor Assessment and Optimisation, Order Fill Rate Analytics, Inventory Optimisation, Signature and tractability of high-value assets, Freshness and Shelf Life Management for Perishables, Effective Route Planning, to Location Tracking in real-time.
What is the GTM model that you follow?
We follow different strategies for our GTM model in order to bring our product in the market. In the initial phase, we create a buzz for our product and solution by creating an extensive awareness about the company. We associate with our channel partner in order to position our product as the most preferred solution for supply chain management. Besides this, social media plays an important role in that as well.
Which are the verticals witnessing maximum traction?
The maximum traction we observed during the current scenario are from the Container Freight station, Shipping ports and Warehouses. These were under tremendous pressure due to the fact that non-essential transport services were affected badly in COVID-19 times.
Who are some of your marquee customers and what are their use cases?
It is an interesting thing to understand our Supply Chain space in India. There are three types of players here –
- a) The Top layer – the top-notch enterprises that have ample money to invest, are technologically savvy, but still, their operations to date are people-driven. This is a huge opportunity both in terms of the problem – to be solved via automation & data-driven approach – and in terms of the financials, as they will be able to pay if you are creating some value. This layer does a long sales cycle where once engaged, they will run into POCs of 2-3 months and then based on results go ahead with phased out deployments across their national/global operations.
- b) The Middle Man – these are companies tech-savvy but not having that large amount of funds to go for large-scale automation projects. These players go out to shop for products like ours with a bargaining mindset but provide a good opportunity for early-stage companies to mature their offerings.
- c) The Bottom layer – These are at the lowest rung of tech-savviness, they have funds to operate but do not understand the technology and are satisfied with the people-driven approach to solving all their problems. These are a hard nut to crack as making them pay for technology & making them understand the value creation is difficult. That gives a brilliant opportunity for early-stage startups to check the effectiveness of their sales pitches and their power to convince the client. We for once have current customers from the Top & the Bottom layer. Our paying customers are a combination of Large Port & Logistics Operators, the Indian Defence force client of a Large Telecom player & FMCG operators.
We work with a mix of all three types of players. This includes large-scale businesses in India as well as the Indian Armed Forces, as mentioned earlier.
How logistics has been a key enabler for businesses amid COVID19?
COVID-19 has impacted almost every business across the world. However, certain sectors have proven to be boon during these challenging times. Logistics industry was one of them. The nationwide lockdown that was announced by the government had forced people to remain at home. As a result, it has increased the demand for online delivery of goods and essentials while maintaining social distancing.
However, technology has played an important role by enabling logistics providers to ensure seamless deliveries across the world, hence making sure that the customers receive their orders on time in a contactless manner.
What are going to be the key focus areas for NebulARC in the next 12-18 months?
In terms of business, we are at the stage of a full-blown execution phase with an eye to clock revenues around $5 million in the next 18 months. This will be both existing customers, the large pipeline of prospects that we already have, and new client acquisition during this time. The sectors we are focusing on are Logistics & Shipping Ports, Cold Chain especially Pharma/Medical Devices, based on the need during the COVID era and Agriculture where modernization is on the brink in India. We are currently in talks for our Seed round and plan to raise Series A in the next 12 months. We will use these funds to expand our base around India and lay the foundation for expanding to MENA/SEA within the next 18 months.