Vijay Ghadge has been a pharma man for most of his life. His first stint was with Dr Reddy’s Laboratories and the second with Ranbaxy as its supply chain head in South Africa. As he talks to us inside a warehouse cabin, packed boxes labelled with the names of the who’s who of the e-commerce world keep falling off a conveyor belt, each at the right time and place. Ghadge, too, seems to be at the right place at the right time. He started gojavas — his e-commerce-dedicated logistics start-up- — three years ago.
Today, the shelves and conveyor belts at his warehouse are teeming with boxes. However, the drug hangover remains: the strategic project teams at gojavas are modelled after the R&D teams at pharmaceutical companies. “The teams design processes and conduct pilot programmes, the same way that drugs are first tested, trials run and launched at pharma companies,” says Ghadge about the customisation and innovation the company has done within the logistics field.
“Before we came on the scene, companies would pay up after about 15-30 days. We changed this to a daily transaction format — money for today’s collection paid up by tomorrow — thereby reducing the working capital requirements of an e-commerce start-up considerably. That really helped us grow,” adds Ghadge.
Almost 60% of e-commerce transactions in India are cash-on-delivery (or COD). “Cash collection is very important, especially for us, since we do not take any money from the customer but still make the spectacles they have ordered,” says Amit Chaudhary, COO and co-founder, Lenskart. Nearly 65% of the company’s shipments are handled by gojavas today.
Before starting gojavas (under Quickdel), Ghadge worked for Jabong and felt that e-commerce customers were looking for a lot more from logistics support — more visibility, a better experience at the doorstep, lower return rates (because with COD, high return rates were a major concern).
Companies had responded by starting their own logistic arms, such as Flipkart with eKart. But there still was a yawning vacuum. So, Ghadge and two of his former colleagues put some money together and were able to build the business with support