Harpreet Singh Malhotra bursts into laughter when asked the reason behind naming his company as Tiger Logistics. “Had I named it Harpreet Logistics or something else, say Fast Logistics, you wouldn’t have asked me this question,” he quips. Jokes apart, it wasn’t a random name that popped in Malhotra’s brain. Eighteen years down the line, Tiger Logistics stands true to what he had in mind (character and aggression) when he named his company after the magnificent beast. The Delhi-based company with a market cap of Rs.208 crore has been growing fast at an impressive 28% per annum offering its customers end-to-end supply chain management. Its array of services include transportation, customs consultancy, customs clearance and international freight forwarding. With projected FY18 revenue of Rs.350 crore, Tiger sure has come a long way from its modest beginnings — an initial investment of Rs.50,000, revenue of a few lakh and a team of eight people.
A first-generation entrepreneur, whose grandfather and father worked in the armed forces, Malhotra was 30-years-old when he set up Tiger in 2000. An IIFT graduate, he was working with Hero MotoCorp handling its logistics. For Malhotra who was used to the military way of life, exposure to civil life came across as a very different experience. That along with an aptitude for international trade and an understanding of the logistics industry planted in him the seed of entrepreneurship. “I was working on the other side of the table as well — not only for logistics, but also for exporters and importers who availed services from the logistics company. Since I had worked on both sides, I realised there was a dearth of good logistics companies to serve these people,” he recollects. This was a time when the industry was quite unorganised. This meant Malhotra had no actual models to follow and everything was driven by gut. Nevertheless his experience with organised companies helped him to mould Tiger as a structured organisation. The company, which started off as a clearing house agent in Delhi later emerged as a full-fledged logistics service provider after getting registered with the Directorate General of Shipping as a multimodal transport operator in 2004. While the company had its own share of teething troubles,