This week we bring to you the startup story of Parcelled, an on demand logistics service that’s making waves in India. In an interview with Next Juggernaut, Xitij Kothi, Founder and CEO of Parcelled, talks about what led him to found it and where he sees it going now that it has secured both funding and a name for itself in the market. It currently serves 12 cities in India and raised $5 million on Oct 26, 2015.
Q1.Starting on demand courier delivery is definitely a great idea. Tell us a little about Parcelled.in and your personal motivation for starting this service?
Parcelled was born out of a personal experience. I had to get my laptop shipped to me from my home in Vadodara. While my mom was trying to ship it, most of the courier agencies refused from shipping it. It was either too expensive an item for them, or they didn’t ship electronics or the battery was an issue. She faced innumerable hurdles for something that should ideally be done in no time at all. This was followed by hurdles in packaging the laptop. Because there was no provision for packing, my mother had to stuff lots of old newspapers in a box and a laptop bag. We ended up paying nearly Rs. 1,700 for something that should have cost about Rs. 500. To add to all of this, the courier of the laptop took an extremely long time, nearly 7-8 days. And finally, when my laptop arrived, it was damaged. This is when I saw the need for a reliable, on-demand service that provides ease of access and at the same time is completely reliable.
Q2.Can you give us a rundown of how it works?
Parcelled is designed for everybody to use. It has a very simple interface and all you need to do to avail our services is an internet connection. At the back-end, we are associated with a number of logistics companies and delivery services that provide a bank of resources and personnel. A consumer has to simply log on to Parcelled.in or access Parcelled with our unique mobile app. You then feed in your pick-up location, drop location and the items that are required to be couriered. You will then be prompted to schedule a pick-up time, according to your convenience. Users can either log on as a guest for a one time use or can even register with Parcelled to enjoy an even smoother experience on regular basis.
Q3. What is the value proposition you are offering to the customers?
We offer security and guaranteed services at a minimal cost compared to other players in the market. In India, if you courier items regularly, you will not be surprised if your courier is lost or damaged. With Parcelled, we are eliminating all the negatives and ensuring that customers have a service that they can rely on blindly.
Q4. You are present in many states across India. What is your strategy while launching services in new regions?
At Parcelled, we are offering consumers two types of services, intra-city as well as inter-city. With the launch of our services in 8 additional cities, we are hoping to expand our customer base and also provide our existing customers a holistic experience, by not limiting their options. With the intra-city services, we will also be addressing niche markets such as women entrepreneurs who run businesses out of home and are always couriering their products to their buyers.
Q5. Could you shed some light on the technology and tools used to build Parcelled.in?
The technology used behind Parcelled’s pickup agent app empowers it to work in offline mode which quickens the process at the customer’s doorstep. Also, we have created an in-house dynamic routing algorithm which routes our pickup agents in real-time in an optimal fashion. We at Parcelled are also leveraging open source technologies like brimir, roboguice, delayed_job etc. to speed up our development process.
Q6.What is one particular Marketing Tool or process which you swear by, that has helped you gain more users on the service?
We strongly believe that our best marketing channel is our users themselves. To cater to each individual need of our users, we have been directing efforts into putting the best support processes in place, to give our customers a very smooth experience.
Q7.You’ve recently raised funding. What are your future plans? Are you planning to integrate more features in the service?
Yes, we are definitely looking to integrate more features as well as more services. The goal is to make Parcelled the first name that comes to an individual’s mind when they think of using a courier service. We are using fresh funds to strengthen our core technology, hire top talent and expand to 50 cities across India.
Q8.What is your on-boarding process for delivery partners, if any? Are they on contractual basis or full time basis?
The on-boarding process at Parcelled is as per market standards and they are on a full time basis as per the contract signed with them.
Q9.What is Parcelled’s biggest achievement to date? How did you go about accomplishing this?
We offer packing of items at their doorstep which enables each and every seller to sell across the nation. Additionally, QC at the door of the consumer has helped e-commerce companies to detect and remove frauds from sellers and consumers and help reduce perceived errors. This has greatly helped improve consumer experience when facing an issue resulting in return and replacement.
Q10.Where do you see Parcelled.in in five years?
In five years, we want to be a household name. There is a lot of untapped potential in this space and a need for a convenient, trustworthy, cost-efficient and fast logistics service. With the inflow of funds we are looking to build a transparent, reliable and trusted logistics platform in India.
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