ClickPost, an automated logistics SaaS platform, offers e-commerce companies an amalgamation of intelligent services related to shipping and tracking of packages. Its AI-driven platform optimises the cumbersome task of logistical handling of goods deliveries – from selecting a delivery partner, to tracking deliveries, and even automating action in case of a shipment delay. This shipping API for online stores aggregates shipping services from multiple carriers. It takes the burden off ecommerce companies and manages the process flow of merchandise from the source of supply to the customer. Founded in 2015, the company became profitable in just two years of operations, and is currently said to be processing more than 10 million shipments per month and growing at a rate of 600 percent YoY. Its clientele includes big companies like Nykaa, PharmEasy, 1mg, Realme, and many more.
One of the biggest outcomes from the COVID-19 pandemic has been the accelerated growth of online commerce. Traditional businesses that relied solely on retail have been pushed to have presence online as well. ClickPost sees this shift as a big opportunity and has also been featured in Emerge 50 Awards 2020 under the ‘Logistics and Supply Chain' category. ClickPost has expanded to the Middle East and is soon launching in South East Asia and the USA.
Expert opinion: Founder and Chief Analyst at techARC Faisal Kawoosa says, “D2C or direct to consumer is the way forward. As this sentiment grows many companies, even which are primarily B2B will require a 'turnkey' logistics partner. That's where ClickPost comes handy and adds to brands achieving D2C.”
Speaking on the booming SaaS industry in general, PN Sudarshan, Partner, Deloitte India says, “SaaS as a business model has proved effective in the digitization of small and medium enterprises around the world. India is an important market both from a supply and demand perspective. From a demand perspective, India is going through mass digitization, which brings industry value chains into the digital fold enabling shared information exchange across the supply chain. SaaS as a business model is definitely well-positioned to catalyse this change and cost-effective digital tools would help us move from a “data-poor” to “data-rich” economy. The current COVID-19 pandemic has catalysed the rate of technology adoption across industries. In this context, SaaS as a business model can witness increased adoption, as flexibility and affordability becomes a key for enterprises to manage the pandemic response and thrive in the changing market dynamics.”
We spoke to CEO and Co-founder of ClickPost, Naman Vijay to know a bit more about the company's overwhelming success story and its future plans.
1. What were you doing before ClickPost was brought to life. What was the conceptualisation process behind ClickPost?
We were running a shipping aggregator start-up before ClickPost and that's when we realised that while there were numerous courier companies out there, e-commerce companies faced multiple tech challenges while integrating with them - every courier company had a different API which needed to be integrated and managed, online shoppers did not have real-time visibility of their orders and monitoring performance and SLA of different courier partners was a nightmare. This led us to build a tech product which would allow e-commerce companies to manage end-to-end logistics at one place. We pivoted from being an aggregator to being a complete logistics platform for ecommerce. Having faced multiple challenges around logistics firsthand, we were convinced that the market needed a solution and were confident of our tech product which was already solving these challenges for us.
2. When was it you finally decided you wanted to start ClickPost?
We started as a Logistics aggregator where we were acting as a logistics partner to our clients and were in turn leveraging other logistics providers to get the deliveries done. At that time, we were using the present logistics integration solutions internally with our delivery partners for efficient results.
Our shippers noticed the seamless API communications that we were having with the delivery partners and aspired for the same technology to fill the gap between them and the logistics partners. This lack of integrations was leading to unsatisfactory after sales customer experience and revenue leakages. We then started selling our logistics intelligence platform as a SaaS platform in 2017. This enabled shippers to have a transparent and more effective way to manage their end-to-end logistics operations. For the first 12 months, we were building the product with some early customers. Now we are the largest player in our segment with most large enterprises trusting ClickPost for their post purchase customer experience.
3. Were there any operational challenges (or any other challenges) that you faced when starting ClickPost? Please offer our readers details on what those challenges were and how you overcame them.
When we had started, this category did not exist and e-commerce companies struggled to integrate with multiple courier partners and build products to manage their logistics. It was difficult in the beginning to convince companies to use a SaaS platform to manage this activity and instead focus on their core. Back then Indian companies were not very open to buying tech products, and it took awhile for us to get acceptance in the market.
4. Did you have to put in any money to start the business? When did you decide that funding was required?
When we went to the market to raise money, investors were pleased by our early numbers. We were fortunate to be backed by some marquee investors like Times Internet, Rebright Partners, Capital and Gemba Capital early on in our journey.
5. Could you share some interesting stories about your initial days? What learnings have you picked up from those hustle days?
For product companies: You should always co-create products with initial customers - try to understand their multiple problem statements and grow product features to solve them. We still follow a similar approach to innovation - customers are interviewed around their day-to-day challenges and those insights decide which product we will launch next. It's easy to get carried away and build products that you believe are right for your customers, but that's an approach we should avoid.
6. Is there any particular incident that is monumental in ClickPost's journey? Please share that incident with our readers. Also, outline all of the big milestones that ClickPost has crossed since its inception.
Our focus had been ecommerce logistics since the very beginning which ensured that we were building a super-specialized product for this niche market. We were able to get large clients such as Nykaa early on, and this helped us build scalable products. Currently, we are the market leader in India and the largest ecommerce companies use ClickPost to reduce their logistics costs and improve customers' shipping experience.
ClickPost is today one of the most promising SaaS start-ups in India. Last quarter, we won the prestigious Emerge 50 award by NASSCOM for being one of the most innovative emerging software companies in India; and were also the only Indian company ranked by G2 in the Shipping software category as 'High Performer'. We are growing 3X every year, and are already EBITDA positive.
7. Could you help give a sense of how far ClickPost has come?
A: We are working with 150+ e-commerce companies across India and Middle-East and processing about 12 million shipments monthly. Most e-commerce vertical leaders in India use ClickPost and 120+ courier partners across the country are integrated on ClickPost. We are growing 3X every year.
8. What was it like sailing through the COVID-19 crisis? Did you see a fall in business or an unexpected surge? How did you deal with it?
In the initial phases, the entire e-commerce industry took a hit, but eventually rose back up to help people all across the country receive goods at a time when stores and malls were unable to open. ClickPost was ready to aid in this process and keep things running smoothly. E-commerce volumes have grown significantly post COVID and consequently a large number of retail companies have started to invest more in improving their online selling capabilities. This has increased our customer base significantly.
9. Any advice for young Indian entrepreneurs out there?
A: I think SaaS is an extremely promising industry in India that not many young people relate with since their focus is B2C products. Global companies are extremely open to using tech products built by Indian companies, thanks to the great engineering talent in our country.
10. What are the big plans in the future?
We are already the largest player in India and are growing in middle-east, south-east Asia. We plan to expand to the US this year. On the product front, there are multiple innovations that we are bringing to the Indian ecommerce market. The priorities are COD reconciliation platform which will help e-commerce companies completely automate cash reconciliation with different courier partners and RTO reduction tool which would help ecommerce companies reduce return-to-origin and increase delivery percentage.
11. What is the employee strength? Is ClickPost hiring currently?
We have a team of 30 people, and are hiring extensively across engineering, sales, marketing and customer success roles.
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