From Anand Parthasarathy
Bangalore, February 15 2014: The burgeoning business of retail e-commerce and intense competition amongst online retail selling portals has created a new business opportunity for the logistics sector.India's largest express delivery chain, DTDC has branched into a network, exclusively for the e-commerce retail sector. Harnessing DTDC's delivery network of 8000 plus pin codes and presence in 2300 cities across India, the separate entity -- DotZot -- has emerged as India's biggest third party logistics partner for r-biz players.
" I see this becoming a $ 20 billion opportunity by 2020" said DotZot c-founder and CEO Sanjiv Kathuria. He estimates the current market at $ 2 billion.
Speaking to IndiaTechOnline, Mr Kathuria pointed at the ways in which retail e-commerce logistics differs from conventional 'courier' services: the addressees are overwhelmingly in residential areas and Cash on Delivery (COD) is the preferred mode of payment.
This means the logistics and payment operations must be closely integrated -- calling for a high degree of automation. "Ours is a paperless operation -- except for the labeling of the consignment", Kathuria said.
The Indian e-commerce segment will have 38 million active online buyers by 2015. This presents a colossal opportunity to grow the existing billion dollar e-retail market in India.
Real time connectivity, end to end tracking, GPRS-enabled fleet management -- all elements that the parent, DTDC has perfected are deployed to ensure that e-biz sellers are able to get the product to the customer in the shortest possible time.
In recent weeks, many of them have announced same day or next day delivery in the metros. For DotZot that is (literally!) all in a day's work, just a small incremental notch in a logistics service where it enjoys first mover advantage -- for now..