To be competitive and enhance effectiveness, keeping up with the particular latest technology is important. The Logistics industry is reaping helpful benefits immensely from the almost all advanced technology and may continue to grow some sort of a lot more advances are usually made. The breakthroughs within technology will carry on and drive the boundaries for a long time to be able to come.
SensiWise Solutions is an Emerging Tech (IoT, Analytics & Blockchain) focused venture creating Enterprise solutions for specialized supply chain logistics.
In a candid talk with Mr. Puneet Jetli, Founder and CEO at SensiWise solutions let’s get known to their journey since inception and their quality offerings.
• Tell us about the company.
We are a 2 years old company. In our definition, a specialized supply chain includes any product that requires careful handling during its storage and/or movement through the supply-chain journey. Though our first solution is targeted at Cold-chain, which deals with temperature-sensitive products, it has been designed in a way that we would be able to address other specialized product categories with little incremental effort.
• What were the initial challenges you faced?
Being an IoT focused company, our biggest challenge upfront was to create a fine balance between the need to quickly hit the market and the need to have full flexibility and control on all the building blocks of the solution. We were always clear that we would not try to compress the go-to-market cycle time by leveraging third-party IoT devices readily available in the market. While that would have allowed us faster access to the market with our solution, we knew that in the longer run, it would hinder our ability to enhance/customize our solution for new use-cases, and also lower the threshold for competitive differentiation. The other significant challenge for a start-up is always winning your first customer.
• Which was that point that triggered the growth of the company?
I think there have been about 3-4 growth inflection points till now. The first was obviously when we released the solution for undertaking POCs/Pilots in Q3 of 2018. In a few months, we were able to start converting the initial POCs into commercial contracts. The second was when we fine-tuned the solution for slow-moving assets like Ice cream push-carts. The third was when we adapted the solution for fixed assets involved in Cold-chain like the freezers, chillers, cold-stores, and visi-coolers. Each of these, are large opportunity areas by themselves.
• How have the company graphs changed since the foundation? Can you share a few statistics?
I think the 2 most important metrics that calibrates our progress are the number of customers and the number of assets for which our solution has been deployed. On the former, we now have 5 paying Customers, and several others in the pilot phase. For the existing customers, we have the go-ahead to cover over 4,000 assets.
• What is the reason behind your company’s long-standing success?
Frankly, we are still very young and have a long journey ahead before we can look back and admire our achievements. Yet, SensiWise is being built on a few fundamentals that we believe will hold us in good stead:
a) Global & rich Industry experience of the core team
b) A clear understanding of the technology landscape and engineering best practices for digital solutions
c) Building and harnessing the right ecosystem for growth
• According to you, which are the factors that affect logistics industry processes?
The logistics industry has traditionally lagged other processes/functions like manufacturing, finance, customer experience, etc. when it comes to Information Technology adoption. The complexity of high market fragmentation, several stakeholders, multiple product hops and handovers, further adds to the issue. All of this eventually manifests in the following challenges:
1) Lack of visibility into the product’s location and its condition
2) Inability to monitor whether defined operating processes and SLAs are being adhered to
3) Cost, damage, theft, asset utilization, and turnaround related inefficiencies
4) Inability to establish end-to-end traceability of a product’s journey with accountability for lapses, if any
• What are the products/services the company focuses on? How are your services different from those in the market?
Our mission is to bring Visibility, Assurance & Efficiency to specialized supply chain logistics operations. Our first solution is for the Cold-chain – the supply chain for temperature-sensitive products before we start addressing other adjacent areas. While most stakeholders believe that Cold-chain involves monitoring of temperature & location, we are disrupting this space through some of the following:
1) Addressing the need for all stages of the product’s Cold-chain journey – right from the time it is manufactured until it reaches the customer, and not just during transportation and warehousing.
2) Providing stakeholders granular visibility & assurance of their operations by providing access to over 40 parameters
3) Enabling end-to-end traceability of a product’s journey and its quality even when multiple service providers are involved in handling the product
4) Going beyond monitoring – allowing stakeholders to close the loop by allowing them to remotely operate and control the assets deployed in the Cold-chain. Ex – switching on/off the AC unit of a Reefer.
5) Allowing stakeholders to monitor multiple product condition parameters and not just temperature.
• How do you decide to take the company a step further in terms of your products/services?
Our product roadmap is typically influenced by the following two factors. Firstly, it is based on our understanding of the market needs that we are trying to address. The moment you start acquiring customers, there is always a steady flow of features and functionalities that get added to your to-do list and needs to be prioritized. Secondly, how you want to differentiate vis-à-vis the competition also plays a major rule in evolving your products & services.
• Is there any new addition to the list of products/services? Anything exciting you would like to share?
Given our Cold-chain focus, it was imperative for us to look at the needs of the Ice cream market. Our newest product is called iTREATS – Ice cream Trikes Revenue Enhancement & Tracking Solution. We realized that Ice Cream Trikes/Push-carts are an important sales channel in many parts of the country. So while Brands were investing heavily in making thousands of these push-carts available to their trade-channel, they had very little visibility into their utilization, operations and sales efficiency.
While some brands had tried adopting a GPS based track and trace solution, some of the needs and on-the-ground issues were totally different. This is why we created iTREATS. Based on some POCs that we have undertaken, we are confident that Ice Cream Brands will now be able to not only have improved and real-time visibility into the asset’s operations but will also be able to increase the sales realization per capita from the assets deployed in the market.
We are very happy that Govt. of Karnataka supported us in this endeavour by covering the iTREATS development under its flagship ELEVATE Idea2PoC Grant program.
• The new era demands new methods. How do you cope with that?
Thankfully today SensiWise is amongst the disruptors rather than having fear of getting disrupted. But the real danger for any organization, especially the successful ones, is to get comfortable with the status quo or continuing to follow what has worked well for them in the past.
• How much has the logistic industry evolved with rising technology over the years?
Aspects of Logistics industry particularly warehousing has definitely benefited a lot in the last few years through technology adoption. However, all aspects of the industry will need to plan the leverage that newer technologies like IoT, Robotics, AI and Data Science will bring.
• Can you please brief us about your professional experience?
Over the last 20 years, I have been associated with 3 start-ups. In 1999, I was amongst the first to join Mindtree. In the 12 years that I spent with them, I played various roles. This experience gave me tremendous insights into building & nurturing a company through its formative and high-growth period. In 2011, I co-founded Happiest Minds and ran its Digital business for 6 years as a CEO before moving out and starting SensiWise in 2017. The common thread across these three ventures has been helping Global Enterprises leverage newer technologies for business Value.
• What are the key achievements of your entrepreneurial journey?
Building organizations or institutions is never one person’s work. But to be part of teams, and seeing companies like Mindtree and Happiest Minds evolve from being an idea to becoming successful global Brands, has been the most fulfilling and cherished moments of my career.
• Is there any special experience with your clients you would like to highlight?
The whole purpose of our products is to act as eyes and ears and help customers get detailed visibility and assurance on their assets and their operations. In a few instances, Customers were taken by surprise when our solution highlighted that fuel was being pilfered from their vehicles or when the distance travelled by some vehicles was being over-reported by 40%. The value of this kind helps establish credibility and confidence with Customers.
• One person, who you admire the most?
Having had the opportunity to see and work with several Industry leaders from close quarters, I realized that every good leader has his/her strengths that you can try and emulate. At the same time, no leader can be the best at everything. So, I have followed a hybrid approach of admiring multiple leaders for specific areas, and have been able to learn from each one of them.
• It’s a rat-race out there. How do you cope with that?
I have seen that as you mature and get more experienced, you are able to balance the pulls and pressures of the rat-race much better. For me, the 2 non-negotiable pre-requisites are whether I am enjoying what I am doing and if the business is being done with the highest levels of integrity. Compromising on either of these is not worth the while.