Published On: February 13th, 2019
CAN YOU THINK OF HAVING A PROSPERING BUSINESS, IF YOU DO NOT HAVE AN EFFICIENT TRANSPORT FACILITY?
Certainly not. This need escalates more for pan-country operations. In such countries, products needed to be delivered to every corner. These products are generally transported via trucks. However, truck drivers are not being given the due credit, until Rivigo came into the picture.
Image Source – rivigo.com
Rivigo and its CEO Deepak Garg started in 2014 and became one of the fastest-growing companies in the automotive sector. The novelty of this company lies in its unique model of relay-trucking. In other words, truck drivers drive for a few hundred kilometres. Truck Drivers were changed every now and then. The company decides these change over stops, also called relay pit stops. Such an exceptional model ensures that the companies get the services of a truck every time. And the drivers can return to their families every day.
According to Rivigo co-founder Ghazal Kalra ~ “Becoming a unicorn was never the objective. We wanted to make the truck driving profession humane. Our focus was on sending the truck driver back home the same day. If that metric works, it means the driver is happy, the relay model is working well, and customers are happy.”
THE INSPIRATION BEHIND THE COMPANY
Deepak was a pass out from IIT Kanpur with the degree of a mechanical engineer and from Lucknow IIM with an M.B.A. degree. He had nine years of experience with McKinsey. From the beginning, he had a passion for solving real, impactful problems. He considered logistics to be one arena that has serious issues. He also considered it to have a direct link to the economy and GDP. Therefore, he was inclined to problems in the logistics sector. Hence, he started Rivigo.
HOW DID ALL START?
In June 2014, he worked with an NGO where he used to distribute covers for pillows to the truck drivers in Jaipur. He had scheduled returns from work every evening. However, he got engrossed in talking to truck drivers. Consequently, he once went about 1200 kilometers. Due to which he could return after a week.
During the trip, he met the owner of a Driver Seva Kendra. The owner was hopeless about the business. He considered the truck drivers as the ‘37th caste’. Therefore, Deepak resolved to address this issue.
He met Ghazal Kalra over a coffee and discussed his business plan with her. Ghazal also decided to step in the roads and talk to people to get one better idea.
According to her ~ “At a village in Rajasthan, some three-four unemployed men were sitting around playing cards. I asked them: ‘Why don’t you consider the option of becoming a truck driver?’ They took great offense to the question. One guy said no one would marry him if he took that option, while another said he had studied till Class 8, not for such a job.”
As they analyzed the stigma surrounding a truck driver’s job, they found that the living condition of these drivers is very bad. They have to spend most of the days on roads and rarely get a chance to go to their families in a year. Risks associated with the job are high due to drugs, vulnerability to HIV contraction, alcohol addiction, poor living circumstances, and excessive pressure from the owners to provide speedy business.
Both Deepak and Ghazal found this- if they can manage to send these drivers home every day, much of these issues will get resolved. This is how the idea of a relay-truck driver came into the picture.
Image Source – Rivigo Relay
GROWTH AND EXPANSION
Deepak and Ghazal started the Rivigo Company in 2014 with the concept of driver relays. The company has grown into a pan-India operation where thousands of trucks run every day following the model. Such a model has brought a revolution in the industry in the concept of turnaround time, predictability, and service level.
The customers can choose their drivers, supply chains based on their expectations, reliability, and interest. The company has managed to raise $65 million through its existing investors, SAIF Partners, and Warburg Pincus.
CONCEPT OF DRIVER RELAY
Rivigo focusses on driver relays, where the driver has to travel for a few hundred kilometres. Post that, they are replaced with new ones. Rivigo has determined certain relay pit stops. 25 tonners and the Ashok Leyland Boss trucks are mainly used for transportation. The drivers are thoroughly trained by the company via different training institutes.
The company has tie-ups with several market enablers and have five training locations. The training programs are residential-based. They continue for three days. The drivers are trained on behaviour, mindset, discipline issues, culture and safety issues. Once the drivers have received the training, they are equipped well to start with the business.
HOW DID RIVIGO MANAGE TO TRACK ITS SERVICES?
When the company caters its services all over India, one biggest issue that it will face is how to track its service. However, Deepak has efficiently enabled all the services by technology. The company has designed a central tracking technology for both the shipments as well as the trucks carrying them. The entire service has now been automated so that there is a lesser need for people and associated paper works.
The infusion of technology into their services has ensured pilferage control, theft control, reliability management, asset control, and safety.
HOW HAS DEEPAK PLANNED THE FUTURE FOR RIVIGO?
From the current scenario, Deepak only envisions the continuous growth of his company. His tough-cookie style is more bend on buying more and more vehicles and shift more clients to their services. They also enable their partners in buying vehicles, used for the first mile, last mile, and regional operations. He focuses more on streamlining the business rather than diversification and scaling up their services to grow their client base.
THE BIGGEST ACHIEVEMENT FOR RIVIGO AND DEEPAK
The previous scenario was alarming. Since the truck drivers had unprotected sex with different sex-workers and high-risk groups. However, Rivigo pilots have a disciplined lifestyle and uniforms. They drive for 4-5 hours, take a break for 45 minutes and then return the same day. Their lives are now simpler. Furthermore, their wives are delighted with their husband’s changed routine and lifestyle.
Image Source – rivigo.com