The Supply Chain sector is under the radar as it faces mounting expectations around efficiency and performance than ever before- from fast-paced, last-mile deliveries with real-time information to minimal chances of glitches and tailor-made solutions. The traditional business models and old approaches fall flat to channelize the demands and that’s why the urgency to integrate advanced technology in the industry is whistling. And there is no other industry where so many industry experts recommend the high importance of incorporating leading technology/technologies than logistics and supply chain management sector.
We can’t blink over the fact that the role of technology in the supply chain arena has evolved drastically over the years. Yet, Digital, stills seems to be a challenge for the sector which has been on the cusp of tech-revolution since the last decade as complex processes and conventional IT structure still hampers the overall growth of the country’s vital industry. In a nutshell, the potential is huge, but the industry has, so far, been slow to harvest it.
Sensing the need to engage technology, the supply chain sector captured the attention of young minds to dominate the space by implementing modern technologies to focus on process innovation. While the majority of companies were still pursuing operations in ‘usual ways’, a new crop of companies was harnessing the power of digital technologies to build new, digitized and customer centric business models to address the needs more efficiently and effectively. One such game changer at the forefront of this shift was i:Track, a frontrunner that pushed the boundaries by implementing a futuristic approach.
In the time when the logistics industry was preparing itself to hop on the tech revolution, i:Track brought cutting edge technologies to the Indian market which would re-define how assets are monitored and secured. While others were supply chain services providers, catering a basic menu of services, i:Track became the disruptor of the industry, a digitally fit supply chain brand.
Chronicles of a brand driving change in the supply chain sector
“It all began with a vision that if companies are to achieve scale in supply chain operations, there is a need to imbibe technologies that will provide transparency”
Sarat Chopra, the brain behind the brand established i:Track in 2011 with a vision to transform global supply chain operations by leveraging technologies to deliver a standardized and harmonized experience. This facet stimulated i:Track to establish a strategic partnership with Starcom Systems, Israel – a leading global company, specializing in advanced automated real-time solutions. Together, the brands identified the need to imbibe technologies that will provide transparency and enhance ability to scale. With joint technological and product input, a bouquet of top-of-the-line, future-proof products was launched which was well-accepted and applauded by the industry and is still acknowledged by numerous enterprises.
In its decade-old journey, i:Track has created remarkable landscapes. Growing to its utmost potential, it boasts over its global network of 32 partners and presence across 60 countries, and that gives them the breadth and reach to meet the needs of a wide selection of clients.
Zubair enrobes various roles; he is an active investor, an aspiring entrepreneur and most importantly, shoulders the responsibility of being the link between the top level and the team of i:Track as its CVO. Upon earning his International Baccalaureate diploma, Zubair edged forward to attain a first-class classification in his BA International Management and MSc Marketing with Entrepreneurship degree from the University of Exeter, one of the top 12 Business Schools in Europe. The outset of his professional journey begins with commencing the role of handling Data Analytics for WeWork PAN India. With the elevation in his experience, Zubair joined i:Track India as the Director of Business Transformation and Development. Next off, he moved on to become the Head of Sales and Marketing – and was then given the opportunity to convert his vision into action and run i:Track as its Chief Vision Officer.
The edited excerpts below are from the interview with Zubair Chopra, where he goes into details and discusses i:Track, his experiences and the changes happening in the logistics and supply chain Industry.
Straight from the leader
What is the company’s current outreach across the domestic market? How has been the journey so far?
Our rapid growth into one of the emerging supply chain tech firms in Asia has solely been due to the efforts of our team. We now have offices in 7 locations – Gurgaon, Mumbai, Bangalore, Dubai, Singapore, Hong Kong and Israel. Domestically, we are present in PAN India – with a network of engineers and account leads across the country. Our revenues are increasing at a rate of near 7% (YOY) and we are expecting a higher rate of growth in the post-pandemic era due to increasing emphasis placed on the safety of goods, frequent movement and improving financial conditions. We have had a good journey so far and are hopeful of the fact that our recent investments in India will see quick returns.
Comment on the extensive product portfolio of the company.
Our Israeli solutions – Helios (Fleet GPS), Lokies (Smart Padlock), Tetis (Container Monitoring) and Kylos (Portable GPS) – enable users to track, monitor and secure their assets in real-time – immediately alerting them to pre-defined or unusual events. They have an array of unique features such as in-built impact, temperature, humidity and light sensors – which make our solutions the most reliable, accurate and effective solution available in the Indian market.
How did the Global Pandemic affect the company?
It gave us the opportunity to re-structure and re-think from ground level. We emphasized the most minimal aspects, which helped in streamlining our operations and the solutions we offer.
Brief us over the corporate clients associated with you?
We attend to the requirements of the supply chain within any industry- from Energy, Renewables, Cash Management, and Logistics to Pharmaceuticals, Manufacturing and Chemicals. Our clientele includes the likes of DSV (the world’s 3rd largest logistics firm), Mylan Pharma, Brinks, SIS Prosegur, Swiss Air, Torrent Power, Baker Hughes, Cairn, United Airlines, Ferrari Group, Coldman Logistics and other industry leaders.
How do you see the global logistics market shaping up in few years down the line?
I believe the market will undergo a vast transformation in many ways. Firms are now increasingly focusing on resilience and risk management to deal with pandemic related disruptions. Blockchain will see more use throughout SCM and digital supply chain twins will give decision-makers digital environments to view real-time input from their physical supply chains. Tech like AI and IoT will grow in popularity and see massive integrations, whereas, 5G networks will give businesses the power to support large data-loads. Lastly, I feel automation and robotics can expect more use as social distancing becomes a norm.
How does your company leverage the power of modern technology to help customers?
We provide customers with complete transparency on the movement, condition and access to their fleet, assets or consignments. We power them with real-time data, allowing them to sense and act upon it. Users can pre-define unlimited events they want to be alerted upon, such as when their asset enters/leaves a marked perimeter or is opened/closed. They can generate real-time reports on where, when and by whom their consignment was accessed. The capabilities are endless; it depends on the user’s specific pain points.
What piece of advice/learning do you want to share with the aspiring leaders of tomorrow?
I would not say I have much advice for aspiring leaders other than to believe in yourself. What I do have, is advice for businesses looking to invest in such technologies. Look at quality over cost, since technology is a long-term investment and it defines how your supply chain is monitored. I have noticed that the Indian consumers in this market highly price-sensitive, who, sometimes go for the significantly cheaper substitutes, such as made-in-China products. Such alternatives are inaccurate and unreliable; the devices fail after a year or less and are all-in-all a poor long term investment. For a superior technology, there is a higher price, but also superior performance. Henceforth, always secure your assets the right way.