It takes someone with long-term vision to create a successful business from the germ of an idea. Nitish Rai, Founder and CEO of FreightFox, a successful logistics company based in Pune but servicing the entire country, is an apt example. He credits his knowledge of international manufacturing with giving him unique insights into the logistics industry. This in-depth knowledge prompted him to create a data-driven solution to transportation problems. Nitish holds a Ph.D. and an MBA degree and serves as a member on the advisory committee of the Army Institute of Technology. This impressive entrepreneur joins Sunday Guardian Review for a candid chat on the basics of running a successful logistics startup.
Q. What does FreightFox stand for as a brand? What was your vision for it?
A: As an Army kid, my childhood was characterized by regularly shifting homes and the constant unpredictability of when and how our luggage would arrive. My ‘eureka moment’ came during my stint with Blacktrunk Logistics, when we lost a transportation contract with the Indian Army because we couldn’t guarantee that 50 trucks would be available for a specific journey. I then decided to use my knowledge of the manufacturing sector to create a dependable, effective logistics service that would help manufacturers manage their daily shipment volumes.
The supply and demand shocks brought on by the pandemic demonstrated a clear need for supply chain visibility. Increased agility and business process robustness will become a priority for all industries going forward. Additionally, the increase in material and labour prices has accentuated the demand for efficient pricing, which is where digitisation can provide a competitive edge.
FreightFox is built on an innovative platform that provides customized prices and granular visibility into routes and expenditure. It thus helps its clients find the best combination of transporters and fleets for their needs while also spotting potential areas for optimisation. Our vision is to solve traditional freight-related problems with intelligent solutions, and thus become international front-runners in the field of logistics.
Q. What products/services do you offer with FreightFox?
With FreightFox’s product suite, manufacturers can completely digitize their logistics process from purchasing to payment, thus providing consistently excellent customer service. The products include:
Freight Procure: which offers unique procurement insights based on data analytics that have helped clients achieve up to 16 percent savings
Freight Manage: a smart indent management solution with advanced analytics and unified track-and-trace to address placement failures, optimize transport time and reduce unplanned transport costs by up to 5 percent
Freight IQ: providing real-time freight rates, tracking alerts for vehicles in transit, and instant notifications in case of external developments like roadblocks
Collaborative-Logistics-as-a-Service (CLaaS) capability: a one-of-a-kind mobility offering that serves to reduce operational costs with lower inventory pileups for manufacturing companies
All these products are built on our patented data-driven algorithms, which employ cutting-edge machine learning and location intelligence to produce reliable inputs for quick decision-making.
FreightFox is a data-first enterprise logistics procurement and management platform, powering growth through more choices, better control, and certainty in decision-making for manufacturing logistics. We provide our clients with data that lets them see the impact of their decisions in real time, factoring in changing payloads, costs, and other external factors.
Q. What has been your most rewarding moment so far?
A: FreightFox recently demonstrated its products to the Honorable Prime Minister of India at the launch of the National Logistics Policy. FreightFox has integrated its products with the Unified Logistics Interface Platform and is working very closely with various government agencies to develop use cases for the manufacturing enterprises that would ease our logistics operations and reduce their logistics costs.
We intend to pursue strategic mergers and acquisitions in the medium for long term and selective internationalization of our current products to increase our market reach. Ultimately, the goal is to cement our position as a world leader in the logistics industry.
Q. What have been the biggest challenges you have faced so far? How have you overcome them?
The road transportation system in India is among the largest and most disjointed in the world. Poor planning of supply routes frequently results in ineffective fleet allocation and delays in fulfillment. The manufacturers are frequently told of delays and interruptions too late or are unaware of their causes because there is also very limited visibility on the vehicles once they are on the road. To address this, FreightFox uses cutting-edge algorithms and millions of transport data points to suggest the best route for each given shipment and the ideal fleet size. We employ real-time price information to ensure customers pay the best price for any route, and our tracking solutions keep clients updated on the location of their goods at all times. Additionally, we provide a Digital Maturity Assessment for each new client so they can compare themselves with their direct competitors and the market as a whole and thus make the best possible purchasing selections.
Noor Anand Chawla pens lifestyle articles for various publications and her blog www.nooranandchawla.com.