HomeStartupsShiprocket: Navigating eCommerce Logistics in India

Shiprocket: Navigating eCommerce Logistics in India

If we look at how the journey of Shiprocket began, it can be traced back to that one pivotal moment that led co-founder Saahil to recognize the glaring gap that exists in the Indian market in terms of the growth of MSMEs.

It was the same gap that propelled him to find a solution for businesses that face logistics challenges. However, he couldn’t take on such a challenge on his own. So, with the support of his friend Gautam, they began Shiprocket as a part-time venture while he resided in the USA. Recognizing the need for full-time commitment, Saahil eventually relocated to India to drive the venture towards greater heights. 

In the initial six months, co-founders Gautam Kapoor and  Saahil Goel embarked on the journey of establishing their startup, with the former setting up the office in New Delhi. Despite the geographical distance, they committed to early morning work sessions to develop their business concept, dedicating four hours in the morning and additional hours in the evening. The process faced initial challenges due to remote collaboration.

Inspired by India’s vast small and medium seller market, the founders decided to create technology tailored to their needs. Without reaching out to incubators or conducting extensive research, they believed in the potential of India’s emerging eCommerce industry.

During the early stages, Gautam Kapoor worked on convincing his family to leave their family business and join this venture. The co-founders meticulously drafted a 200-page document outlining the business model, brand identity, and more. They also established a physical office presence, conducted interviews, and faced rejection from a potential candidate, which proved demotivating.

Realizing the need for full-time commitment, the author relocated to India in January and initiated the recruitment process for their first team of engineers.

Services provided

Their services encompass efficient doorstep delivery, covering 27,000+ pin codes in India and 220 countries worldwide. Shiprocket Social, an integrated logistics dashboard, streamlines this process with access to 17+ courier partners and an AI-powered Courier Recommendation Engine (CORE) for optimal partner selection based on various factors.

Key features include real-time order tracking, early COD, easy returns, notifications, shipping rate calculation, and automatic inventory synchronization.

Shiprocket also empowers sellers to establish an online presence through Shiprocket Social, offering free features like Facebook shops, payment gateways, bulk product uploads, and more.

To enhance the customer experience, Shiprocket Packaging offers cost-effective, quality packaging solutions with automated inventory tracking.

For smaller businesses, Shiprocket Fulfillment provides flexible eCommerce warehousing solutions, managing order spikes and reducing errors, all at an affordable price.

Additionally, Shiprocket Saral offers intra-city delivery through local partners, promoting cost-effectiveness and transparency.

In a nutshell, Shiprocket offers a comprehensive suite of services to facilitate efficient eCommerce operations for businesses of all sizes.

Challenges faced

Shiprocket faced significant challenges during the pandemic due to its strong office-based work culture and single office location in Delhi. The rapid doubling of the team’s size posed hurdles in hiring and onboarding without physical interactions. This remote work setup made it tougher for new hires to grasp the company culture and bond with colleagues, but efforts were made to foster digital interaction.

Initially targeting the MSME market in India with a shopping cart product, Shiprocket pivoted its strategy after two years. They realized that the Indian market prioritized convenience over traditional B2B approaches. A notable shift occurred when they identified that around 30% of users primarily purchased the shopping cart for access to Shiprocket’s shipping services, emphasizing the shift in customer preferences.

Co-founder Saahil Goel acknowledged the learning curve during the initial years and the need to experiment with various features and marketing techniques before finding Shiprocket’s optimal direction.

Current partnerships

Shiprocket has entered into a strategic partnership with Shadowfax Technologies to introduce same-day and next-day delivery services for D2C brands like boAt Lifestyle, Mamaearth, and MyGlamm. The rollout is planned in India’s top 20 cities by the end of this year, followed by expansion into other regions in October 2022.

In October 2022, Shiprocket collaborated with India Post to enhance last-mile delivery services for a wide range of e-commerce products. Leveraging India Post’s extensive global delivery network, this partnership aims to streamline and optimize the online shopping delivery experience.

On August 17, 2023, Shiprocket joined forces with drone delivery startup Skye Air, heralding a transformative shift in the shipment process through drone utilization. This strategic alliance seeks to expedite order fulfillment by deploying Skye Air’s autonomous drone logistics solutions, effectively bypassing urban traffic congestion challenges.

Furthermore, Shiprocket’s partnership with eBay, established on March 23, 2023, integrates eBay Global Shipping (ESG) with Shiprocket X, offering Indian SMEs cost-effective and seamless cross-border shipping solutions.

Shiprocket’s valuation

Shiprocket’s journey to unicorn status reached fruition on August 17, 2022, with a valuation of $1.2 billion, emphasizing its growth trajectory. Co-founder Saahil Goel emphasized the importance of hiring top talent to tackle the unique challenges faced during the journey from 100 to 10,000 customers, allowing them to focus on strategic roles.

Notable milestones in Shiprocket’s growth include becoming India’s leading eCommerce shipping solution, achieving profitability within 24 months, serving over 1 lakh brands and entrepreneurs, satisfying more than 1 lakh sellers, and handling 2 lakh+ daily shipments. The company covers 29,000+ pin codes, operates in 220+ countries, and collaborates with 17+ courier partners, including Bluedart, Delhivery, and Xpressbees.

Shiprocket’s impressive client roster features brands like Dr. Vaidya’s, MamaEarth, Gillette, and Boat, contributing to its 3X year-on-year growth. As of February 4, 2022, the company was valued at $930 million.

In terms of financials, Shiprocket witnessed a remarkable 122% growth in operating revenue, which reached Rs 358.01 crore during FY21, compared to Rs 161.19 crore in FY20.

Plans ahead

Shiprocket, headquartered in New Delhi, has expanded its eCommerce fulfilment and warehousing solution, Shiprocket Fulfillment, to major cities like Delhi, Gurgaon, Bangalore, Mumbai, and Kolkata.

In 2022, the company’s strategic focus includes offering additional services in hyperlocal deliveries, customer care, and lending to better serve its merchants, aiming to become a comprehensive eCommerce fulfilment solution.

With international expansion plans in mind, Shiprocket is preparing dedicated teams to drive growth, initially concentrating on regional markets. Their vision is to extend their reach from 85,000+ sellers to 250,000+ over the next 2-3 years.

CEO and Co-founder Saahil Goel stated, “We are on track to launch hyperlocal delivery options, ensuring low turnaround times and top-tier service levels, solidifying our position as the preferred shipping and enablement partner. We’ve taken the first step toward expanding our footprint in new geographies with our services launched in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in November 2021.”

Additionally, Shiprocket is developing new strategic initiatives encompassing hyperlocal delivery services, courier partnerships, fulfilment networks, and global expansion, starting from West Asia, with funding efforts underway.

Read more: Founders of Cricket NFT Startup Rario Step Down Amid Investor Pressure and Cost-Cutting Measures

Snigdha Basu
Snigdha Basu
A multifaceted writer, Snigdha Basu is a freelancer and a columnist at Entrepreneurs Today. She also spearheads Chic Life Edition - her own Digital Magazine with sustainable fashion, beauty, and culture at its core. Reach out to Snigdha at [email protected] for inquiries.
- Advertisment -

Most Popular