Entrepreneurs Today had an exclusive chat with Swati Mittal, a results-driven professional with over a decade of experience dedicated to enhancing business value. Specializing in Early and Growth stage start-ups, particularly those in innovative and disruptive industries, she excels at propelling them into rapid Scale-Up mode.
Co-founder of BigShip, a prominent AI-driven shipping aggregator in India, Swati draws on her extensive background in e-commerce, spanning different industries. Swati’s true passion lies in logistics, where she aims to simplify and bring transparency to the system.
In her current role, Swati leads various teams, including sales, operations, and digital media, to achieve global recognition for the company.
Acknowledged as one of the 26 icons of her university, MRIU, Swati has garnered further recognition as one of the “20 Iconic Business Women Leaders to Follow in 2022” by magazines “Prime Insights” and “Business Connect.” She has also been featured in ANI and Hindustan Times.
In a freewheeling chat with Entrepreneurs Today, Swati explains,
“Apart from serving as a price discovery platform for shipment in India, BigShip streamlines logistics with advanced technology and robust customer support. Focused on B2B, B2C, D2C, and cross-border domains, we operate in 29,000+ Indian pin codes and extend our services to over 150 countries.”
Differentiating itself in the market, BigShip pioneered the inclusion of diverse carriers for B2B shipments on its technology platform. The company’s expertise lies in simplifying logistics through user-friendly software, particularly addressing the complexities of cross-border shipments. Prioritizing safety and reliability, BigShip offers insurance coverage to mitigate potential monetary losses due to shipment damage.
Ankkit Jain, a co-founder of BigShip and Swati’s husband, explains further,
“In terms of their services, the company caters to a broad spectrum of shipments, ranging from e-commerce small packets to multi-box shipments (PTL and FTL), both within India and across borders. We also move shipments worth crores within a single day.”
To enhance operational efficiencies, BigShip strategically employs cutting-edge technologies such as the Internet of Things (IoT), data analysis, and automation. These initiatives contribute to making the supply chain transparent and efficient, aligning with the company’s commitment to advancing logistics through innovative solutions.
Currently operating from three different cities- Dehradun, Noida, and Ahmedabad—they plan on opening more centers in India and internationally.
The market gap
Swati’s inspiration to start BigShip stemmed from her firsthand experience working with e-commerce websites and platforms that failed to take off due to logistics issues. Recognizing the significant financial setbacks unmanaged logistics could cause businesses, she saw an opportunity to address this challenge.
The inception of BigShip was motivated by a vision to merge excellent customer service with the consolidation of selected carriers across India on a single platform.
The company’s focus on a sustainable business model involves in-depth market analysis and strategic solutions. BigShip was a pioneer in introducing the concept of e-commerce shipments, driven by a commitment to service orientation.
Acknowledging the financial losses clients often faced with return shipments, the company implemented a 2-hour turnaround time for client inquiries. This commitment aimed to make supply chains more efficient and responsive, reflecting BigShip’s dedication to minimizing unfavorable monetary impacts for its clients.
Swati encountered several challenges in building BigShip. One significant hurdle was the scarcity of employable individuals with the necessary skill set, reflecting a gap between the education system and industry requirements. She noted that many potential employees lacked essential skills, particularly in areas like effective communication and networking, which are crucial for roles like sales.
Additionally, Swati highlighted the challenge of managing salary expectations, with some individuals seeking offers from other companies despite not intending to switch jobs, adding complexity to the hiring process.
To address the challenges in talent acquisition, BigShip made a strategic move by relocating its office to Dehradun. This shift proved beneficial as it allowed the company to find employees who not only possessed the required skills but also demonstrated loyalty to the company and aligned with the founders’ vision. Swati emphasizes the significance of loyalty, stating.
“While skills can be developed, finding dedicated and loyal team members is a valuable asset that contributes to the company’s long-term success.”
In a brief period, BigShip has emerged as India’s premier aggregator, distinguishing itself as a trailblazer in B2B shipments within the Indian aggregation industry. Capitalizing on the advantage of being an early entrant, the company has successfully navigated the complexities of the B2B market, providing solutions that are as seamless as those for B2C shipments.
With its roots in e-commerce shipments, BigShip’s service-oriented approach has rapidly garnered recognition. The incorporation of innovative tech features such as real-time tracking, online order booking and fulfillment, rate calculation, data management, and bulk order processing has contributed to BigShip establishing a substantial clientele of over 10,000 satisfied customers.
For the future, Swati Mittal envisions BigShip expanding its services globally. The company is gearing up to launch worldwide services, encompassing cross-border shipments and establishing a franchise network.
The overarching goals include enhancing shipping services, expanding operations, increasing business revenue, growing the number of sellers, and elevating the quality of services on a global scale. Swati also shares,
“My commitment is to enhance BigShip’s platform to make it more user-friendly and accessible. The goal is to ensure that individuals, even those with limited technical proficiency or from rural regions, can easily utilize their services.”
Currently, the company’s overarching goal is to democratize access to logistics solutions, making them inclusive and available to a diverse range of users across different backgrounds and regions.
Swati Mittal imparts a valuable lesson based on her experience, emphasizing the importance of avoiding excessive filters within a company that hinder communication between the CEO and the employees. She highlights the need for startup founders, especially CEOs, to set aside the ego associated with hierarchical positions and be accessible to their team. She highlights,
“Treat employees like family, as the strength of a company lies not in the individual at the top but in the collective skills and contributions of every team member.”
As she signs off, she emphasizes that a CEO should be open to hearing from employees, recognizing that each member, with their unique skill set, plays a crucial role in the company’s daily progress.