Lynk Lo­gis­tics ex­pands to other cities

Auto components India - - CONTENTS - Story by: Bhar­gav TS

The In­dian truck lo­gis­tics in­dus­try is en­ter­ing the dig­i­tal zone like the cab ag­gre­ga­tors. The Chen­nai-based Lynk Lo­gis­tics with its dig­i­tal so­lu­tions has be­gun an on-de­mand ve­hi­cle ag­gre­ga­tor ser­vice with the small truck driv­ers and fleet own­ers. It is an in­tra-city last mile con­nec­tiv­ity plat­form that con­nects in­di­vid­ual and busi­ness cus­tomers with the lo­gis­tics ser­vice provider, the small truck driver or own­ers, for the ef­fi­cient and timely move­ment of goods.

“Lynk-like apps are a com­mon thing in the de­vel­oped coun­tries like the US. In In­dia this kind of apps are be­ing in­tro­duced by a few com­pa­nies. The hit ra­tio is yet not com­mend­able due to a lot of rea­sons. We would like to sub­stan­ti­ate the doa­bil­ity with this app. We be­gan the ground work on this in 2015 and launched it com­mer­cially in June 2016 in Chen­nai to start with. We cover up to 60 km within the city. We have just started serv­ing Hy­der­abad. By 2018 we want to ex­pand to Bengaluru, Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkatta and other ma­jor cities,” Ab­hi­nav Raj, Co-Founder, Lynk, told Au­toCom­po­nentsIn­dia.

The com­pany plans the op­ti­mal util­i­sa­tion of the existing as­sets by bring­ing to­gether the cus­tomers and the lo­gis­tics providers. “The cus­tomers can get choices of trucks at rea­son­able rates, and the truck own­ers will get more busi­ness which was lim­ited so far to 1 or 2 trips daily ow­ing to re­stricted ex­plo­ration pos­si­bil­i­ties. We are here to help them,” he said.

The app is de­signed and de­vel­oped in such a way that even a first-time smart phone user can nav­i­gate through the

in­struc­tions eas­ily. Through 30-minute train­ing the driv­ers and other users can mas­ter the app. The pen­e­tra­tion of smart phones has made the process has­sle-free and the driv­ers are learn­ing very fast. The com­pany also has a hot­line num­ber through which the cus­tomers can book. The app is avail­able in Google play store and it proves bet­ter and cus­tomers are re­spond­ing ob­vi­ously. The cost is shared as 85% to the driv­ers and 15% to Lynk.

The Lynk driv­ers are not ac­count­able for load­ing and un­load­ing of goods. How­ever there is an op­tion to hire a loader at the time of book­ing. Once the book­ing is done, track­ing ID will be pro­vided through which the cus­tomer can track the truck in real time. Cash and cash­less pay­ments op­tions are given to the cus­tomers. They can go cash­less through the Lynk money plat­form.

The com­pany of­fers 3 cat­e­gories of trucks: S, S+ and M. The S cat­e­gory has small trucks like Tata Ace with a ca­pac­ity of 1 tonne. The S+ cat­e­gory has slightly big­ger trucks like Ashok Ley­land Dost and pick-ups, and the M cat­e­gory has a pay­load ca­pac­ity of 3-4 tonne. Based on the value and the num­ber of goods, the cus­tomers can opt for one of these choices.

“As of now our busi­ness model con­cen­trates only on in­tra-city op­er­a­tions. In­ter-city haul is a dif­fer­ent mar­ket which is not our im­me­di­ate pri­or­ity. We ad­vise the fleet own­ers not to bother about get­ting cus­tomers as the plat­form fetches them with more op­tions. In­stead they could con­cen­trate on their core busi­ness. Stand­alone fur­ni­ture com­pa­nies, and phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal com­pa­nies, among oth­ers, are our cus­tomers where 60% of their freight is car­ried by the mar­ket ve­hi­cles and not cap­tive ve­hi­cles,” Shekhar Bhende, Co-Founder, Lynk, said.

The com­pany en­sures that the cus­tomers get un­in­ter­rupted busi­ness and the de­mand is matched with the sup­ply. It also has reg­is­tered IOS app but thus far only the An­droid users have been able to use this app, down­load­ing from the Play store.

“We have 700 driv­ers and 60,000 to 65,000 reg­is­tered cus­tomers. We do not have any choice and we link what­ever truck comes in. Spe­cialised ve­hi­cles are not in the purview now but may be on ex­pan­sion we may go in for them. Our brand is get­ting pop­u­lar now and bet­ter re­sults are shown. We are for­tu­nate enough in this as bet­ter word of mouth en­hances our busi­ness,” Shekhar said.

The com­pany also stated that the com­fort of the driv­ers is taken care and as of now the in­cen­tives based on long hours is not in place. But it has worked out the base ex­pec­ta­tions and in­cen­tive plans but the struc­ture is not dis­closed. It also said that it has enough funds to ex­pand its busi­ness. Cur­rently 40% is owned by Ramco and 60% cov­ers stock op­tions and other sources of fund­ing. “We do not see Ramco as an in­vestor but we in­cu­bated from the Ramco group,” Shekhar said.

The com­pany also stated that in­creas­ing busi­ness needs sup­ply team, sales team, among oth­ers, in place. Serv­ing the in­sti­tu­tional de­mand is not in our range now as it runs on credit. Cur­rently the com­pany says it does not deal with credit busi­ness. Billing is te­dious un­like pas­sen­ger trans­porta­tion. “We have to adapt that and learn quickly. It is also nec­es­sary for us to bring in uni­for­mity and stan­dard­ised pric­ing struc­tures. Ad­di­tion and dele­tion of fea­tures have to be mulled over. We have a dis­tinc­tive pric­ing model and charges are levied based on how much time the truck is en­gaged. It is al­go­rith­mic and based on the base fare and the jour­ney time. Load­ing and un­load­ing of good are also con­sid­ered and hence we ad­vise our cus­tomers to speed up the process. The base fare in­cludes 30 min­utes jour­ney time and ev­ery minute past this will be charged Rs 4 per minute and the price varies based on the cat­e­gory the cus­tomer goes for,” Ab­hi­nav said.

Shekhar Bhende and Ab­hi­nav Raj, Co-Founders, LYNK

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