Beck driving logistics through community-led approach
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Beck driving logistics through community-led approach

With its tech platform BECK FRIENDS, the firm is looking to disrupt the global logistics market through technology and help its users in sending anything anywhere economically by bringing in a community-led approach.

While sending a parcel abroad, many issues crop up in sender’s mind – ‘whether or not it is safe’, ‘is it too much weight to be delivered’, ‘how much do I have to pay’, ‘what if it dismantles/breaks/cracks in transit’, and so on. And if the delivery is not handled by companies but people even sporadically known to the sender, they will heave an enormous sigh of relief.

Sending a parcel aboard, regardless of the size of the package, can often be a hassle for the sender – the process is not transparent, there are often issues with the weight of the package, and the charges are often exorbitant. It is to address these concerns that BECK, a start-up that focuses on simplifying global logistics requirements through technology, has announced the launch of BECK Friends, its global peer-to-peer logistics marketplace.

Moreover, it also gives an opportunity to the user delivering the package to earn while they travel. With the platform, BECK is looking to disrupt the global logistics market through technology and help its users in sending anything anywhere economically by bringing in a community-led approach. Retailer media talks to Deep Malhotra, Co-founder, BECK technology Ventures about the logistics market, how peer-to-peer logistics marketplace works and future plans.

How was the idea of your start-up conceptualised? What is the need you are addressing in the market?
The key mantra was convenience. The need for sending things from one place to another is ever growing. While we say the world is shrinking, but we still don’t have the one platform to go to where we can send anything anywhere and that is where BECK Friends comes in play.

We aim to make sending anything anywhere simplified with the use of technology and opportunity to earn for users.

What is your business model? Please share numbers of founders, product/services offered and current business size.
The current business focus is to get maximum signups and traction on the platform. We want the users to experience the product and engage on the platform. Hence, there are no charges to signup or use BECK Friends right now. Once we get to critical mass of users who are engaged there can be many business models around it. Currently, we are focused evangelising and making the product robust and simple to use.

The company has four Co-founders: Shikha Pandey, Rahul Basu, Mayukh Basu and myself. The founding team is robust with a good mix of technology and business expertise. Rahul Basu and Mayukh Basu, two engineers in their early twenties from BITS Pilani lead the technology, and Shikha Pandey, ex-Airtel and ex-Unilever, leads the operations and strategy of the business and I am an ex-Google guy and ex-Senior Director Myspace, who is on board as a Co-founder and is leading the team.

The company has two services: BECK Instant Delivery: An app-based delivery service that helps you deliver anything up to 7 kgs anywhere in Mumbai on the same day. There are 95-100 deliveries taking place through the app on a daily basis. In the third month of operation, the company reached a milestone of 1000 deliveries a month. Currently it’s available on iOS and Android app stores.

BECK Friends: A global peer-to-peer marketplace for sending anything anywhere economically with an opportunity to earn as you travel. The product has just been announced in the market and brings scale and a global reach to delivering anything anywhere through a social network.

Who is your target consumer? Could you please share how you have detailed your consumer?
Anyone looking to send anything anywhere and knows how to use basic technology through a smartphone or computer is our TG. Or anyone who would want earn as they travel and deliver for users.

What is your team size? What is your office culture like?
We are currently four Co-founders, which is a great mix of technology and business and a team of 10 riders. We believe in debating and thrashing everything until we have nothing but the best left.

What has been your biggest challenge so far in scaling-up? How are you addressing it?
For BECK Instant the biggest challenge is to optimise every rider because the distance between two places in Mumbai is huge. Keeping that in mind the riders have been marked to geographies and we have a huge number of scheduled deliveries that help line up the things for the day.

For BECK Friends, the operations is very lean and the challenge would be the customer service for which we have a dedicated team headed by a Co-founder.

How do you see growth scenario is this business? What are your future scale-up plans?
Indian tech-enabled logistics start-ups attracted a funding of over USD 700 million in 2015. This year is touted to be the year of consolidation, and a product like BECK Friends can be the perfect platform to do so. Consolidating various players, along with peers, will give the user the flexibility to choose the best option according to their requirements.

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