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Addressing the Hyperlocal Logistics Space through Zero Emission Electric Vehicles

MELANGE caught up with Sumit Das, founder of Bikozee Ecotech Pvt. Ltd, an enterprise, which is meeting the last mile delivery needs of hyperlocal e-commerce businesses

Addressing the Hyperlocal Logistics Space through Zero Emission Electric Vehicles

Sentinel Digital Desk

Bikozee is meeting the last mile delivery needs of hyperlocal e-commerce businesses by providing electric mobility services. Driven by two-fold objectives of alleviating carbon emission and increasing livelihood opportunities in the hyperlocal delivery sector, the startup has developed an advanced tech-enabled platform for enterprises and government agencies to book skilled delivery personnel for delivering their products to the end customers on electric and hybrid 2 wheelers. The startup has been efficiently creating and training a team of skilled delivery executives who are empowered with electric two wheelers and are specifically trained on safe delivery procedure and on road marketing skills.

Please explain in detail about Bikozee?

Bikozee Ecotech Private Limited is a clean mobility based third party logistics solution for small and medium businesses. The digital revolution is transforming the ways businesses interact and sell to their customers. As millions of such businesses are going digital, the demand for reliable hyperlocal logistics and delivery partners has increased multifold. Bikozee addresses the logistics needs of such businesses using zero emission electric vehicles while generating employment opportunities for the youth of the region in the green logistics sector.

What was the understanding /insight or inspiration behind your entrepreneurial venture?

The growth of digital commerce has brought tremendous opportunities in the logistics sector, however the ever rising fuel cost and the air pollution by the transport vehicles is an immediate economical and environmental concern for the planet. Electrification of the logistics sector could have a large scale impact on the action against climate change. Every delivery trip done on the Bikozee platform contributes towards saving carbon emission while providing livelihood to the delivery executives.

What are the specific challenges and milestones of your journey so far? What is your vision and future roadmap?

The journey has been very exciting and challenging so far; the lack of financial and human resources through the initial period and unavailability of electric mobility infrastructure have been some of the major challenges. Currently operating with a fleet of 100% emission free vehicles in Guwahati, Bikozee has multiple collaborations and partnerships with manufacturers, businesses and government organisations and is also a partner of the Shoonya Campaign supported by Niti Aayog.

Our vision is aligned with the global objective of reducing the carbon footprint in the logistics sector while providing reliable logistics solutions for the small and medium enterprises of the region. Over the coming years, we shall be expanding our services to all the northeastern states and beyond.

What are the social objectives of your entrepreneurial venture? How do you envisage making a positive impact on the ecosystem in which your enterprise is operating?

As a social enterprise the goals and objectives of the organisation are designed by the concept of 'theory of change.' The last mile logistics sector is majorly driven by the gig economy, where a service provider works on a commission pay structure. For people to join this sector (as a service provider in the delivery chain) it is mandatory to own a vehicle

At Bikozee, youth from economically marginalised communities are provided an electric vehicle by the company, trained as professional delivery executives and engaged on the company payroll. We provide financial stability, decent working conditions, medical benefits and skill development. We are on a mission to create thousands of trained micro entrepreneurs, which will have a large scale economical and social impact.

How important is training and mentoring for an entrepreneur? Which are the organisations that are building entrepreneurs in our state? Any other facilitating factors that are needed?

Entrepreneurship is a continuous learning process and the valuable feedbacks from the customers are the most important lessons for any entrepreneur. Training and mentoring helps an entrepreneur to develop the skills that are required to develop and grow a business from ground up. Training and mentoring plays a very crucial role in deciding the future direction of the organisation. There are several government and private organisations in the state offering incubation facilities to entrepreneurs, Bikozee has been fortunate to be a incubated and supported by - Indian Institute of Entrepreneurship, Assam Startup the Nest, IIT Guwahati, Down Town Venture Labs, IIM Calcutta Innovation Park and NRL. I must say that these incubators support us not just in terms of developing the business models and resources. They also help assist us financially through grants and investor connections. However there is a need to introduce the entrepreneurship mindset early to the youngsters and promote entrepreneurship as a respected career choice. After all entrepreneurs are problem solvers and job creators.

How much do you credit technology for the success of your business? Can you please share your views?

Technology has played a very significant role in designing and implementing our business models. Going forward too, once a market need is identified the business shall leverage technology to scale up and grow rapidly. I must also add that continuous improvement is required to enhance the customer experience. During the ideation phase of a startup a very simple 'minimally viable' product may be built with the basic available technology to validate the market need. Doing this could help entrepreneurs to build products and services that customers would love to use and pay for. Technology is evolving rapidly and entrepreneurs need to be updated on the latest technological advancements in their particular domain, as that helps in building strong and sustainable business models.

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