For the economic growth of every country, logistics are very essential. India’s logistics sector is estimated to account for about 14.4% of the GDP, and there are over 22 million people who rely on it for their income.
As the logistics industry comprises all supply chain activities such as transportation, the flow of information, inventory management, and customer service – the logistics company must be reliable, ethical, and transparent.
And this is where Kamya Shipping Pvt. Ltd. comes in – standing tall on its ethical values. Here, we at Decision Maker Magazine had a chance to have an in-depth conversation with the director of Kamya Shipping Pvt. Ltd., Jitesh Kumar, and he let us know many things about Kamya Shipping Pvt. Ltd.
Take a glance at the inscribed conversation ahead!
Tell us a bit about the company including its services. How and why did you decide to create it? How does it sit within the entrepreneurial ecosystem of India, today?
After working with several multinational companies in India and abroad, and gaining expertise of over 20 years, I asked myself, ‘What next? Why am I limiting myself to think how I can deliver toward the organization’s goals? Why cannot I do this for myself?’ Thus, was born the idea of Kamya Shipping Pvt. Ltd. Also, fortunately for us, the Indian government was promoting startups with friendly policies. On February 06th, 2018, under the ROC (Registrars of Companies) Act, we registered as a logistics service provider, complying with the applicable framework and policies.
KAMYA describes itself as a Transparent, Ethical, and Reliable Global Supply Chain Partner, with a Vision to ensure a safe and cost-effective way of delivering goods across the globe. With a dedicated, enthusiastic, experienced team of young dynamic entrepreneurs and an agent network in almost every corner of the world, we satisfy the evolving needs of today’s market by providing ‘design to order’ products to our customers.
What problem does Kamya Shipping Pvt. Ltd. solve and how is your company different from others?
We are highly cognizant of the fact that we imbibe these values in whatever we do, be it in our services, our interactions with our customers, the way we value our people, or even the way we do business with our delivery partners. Our services have been highly appreciated in this tough market for being reliable and cost-effective. With our superlative and efficient services, we have established trust equations with our customers. We value, nurture, and are there for our customers throughout their entire journey.
The company stands tall on its Values – Relationship, Client Satisfaction, Knowledge, Growth, and Competitiveness. Coupled with all the above is the consistent hard work of our team, which has successfully enabled us to expand offshore as well.
Tell us about your first paying customer and revenue expectations over the next year.
Our first shipment was very exciting and a learning experience! We took care of all details, monitored minute-to-minute activities, and partnered with all the requisite transporters, CFS Operators, Custom House agents, Shipping Lines, and various ancillary service providers. We booked the shipment with legitimate margins but then it was a big revelation when the funds were settled! We had made a loss! All costs were paid by the customer as per the agreement, then how did we end up making losses? The big answer? Fluctuating exchange rate! It changed the entire game. We realized that even with meticulous planning, in such a dynamic line of work, we have to be prepared for all types of curveballs.
At the moment, how do you measure success? What are your metrics?
Our measurement metrics are not based on revenues or profitability. They are based on our Values. We believe in being successful if we are loved by our people, our customers, our associates, and our partners. We drive success by helping our customers achieve their goals, realize their targets, and walk with them throughout their journey, and even after. If our customers are satisfied, we are satisfied. That’s how we value our success and will continue to do so.
How big is the market opportunity? What is the actual addressable market?
According to the Ministry of Shipping, around 95% of India’s trading by volume and 70% by value is done through maritime transport. In November 2020, our Prime Minister, Mr. Narendra Modi, renamed the Ministry of Shipping to the Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways.
India has 12 major and 205 notified minor and intermediate ports. Under the National Perspective Plan for Sagarmala, six new mega ports will be developed in the country. The Indian ports and shipping industry plays a vital role in sustaining growth in the country’s trade and commerce. India is the sixteenth-largest maritime country in the world with a coastline of about 7,500 KMs. The Indian Government plays an important role in supporting the ports sector. It has allowed Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) of up to 100% under the automatic route for port and harbor construction and maintenance projects. It has also facilitated a 10-year tax holiday to enterprises that develop, maintain, and operate ports, inland waterways, and inland ports.
Over 1.5 Billion Metric tons of cargo are handled from various ports across India every year. Infrastructure development in India is projected to handle 2.5 Billion Metric tons of cargo in the coming year.
Due to its significant maritime industry, India is considered a major player in the global logistics industry. With over 200 non-major ports and 12 major ports, India has the potential to increase its trade volume. Not only will it reduce costs, but it will also cut down on delivery time.
How did you arrive at the sales of your industry and its growth rate?
We generate sales through our sales force but the majority of our volumes come from word-of-mouth marketing by our existing customer base. This keeps us on our toes with pressure to perform to the satisfaction of our customers. We also need to do justice to their referrals and retain their market reputation. We strongly believe in Baba Ranchodd Das’s philosophy from 3 Idiots, “Don’t run behind success. Never work to be successful. Run behind excellence. And success will follow you!”
Why do users care about your product or service? What are the major product milestones?
When our customers become partners with Kamya Shipping, they know they are going to get their money’s worth. Our customers believe in our transparency, our ethical working style, and our consultative approach. We adopt a ‘Walk and talk with a friend’ approach. We step into our customers’ shoes, empathize with them, and understand their mindset before providing them with what they want. We are not run-of-the-mill service providers but someone who provides what they need and not just what we have.
Do you have access to the various resources you need to launch a business?
Even though we are in the market for more than five years, we still have a long way to go. We were able to successfully overcome the initial hurdles while setting up but we need continual support to realize our Vision and Mission. The government comes up with plenty of policies and guidelines from time to time. But many times we are not aware of these policies. So, awareness of these will be the first step.
What are the challenges your company currently faces?
With the world heading towards a global economic slowdown, the shipping industry will also be impacted. After the pandemic-driven increase in consumer demands that saw a frenzy of shipping activity, transportation companies are signaling a slowdown. Inflation, increased freight costs, and transportation issues are some other factors impacting volumes. But looking at the silver lining, market experts predict that there will be a rise in domestic consumption and growth in end-user industries. So, hoping that things will balance out.
Who are your clients? How do you work on your long-term relationship with your clients?
Our Values help in maintaining long-term relationships with our customers. One thing we strongly believe in is having continual effective communication with our customers. We tell them the truth, whatever it is. We never shy away from sharing the ground realities. And with our positive ‘walk and talk’ approach, we help our customers achieve their goals. Every customer is unique and our approach toward every customer is unique. Understanding where they are, what is their need, being with them, and working towards a solution together, has helped foster trust and in turn, build strong relationships with our customers. We also make it a point to share the market trends and keep our customers abreast of what is happening and how we can help them benefit from it.
Have you reached out to potential customers for feedback?
Yes, most definitely. We believe in the ‘Listen to learn’ philosophy. Studies show that a good percentage of people, almost 65-68% of employees, who receive accurate and consistent feedback feel satisfied in their jobs. And we are not different. Feedback is a very useful tool to learn and grow. We value our customers’ feedback and work on it to better ourselves. Their feedback also helps us in realizing our strengths and how we can further improve our service levels to stand out amongst the competition.
Speaking of reaching out to potential customers, apart from existing customers, for feedback, that is something we always do. As I mentioned, our business grows mostly from word-of-mouth marketing, we need to understand what it that the next client wants is, and if we are not in the space to provide them with that then we search for what is it that we can do to reach there.
What is next for the company? What do you see happening in the company?
The company has long-term goals. Apart from our regular logistic services, we aspire to bring innovative products into the market, like the
RFID seals. These are mandatory for all self-sealed export containers, as per Indian Customs. But what makes our RFID seals unique is that they can be operated through mobile or desktop apps. You can monitor the transportation of your goods till they are delivered to the client. These locks have salient features like anti-theft alerts, geo-fencing of cargo, real-time tracking, halt alerts, and many more. You need not wait for updates from your transporter, all live updates are available at your fingertips. We plan to bring in more innovative products for our customers and provide them with value-added services.
With such a fast-growing team, how do you make sure everybody stays motivated and how do you support the corporate culture?
Our people are our biggest assets. We value our people and ensure we support them throughout. We are invested in their physical and mental well-being. A friendly and open work environment keeps the team’s morale high. Our policies are employee friendly and include flexible working hours, WFH options, well-defined leaves, giving timely salaries, etc. Incentive programs, shareholding options, and continuous skill development programs are some other ways to keep our people engaged. We also have formal and informal get-togethers, team events, picnics, etc. We maintain an open-door policy and any employee can walk up to us to raise any concerns they may have.
What are the big achievements?
My greatest achievements are often directly related to the greatest challenges I undertake. I drive satisfaction from doing my job well. But to have my family, friends, customers, associates, and colleagues respect me for my work gives me the greatest sense of achievement.
If you were not building your startup, what would you be doing?
If I were not building my startup, I would be biking across the country because I am a passionate biker and I wish to explore the whole country on my bike.
Do you consider yourself a hardworking person or a smart person?
I believe in working smart and supporting hard. I always have my people’s back and motivate them to work smartly. Be true to yourself, have faith in what you do and the rest will follow.
What advice can you give entrepreneurs who want to venture into the same domain in the future?
Believe in yourself and be true to yourself. Be willing to take risks. Do not shy from trying out things, innovation and creativity are what will sustain you in this market. Most important be a jack of all trades than be a master of one. This means you have to know all areas such as Admin, sales, marketing, finance, documentation, law, compliance, and so on. You cannot afford to miss out on any functional area of your business.