“I turned into working with Laird Technologies’ Indian centre, growing telematics for the arena marketplace in 2008-2009. And I changed into curious to peer if any such marketplace existed in India,” begins Ashok Yerneni, Chariman founder of telematics startup Asset Trackr.
This turned into the time when Google Maps become maturing throughout and creating a foray in India with the aid of 2010 and with the appearance of 3G and extra, and the united states of america’s information connectivity had additionally progressed incrementally. “I turned into also lucky enough to fulfill Vikas Minda and Abhijeet Das, my co-founders.”
Upon further analyzing of the marketplace, the trio found that the price of communique became excessive, however the price become coming down as technology (both hardware and software program) matured sufficient for call centres to be replaced inside the logistics region with SaaS solutions that catered to a specific ache factor – tracking or shipping or some other element.
“So there have been pricey rate factors on all of the answers being offered. Form issue as a whole did no longer exist as organizations couldn’t recognize what telematics ought to do for the logistics side of their approaches. So, in a feel the marketplace became there – fragmented, but there. When we looked at the panorama in 2011-2012, we quickly realised that no single organization became concentrated on the Indian advertising with a matured, comprehensive product. We spent approximately two years growing and trying out the product – validating the vehicle tracking solution with various corporations and in-residence earlier than we said ourselves absolutely satisfied,” he provides.
And that, in a nutshell, is how Asset Trackr occurred.
Assettrackr became formally launched in 2013 in Bengaluru via the founders but it became operational only a yr later, in 2014 – “In different words, whilst we have been committed enough to go after sales,” laughs Ashok.
The goal marketplace for customers for the telematics business enterprise is couriers, cargo organizations, businesses concerned in large and small-scale infrastructure and, of path, logistics businesses. There are products that Asset Trackr sells – a vehicle tagging GPS tool and an IoT-primarily based layered with carrier software program.
DTDC: Weeding Out Vendors Gaming The System
Asset Trackr counts Lotus Farms, Aditya Birla Group, Portea Medical, Trisha Cars and Holidays among others as clients. But in step with Ashok, the earliest clients were those who helped shape the product.
“One of our first customers became DTDC – the courier agency, the biggest one within the South. They were already a longtime name inside the packaging and courier circuit and had been on the lookout for an business enterprise answer that could be reliable, correct and easy-to-set up.”
He mentions the ache point that DTDC become experiencing at that point – the lower stage vendors offering settlement cars to the company had been pilfering/dishonest DTDC with exaggerated odometer readings. The companies were also sad due to the fact payments had been infrequently made on time and took weeks in preference to days to be transacted because there was no person single, trackable solution to figure out the kilometres run for a specific courier as opposed to what turned into mentioned by using the drivers.
The numbers did now not add up and things fell thru the cracks. Verifying each declare changed into subsequent to not possible and invoicing become hardly clean.
“We deployed our IoT-based GPS tracking gadgets on 100 of these contract cars which labored on a unit/km fee to move cargo. The calculations that were completed manually having access to the odometers have become automated,” says Ashok. “Everything – distance blanketed, quantity of runs made by a particular car, petrol used and the total fees – seemed on this dashboard which made the manner transparent and easy to access. At first, DTDC faced severe resistance from the vendors because their days of dishonest and gaming the gadget were coming to an cease. But, then came the masterstroke.”
DTDC promised to pay the vendors inside seven days or less for every transaction completed. With the assist of Assettrackr’s GPS deployment answer and the dashboard that came with it, invoicing changed into automatic and correct. The enterprise paid the providers on time, the carriers have been happy and, consequently the employer stopped bleeding cash over inflated readings.
“The concept was to create mutual synergy,” says Ashok.
“This is how we function, what our fee proposition is. We show the business thru sensible software how they can improve their processes and store cash and keep goodwill among their customers. These companies are then inclined to invest inside the technology that allows them to streamline this procedure as long as they are enthusiastic about the middle price proposition,” he provides.
The initial take a look at run turned into so successful that Asset Trackr handles 800 cars from DTDC throughout South India these days.
BigBasket: Establishing Customer-Vendor Trust
“BigBasket become one of our customers once they were starting up in 2012, as were we,” shares Ashok fondly. “As you know, they are a B2C platform for hyperlocal groceries. Which supposed monitoring, notification, scheduling, well timed deliveries and greater all in actual-time. So what we did turned into, we constructed out a platform for them to song their property – the automobiles making deliveries – in addition to patron notifications, proper from when the produce first came into the warehouse to whilst it became out with the transport person about to attain their home.”
Asset Trackr deployed lower back-end aid and analytics to music each vertical provided through BigBasket, along with ‘Same Day Delivery,’ Fresh Produce –whose shelf existence become short and so deliveries needed to be scheduled and completed on a very tight turnaround.
“We would music the produce which came to BigBasket’s warehouse in Bengaluru and proper from there, till it reached the customer’s doorstep, the customer could get SMS notification concerning the popularity of delivery. And BigBasket had dashboard analytics to song every SKU,” he stocks.
According to Ashok, the intention become to minimise time spent on every transport, which might cause scaling up as client-dealer consider turned into set up, because of the transparency and timeliness of the system. “Our value proposition turned into validated once again. We didn’t just make tall claims. We added,” says Ashok.
And now BigBasket uses Asstetrackr’s solutions on 1,000 of their automobiles across India.
“We Turned Profitable This Year!”
Monetisation for the company works in numerous methods.
Firstly, it sells the IoT-based GPS devices throughout abovementioned segments to their clients. It affords a SaaS-based totally monthly subscription for analytics in addition to CRM (as inside the case of BigBasket). Lastly, it provides consulting offerings to construct out and scale at the analytics.
“We don’t simply need to offer this uncooked intelligence to our clients,” shares Ashok. “We would love to explain it to them, assist them see in which they may be going incorrect, and assist build customised solutions for them with the intention to gain the form of scale they are going after.”
Asset Trackr has several answers catering to each B2B and B2C systems throughout the five distinctive segments referred to above – but its most worthwhile arm is the Fleet solution, which, according to Ashok generates approximately seventy five% of the business enterprise’s sales.
The dispatch transport service which includes scheduling for pickups, drop-offs, signing for gadgets, contributes to approximately 10% of the sales. The different 15% is thru customised vertical answers furnished by way of Asset Trackr to their clients.
There are, at present, approximately three hundred clients using Asset Trackr products, claims Ashok. And about sixteen,000 IoT gadgets at the Fleet Management phase are deployed in the meanwhile, as according to him.
“Our unit economics worked out,” says Ashok. “The years we spent to start with validating the product have paid off as we are able to now say that we have achieved about one hundred% Y-o-Y and we have even carried out profitability in 2016-2017. Of path, we aren't resting on our laurels and would love to reap $20 Mn in sales by way of 2020.”
Driving On The Road Ahead
Asset Trackr faces opposition from Map My India, TrakNTell and CaRPM, of which Trak N Tell is focussed on private vehicle protection solution and is sponsored by using WhatsApp co-founder Brian Acton. Autosense, a startup which provides generation and analytics-based totally client management solutions turned into a part of a $eleven Mn funding made with the aid of TVS Automobiles. Recently, HyperTrack which have been in personal beta since February 2016 also launched in June.
But Asset Trackr claims to be unfazed. “We had been focussed on our product and unit economics since day one. It is the best manner a enterprise can attain sustainability and balance, which leads to huge scale,” says Ashok.
“It is why our future plans are extra targeted on the B2C vertical and a purchaser-oriented product referred to as safekar.Com. It is a protection answer in your car that facilitates to tune it on GPS, make sure movement and be privy to where the automobile is at all times,” he adds.
Funding too is a carefully idea-out vicinity for the group at Assettrackr. They have raised $500K in angel funding in 2013 and have no longer with institutional investment thereafter. “We don’t want simply capital investment,” says Ashok. “What we're aiming for are strategic partnerships who will enable us to grow with really apt assist in areas which includes capital, advising, advertising and marketing solutions and extra.”
For the Asset Trackr group at 25, it's miles a case of sluggish and constant wins the race.
According to a Telematics Wire document, the enterprise is predicted to reach $113.7 Mn by 2018 with a CAGR of twenty-two% from 2013-2018. With players inclusive of MapMyIndia, Trak N Tell, CaRPM – exclusive solutions had been supplied to alleviate the logistics and tracking issues faced via agencies throughout India.
Asset Trackr has created a solid product after careful and persevered trying out that works on each B2B in addition to B2C ranges – with a sustainable version that has worthwhile unit economics it has as a good deal danger as the opposite players to take home the largest share of the telematics market pie. But will it's able to keep developing at scale without dropping the cost proposition of customisation and improved performance is a question that stays to be answered for the destiny.