Around 4 years ago, a simple, soft-spoken
person was roaming on Indian Highways following truck drivers. It wasn’t a
newfangled hobby or any strange disorder. After being a Mckinsey alumnus and
having coveted degrees from the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur, and the
Indian Institute of Management, Lucknow, Mr. Deepak Garg was on the road to
pursue his entrepreneurial desires.
In June 2014, while distributing pillow to
truck drivers through an NGO, Mr. Garg met various truck drivers and dabbawalas. It was his interaction with a man
running Driver Seva Kendra, that made him realize the ill-state of truck
drivers in India. This realization inspired him to start ‘Relay Model’, in
which drivers pass on trucks like relay batons after every 250 to 300km.
On 11th August 2014, Rivigo Service Private
Limited was incorporated. It was previously known as TrucksFirst. As the name
of the company suggests, Garg’s major aim was to solve the problems which the
truck drivers are facing all over India. It was a road trip across Rajasthan
that brought the situation forefront to Garg.
Mr. Garg drove around 1200 kilometers from
Delhi to Vapi to understand the condition and it was horrid. The major problem
was the number of days a truck driver spends away from his home. This number
was 25 days a month, on an average, which is a major cause of various diseases
and falling prey to substance abuse because of their lifestyle. India needs
about a million truck drivers every year, which is about 10 percent of the new
jobs that the country creates.
In India, the logistics supply chain is
entirely unorganized and complex. Unlike the US and Europe, where carrying a cargo over long distance is
considered as skill employment, in India, driving a truck means that the person
is unable to find any other job. As per estimates, there is a scarcity of 1
million truck drivers in India.
Deepak disrupted the sector by building an
exclusive ‘Driver Relay Model’ and consistently providing incomparable delivery
times to clients which is 50% to 70% lesser while improving the condition of
the truck drivers. The vehicles travel 22-23 hours a day due to driver change
over because of which they cover 800-1000 km of travel per day, 3x that of
typical trucks. For perishables transportation, this brings in a unique
capability to connect growers to markets that they were not accessing earlier.
In India, there is lack of trust in
temperature integrity of the refrigerated transportation. There are many
instances of drivers switching off AC in transit to save of fuel cost. Rivigo
introduced Real-time remote temperature monitoring and Remote temperature
management system (through mobile app) to overcome these challenges. This
system is also useful in preventing “chill-injury” (when FFVs are damaged due
to sudden exposure to ambient temperature).
But this is just the beginning for Mr.
Garg. Through Rivigo, he plans to bring a positive change to the lives of
100,000 truck drivers and their families by 2025. Through that, they want to
inspire many hundred thousand more to join the truck driver workforce.
Rivigo clocked a 170% jump in total revenue
during FY17. It has raised more than $100 million in equity and debt financing
from the likes of global equity major Warburg Pincus and SAIF Partners.
The company has improved its truck fleet
size and has also made expansion of their technology platform, a prime focus.
According to Rivigo, it was the largest buyer of trucks in the last two years and
claims that their fleet size has doubled from FY16 to FY17. The company possesses
about 2,100 trucks unlike any other player in this area. Also, Rivigo has a marketplace for trucks called Vyom, which
came into existence as a subsidiary last year.