Helping build a self-reliant India

It is small businesses and SMEs that form the backbone of the Indian economy, and helping them grow and prosper is imperative for building a self-reliant India. Huafreed Nasarwanji, Chief Commercial Officer, Gati Ltd., shares valuable insights on how the organization is enabling SMEs to optimize supply chains, leverage opportunities, and contribute to the nation’s progress, every single day.

“India does not live in its towns but in her villages.” Mahatma Gandhi’s words in 1925 still hold true nearly a century later. Even today, Gandhiji’s view of decentralized development which kept the village at the core, may hold the key to India’s development.

Even though there has been significant urbanization of at least 4% over the last decade, two-thirds of India still lives in her villages. 64.61 % of India’s population still resides in rural areas as per a World Bank report.

Without access to the rich infrastructure facilities that cities and big towns offer, how will India’s villages transform themselves, without moving to urbanized settings and putting pressure on the already overburdened system?

The answer may require a flipping of conventional thought and practice – we have to go to them.

India is a rich cradle of entrepreneurship with millions of dreams and ideas waiting to be catalysed. Approximately 6.3 crore MSMEs are thriving in India – most of them in semi-urban and rural areas. They play a very important role in contributing to the rural as well as the national economy. SMEs contribute a whopping 40% of India’s total exports and provide employment to over 111 million individuals.

Having been in the business of supporting India’s businesses for over three decades – especially in a post-liberalization economy, we understand more than ever that what they need is reach, powered by a reliable logistics partner. With a low bandwidth for resources, digital solutions are also much sought after, along with customisable solutions that fit their requirements.

And at Gati, this is exactly what we focus on to help give a boost to India’s myriad entrepreneurial dreams.

Through an unparalleled reach right into India’s heartlands, we enable small and medium businesses with excellent connectivity for first and last mile deliveries, so that they can grow their business right where they are. Over 5,000 vehicles including trucks, vans, and motorcycles deliver packages with reliability and speed across the country, often within 24 hours, offering SMEs a competitive advantage in an economy where the consumer expects e-commerce like convenience. In fact our e-commerce logistics solutions, that includes packing, shipping and last mile delivery service, enable SMEs to launch and plan their e-commerce journey with more confidence. 

Another important service that we offer SMEs is supply chain management. Our team of logistics experts work with SMEs to help them optimize their supply chains, identify bottlenecks, and find ways to improve efficiency. Further, a range of
value-added services such as warehousing and inventory management, helps SMEs to store and manage their products more effectively. This is particularly useful for businesses that sell seasonal or perishable products, as it allows them to store these items safely until they are ready to be shipped, thereby averting a loss.

We have complemented our comprehensive on-ground penetration of India’s terrain with excellent air borne services in partnership with Indigo, Spice Jet and Vistara. The air freight wing is known to provide swift turnaround solutions to customers, for time-sensitive cargo. For urgent deliveries in complicated terrain, the ingenious team combines air freight and last mile express distribution capabilities to create high-impact solutions that often save the day for customers.

All of these services can be customised as per the swell and contraction in demand – a much needed solution for resource-lean SMEs, who are looking to save their capital for a rainy day, or to invest in their business.

Further, in keeping with the pulse of a hyperconnected digital India, SMEs can now easily check PIN Code serviceability, track and trace their cargo, get live assistance and more, all on WhatsApp, a platform that they all are familiar with. Getting live assistance from Gati Genie through WhatsApp chat is as easy as dropping a ‘Hi’ on 7400012000 through the messaging application.

To make it easier for them to access us in case of need, support is just a dial away. A dedicated in-house customer service team can be contacted through the toll-free helpline: 1860 123 4284, to resolve all queries.

To help SMEs leverage resources and opportunities similar to what their corporate counterparts enjoy, Gati also powers various SME events in different part of India, to create a platform for them to share knowledge and ideas, network, and benefit from best practices.

So, whether someone runs a brassware business in Moradabad, sells silk sarees in Kancheepuram, or is looking to move coffee from Coorg, Gati has a solution that is quick, digital, reliable, customisable and most importantly, it meets them right where they are.

When you have committed to deliver India’s progress every day, you have got to go the whole way, after all!

Huafreed Nasarwanji is the Chief Commercial Officer of Gati Ltd.