After a brief stint in supply chain management and marketing at various renowned businesses, a failed attempt to launch his own ride-hailing service, having eventually founded D360, Kamran Shabbir Rana launched D360 – an online, on-demand delivery service based out of Karachi.
As the D360s founder and chief executive, Rana is intent on giving the leading lights in the business a run for their money and then catapult it to the very top.
Launched earlier this year, in March to be precise, D360 is the latest to enter the country’s growing logistics market, vying for an ever-larger chunk of the pie. There is already a robust presence of established entities like the TCS, the DHL, Muller and Phipps (M&P), and Leopards, to name a few – with an estimated $300 million annual turnover between them.
Anticipating a market of about more than 15 million consumers, online delivery business is aiming to conquer new horizons. Since the time when the big players like TCS, Leopards, as well as the other startups like Delivery Chacha, entered the fray, the consumer is spoiled for choices, and new benchmarks have been set in terms of delivery period and quality of service.
Amid such a strong competition, creating a niche of its own should have been a challenge for the newbie. However, Rana says he has gotten off to a flying start already.
With the seed capital of Rs10 million, and holding 60 percent equity in the enterprise, Rana initially planned to hire three riders. Instead, the number quickly proliferated to 10, and still doubled to above 20 within no time.
Armed with a BBA degree in marketing from Iqra University, Rana has previously worked for Nestle, Metro Pakistan, National Pakistan and Singer in roles of marketing, promotion and field management and has first-hand experience on supply chain, delivery and merchandising – all of which has turned out to be an asset in his novel approach to the courier industry.
“Our vision is to be the number one online and on-demand delivery service in the markets we serve,” says Rana, improving the lives of his patrons through offering efficient, reliable, and standardized delivery services with innovative high-tech solutions being the aim. “We want to extend our scope by reaching out to the entire world,” he adds.
Beginning with an idea of ride hailing business, he somewhere did not stand confident with it because he wanted to bring innovation to the idea of logistics. The concept of 24-hour service and 90-minute delivery time makes D360 a tad different from services like Delivery Chacha and TCS, according to the CEO but the Delivery Chacha is also making similar claims on its website.
“We make sure that your product reaches its destination within the blink of an eye, with its security and safety assured. This is what has helped us in attaining our initial targets of reaching out to first 100 patrons,” Rana told Profit.
“One must take risks, because if one doesn’t work on one’s idea, one will never grow”, said Rana, emphasising on the synonymity of entrepreneurship and risk-taking.
Another thing that motivated Rana was the growth of e-commerce here. “There are young girls setting up small face book pages and making arrangements with bigger players to sell their items or buying at a fraction of the price; that is all good but they need to deliver on what they promise”. He spoke of how they can act as complete logistical support, where they can pick up the item from the main supplier, deliver it and bring the income to those pages. “This is a revolution we are going to start”. Such short delivery times at affordable rates, means that it’s cheaper to send your study notes to a friend than to start up your car and do it yourself.
Restaurants jump on the bandwagon
With ‘Anything, Anytime, Anywhere’ being the watchword, D360 just doesn’t stop at delivering goods from stores or students exchanging notes. “We weren’t expecting restaurants to jump in this soon”. Serving restaurants and food chains was something that they had kept for later, as part of their expansion, but looking at their work, these smaller food chains tired of limited delivery circle of food apps opted to seek their services instead.
The D360 is currently offering only intra-city service, but it has plans to expand its wings initially to other major cities of the country, before still enlarging the scope by going everywhere. Plans a few years down the line are still more ambitious, with the Middle East pencilled in. Another initiative is introducing an App that offers live-tracking of orders and riders by all parties involved.
“I think the future lies in giving comfort and this is what we want to give to the people – by getting things done at economical rates. “If you ask how economical is economical: there are three packages: ‘Extreme’ 60 for Rs299, where 60 minute pickup is guaranteed, ‘Day Definite’, for Rs199 and ‘Overnight’ for Rs99.” As much as70 percent of D360’s income from each delivery goes to the rider, with the rest going to the company. “The riders are not our full time employees, they can keep their jobs, only engaging with us when their cell phone rings.”
Signing up contracts with several cafes like ‘Roaster Joint Cafe’, has found D360 a new vista to expand. “Ultimately, the optimal way forward will be partnerships. By working together, courier and e-commerce companies can have synergies that will give customers the very best service,” MD Daraz pk, Zain Suharwardy told Aurora in an interview.
The mechanism is simple. The cost is charged on the basis of time into kilometers – and weight, Rs99 being the benchmark for every three kilo parcel. Within 15 km all over Karachi, the charge is Rs250, with Rs300 on top for every next 50 km.
Having swelled to 22-25 couriers at the moment, D360 certainly aims high in the logistics sector. The project is ambitious, the idea doable and the execution flawless but it needs time and dedication to grow. That said, the positive news for the Karachiites is that if anyone wants something delivered in real quick time there are more options on offer.