Logistics entrepreneurs are shining examples of a self-reliant India

Kolkata, Feb 12 (FN Representative) With the logistics industry thriving for innovation, new growth opportunities in the sector have led to micro-sized businesses taking a central role in servicing Indian customers. As people continue to expect faster deliveries, companies like Amazon are strengthening all parts of their network, including their middle mile operations, which connects the fulfilment network with the delivery network. This has opened avenues for small businesses to leverage their on-ground knowledge and power the company’s ability to increase the speed of transportation between the two miles while serving as a median to connect India.

Tapping into this opportunity, many entrepreneurs have been able to build and scale their business with Amazon; Haryana-based Naresh Pal Sharma and Bengaluru-based S Kiran Singh are a few among them. Naresh, the owner of NRS Transport Services, started his professional journey as a truck driver in 1993. Despite a near-fatal accident in 1999, he powered through hardship to provide for his family and pursued his ambition of running a trucking business. This led him to enrol with Amazon as a partner and he quickly oriented himself to Amazon’s operational guidelines for reliable deliveries. His commitment resulted in success, allowing him to expand his fleet and employ close to 40 truck drivers.

He says, “I know that we play an important role in transporting customer packages for an on-time and safe delivery. I have a responsibility to uphold and this keeps me going. Working with Amazon India, I have truly discovered my entrepreneurial journey and to be able to help people in the process was more than I could imagine.” S. Kiran Kumar Singh, the proprietor for SDP Transport and an Amazon trucking partner, has also seen his business grow. Although his entry into the logistics sector was not a planned one, this decision ignited his entrepreneurship passion. Kiran started his journey as a truck driver and eventually became a partner with Amazon. From the very beginning, Kiran focused on achieving operational excellence to deliver better services. It is this diligence that saw him being offered more routes across South India and he was able to expand his fleet and create work opportunities for close to 40 truck drivers. Kiran attributes his success to hard work and Amazon’s supportive ecosystem. “Initially, I did not know how to operate a heavy vehicle. I trained myself at every turn and learnt the nuances of the business. Today, I can tell you the exact mileage or fuel needed for a truck to travel from city A to city B, all I need to know is the truck model,” says Kiran. With Amazon, his business has grown 3-fold, and he is thinking of adding to his portfoli]m to upscale and be self-reliant.

Abhinav Singh, Director – Amazon Transportation Services, said “The commitment of our trucking partners has enabled us to better serve our customers. We work with them to build an environment that is conducive to innovation and also acts as a bridge between our partners and OEMs. This is part of our continued effort to support India’s strong small businesses ecosystem. As we continue to democratise access to work and livelihood opportunities, our partners are empowered with the technological capabilities that enable them to achieve economies of scale and higher efficiency”. While these partners continue to travel the length and breadth of India, health and safety remain to be a priority. Partners and associates are following all preventative health measures such as adherence to social distancing norms and use of face covering, among 100 other measures. With the last year constraining operations for these trucking partners, the company introduced the Partner Support Fund that allows partners in the middle-mile to support more than 40,000 of their associates through financial hardships, and to help cover critical fixed costs and liquidity concerns. Amazon India also extended the ‘Amazon Relief Fund’ to all eligible trucking partners providing transportation support in the event of financial hardships.