Country' economy activity depends on a number industries and one of those industries which truck manufacturing lack in efficiently due a proper chain of communication. Seeing this as an opportunity, GIM (Goods In Motion), an online truck rental marketplace incepted its business. The platform connects the customers with the truck owners, agents and drivers to fulfill their needs for logistics solution.
In an exclusive interview with the daily sun recently, founder and managing director of GIM - Digital Truck and Ejogajog Limited Alamgir Alvi shared GIM’s aim and aspire contribute to the country's economy.Q: What drew your attention in logistics?
By the end of 2017, in a discussion with truck manufacturers, I came to know that they were struggling to make more out of it. The reason behind was truck owners, who are into logistics business can’t utilize the resource to its potential. On the other side of the coin, buyers of this ecosystem, corporations and enterprises were also struggling to get the right vehicle at the right time at the expected price to move and distribute their goods.
My goal was to connect businesses to commercial vehicles with better quality of service. That’s how it started.
Q: Why would you promote GIM as a smart logistics solution for enterprises?
If we look at the economic activity of our country, it is focused on a few sectors. So, we thought, if we go to enterprises and share our story, we can pilot our concept easily and do the acquisition at a relatively lesser cost. Now, that does not mean we are not interested in SME or consumer. We’ll definitely do that as things follow through organically.
Q: How much of an improvement in efficiency and performance have you seen from companies that are using GIM as their logistics alternative?Our clients, who are using our service as their logistics alternative, also believe that this is the way through efficiency. As our system equally focuses on suppliers (truck owners), they get more trips and it enables them to drop the price ceiling. That gives the customers the ability to challenge the current system. In every aspect of this industry, in terms of loading-unloading, business hour, price, and payment -there are lots of frictions. With our system, we minimise and to some extent, eliminate those.
Q: How has GIM’s experience been while educating the market with the concept of smart logistics?
It was challenging! The traditional system has been there for hundreds of years. When you offer them different payment system, return trips to the suppliers, they get skeptical rather being excited. However, with the adaptation of smart phones, low cost internet and potential of additional earning; they are changing their behavior, slowly but surely.
From customer side, big corporations and enterprises, they are adapting it in their own way. As long as we can ensure the transparency of the system, cost saving, and better quality of service, they are welcoming it.
Q: Do you think GIM can collaborate in government projects? Has GIM attended any large-scale project yet?
We can and we are interested to do so in an unbiased way! Carrying cost is a big piece of puzzle. GIM can ensure transparency in the system. We can also help with better documentation. We can help government to identify the blockers. With our technology we are trying to improve an industry that has so many potentials and I believe that is aligned with the idea of Digital Bangladesh.
Q: What opportunities do you see in terms of innovation in the field of logistics in Bangladesh?
There are plenty of opportunities in terms of innovation. We need to think in a disruptive way. From resource ownership perspective, companies can think about disruption in delivery, how to reduce idle hours. Liquidity, insurance, ability to see through the data, will change the backbone of our economy. It’s all about how fast and efficiently we can move.
Q: What changes do you think is required from the innovation and entrepreneurship perspective in Bangladesh over the last few years?
The first change is required in the education system. We train our students in either science or arts or commerce. That creates a knowledge gap in the long run. Secondly, we don’t have a proper formation of capital in the market. Speedy formation of venture capital, entrepreneur friendly banking scheme and others are not easily accessible currently.
Q: Most businesses have realized that they will not be able to survive unless they innovate. Which industries do you think are still falling behind in Bangladesh due to lack of innovation and lower adaption of technology?
Whatever the industry it is, inefficiency is something that will always drag it behind. Businesses should realize value of time. Bringing efficiency to solve a problem should be the primary innovation focus of all businesses. And I think there are opportunities to work in pretty much all sectors.
Q: You spent decades in first world countries and worked for leading innovators in the field of technology. What challenges do you see in fostering innovation in Bangladesh?
Since independence, majority of our businesses that grew, are either trade or agriculture focused. We are moving very slowly in product innovation and resource development. Through knowledge transfer, we can enrich ourselves. Encouraging infrastructural improvements will also facilitate innovation.
Q: Since we are going through uncertain times, what kind of challenges and opportunities that you predict for logistics business in 2021?
With innovation of new technology, new business transformation can be seen. Local area logistics can turn to be significantly dependent on digitization. Logistics apart from trucks, sea or air freight might explore new verticals of business. In next couple of years, we might see an economy heavily dependent on digital services and no wonder logistics is going to be one of them.