Supply chain is a very critical segment of commerce and, with multiple intersections involved, it also becomes a very detailed and oriented process, making all the stakeholders dwell deep into understanding each stage.
With the COVID-19 pandemic and the turbulence in the Indian economy, supply chain was not left unharmed either. The disruption of supply chains resulted in a lot of hassle, but the post-COVID recovery has turned out to be fruitful and encouraging. Here, Mr. Akshay Hegde – Co-Founder – ShakeDeal, has shared his insights and provided a deep understanding of this ongoing process.
Q1. Please describe your company and the uniqueness in its model.
Answer. ShakeDeal is India’s leading B2B E-commerce and supply chain platform for industrial supplies and raw materials. We have a full stack integrated procurement system for solving various pain points in the S2P cycle and to enable the supply chain. We cater to 40+ categories of spend across MRO, raw materials/commodities, business supplies, rewards, custom/made-to-order parts, etc.
ShakeDeal uses an asset light business model where JIT is employed in the fulfilment of orders. We have a strategic network of D2E (direct to enterprise) Cloud FCs and Dedicated FCs that form an integrated supply chain.
Q2. How has the supply chain changed over the years in terms of technology, receptiveness by companies and the Indian market?
Answer. Since the advent of the GST era, MSMEs and large enterprises have been leaning towards adoption of technologies and platforms that’ll simplify and streamline their operations and burden of compliance. This trend got a booster shot during covid as a resulting need to build redundancies into value chains and overcome supply chain disruptions. Since then companies have accelerated their efforts to digitise their supply chain systems to improve efficiencies, increase transparency, and bring down costs. Today we see a good amount of inbound interest from large conglomerates wanting to try out our systems for supply chain automation and transparency.
Q3. With COVID disrupting the supply chains, how has it impacted your business and what are the long term effects of the same?
Answer. COVID proved very beneficial to us in terms of the fillip it gave to digital platforms such as us. The sudden disruptions to the supply chains threw a lot of challenges at business continuity and demanded a more robust and resilient supply chain network. All this proved to be a catalyst for adopting ShakeDeal – as a procurement and supply chain partner. By building alternate supply chains and redundancies, increasing transparency across stakeholders, and with real time visibility into the fulfilment of shipments, ShakeDeal enabled many enterprises to be future ready with a resilient supply chain.
Q4. What are the activities you are taking up or the trends that are helping digitize or strengthen the supply chains?
Answer. ShakeDeal has access to a humongous pool of data that is regularly standardized, cleansed, and rendered to give actionable intelligence, predictive outcomes, and a roadmap for further optimization of supply chains. Once the data is sanitized and fed into our systems we ensure it doesn’t sit in silos by integrating it with all systems that have points of interaction. This enables the customer to get a holistic and unified view of their entire supply chain, much like a control tower dashboard. With the help of this control tower, customers can easily evaluate opportunities for improvements in terms of optimized inventory levels, re-order levels, basket level savings, etc.
Q5. What are the different client platters that you are providing services to and what has been the major challenge common across sectors?
Answer. ShakeDeal caters to clients across sectors such as manufacturing, energy, automotive, FMCG, Pharma, infrastructure, etc. The most common challenge that is seen across sectors is finding reliable suppliers and partners to ensure timely and quality supply. Though there are a few well entrenched supply partners for certain categories, the vast majority of the enterprise spend is still reliant on a long tail of vendors where reliability is a serious challenge.
Q6. What are your growth plans for the next 5 years and what numbers do you see rising?
Answer. I believe this is a pivotal time in the B2B e-commerce journey of India as we’re still recovering from disruptions and inflation induced by the pandemic. At present less than 5% of the B2B trade is conducted digitally, which I foresee going up to 10-15% by 2027-28. We are aiming to close in on 500 ARR this year and are eyeing profitability within the next 18 months.