Exclusive interview with Mr. R. Jayakumar, Founder & MD, Jayem Logistics
For Nasbeer Ahammed, Startup Showcase
Q.1 Can you please elaborate on the idea behind the formation of Jayem Logistics? Being a different initiative and idea , what was the main source of your inspiration?
Promoted by the idea of operating in many asset-light verticals of logistics, Jayem Logistics has its presence in both traditional logistic vertical, which is “IT-enabled “ and new age logistics, being “ IT driven”. It is a different way of looking at the business of logistics, where traditional logistic verticals will continue to remain as bulk business, wherein the rate of growth is below par, along with the new age logistics , which not doesn’t have a significant market share yet; but is fast growing. The aim is to build this unique model with Indian customer base and replicate abroad.
The inspiration is from the experience of many years in traditional logistics and the ability to adopt, practice and appreciate the new age logistics.
Q.2 Jayem Logistics has developed a logistics online platform. Can you please discuss more about the product and how the business is going?
We have incubated an IT platform for 3 verticals of logistics. The one that is galloping ahead is for “within city transportation – CITY LINK”. In this space, almost every month in the startup world, we see one or two births and regular deaths as well. Today, any birth prior to our founding is not alive and we are ahead of competitors in terms of revenue and EBIDTA. We operate within city cargo transport, IT driven logistic platform, both for “on demand” and “planned demand.
Q.3 How do you keep yourself ahead of the competitive curve? What are your key differentiation factors?
It is simple. In managing the business, we apply the century old wisdom. The culture, technology, team and structure are that of the new generation.
Q.4 Who are your potential target customers and can you talk about your current market share?
Everybody and anybody who uses within city cargo transport is our customer. The supply side, no doubt, is technology driven. We have segmented the demand side and developed customer app suited to each segment. Our market share is a small fraction of total demand, but in terms of revenue, in this space, we are number one. The next competitors hardly account for 50 % of our revenue. Again, in this space we are the only profitable entity. Our definition of profitable is defined by accounting standards; and not by any other metrics and jargons adopted in the startup world.
Q.5 What are the biggest challenges that you face in this business?
Our biggest challenge equals to the “new age” investors.
Q.6 Can you narrate an interesting example where Jayem Logistics app has played an effective role in developing a client’s business prospects?
There are quite a few, but I’d like to refrain from amplifying the specifics ones. It is not right to ride on the brand value of our customer to enhance our business. Let us be fair. Our customers have played an equal role. Also, why to share of our IP with the world outside?
Q.7 Can you kindly describe about one of your personal traits or hobbies that has helped in the development of Jayem Logistics? We are looking for an analogy of sorts.
My hobby is reading books with primarily historical and political background. It gives me the insight that “ anyone , however big, mighty and powerful, may fall and there is absolutely no way to commence anything with definite win ”. The success is, in the desire to take risk and the ability to learn and adopt.
Q.8 What is your take on the current start up scenario in India ?
Most of the founders and co-founders and the employees of “startups” are unhappy. Believe me, 100 % of them are hardworking and intelligent, Some day, someone has to say “ That Emperor is naked ”.
Q.9 Can you please describe Jayem Logistics road map and future plans?
Future plan is like a destination. There is nothing wrong in changing destination, but what we measure is our ability and speed to travel from point zero to destination. Our focus is 99% on the challenges of travel and 1% on the destination.
Q.10 Please share details about the impact of demonetization and how it affected your business and valuate the future of logistics industry due to the same.
Demonetization did not impact us. We are aware that it could have impacted many. It is our belief that the impact is good or bad depending on the entity impacted. But, surely, demonetization has given our country a new and a right direction.