Around 4 years ago, a simple, soft-spokenperson was roaming on Indian Highways following truck drivers. It wasn’t anewfangled hobby or any strange disorder. After being a Mckinsey alumnus andhaving coveted degrees from the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur, and theIndian Institute of Management, Lucknow, Mr. Deepak Garg was on the road topursue his entrepreneurial desires.In June 2014, while distributing pillow totruck drivers through an NGO, Mr. Garg met many truck drivers and dhabawalas.It was his interaction with a man running Driver Seva Kendra, that made himrealize the ill-state of truck drivers in India.
This realization inspired himto introduce ‘Relay Model’, where drivers pass on trucks like relay batonsafter every 250-300km.On 11th August 2014, Rivigo Service PrivateLimited was incorporated. It was previously known as TrucksFirst. As the nameof the company suggests, Garg’s main aim was to solve the problems faced by thetruck drivers across India. It was a road trip across Rajasthan that broughtthe situation forefront to Garg.Mr. Garg drove around 1200 kilometers fromDelhi to Vapi to understand the condition and it was horrid. The major problemwas the number of days a truck driver spends away from his home.
This numberwas 25 days a month, on an average, which is a major cause of several diseasesand falling prey to substance abuse because of their lifestyle. India needsabout a million truck drivers every year, which is about 10 percent of the newjobs that we create.In India, the logistics supply chain isentirely unorganized and complex.
Unlike the US and Europe where carrying acargo over long distance is considered as skill employment, in India, driving atruck means that the person is unable to find any other job. As per estimates,there is a scarcity of 1 million truck drivers in India.Deepak disrupted the sector by building anexclusive ‘Driver Relay Model’ and consistently providing incomparable deliverytimes to clients which is 50%-70% lesser while improving the lifestyle of thetruck drivers. The vehicles travel 22-23 hours a day due to driver change overbecause of which they cover 800-1000 km of travel per day, 3x that of typicaltrucks. For perishables transportation, this brings in a unique capability toconnect growers to markets that they were not accessing earlier.In India, there is lack of trust intemperature integrity of the refrigerated transportation.
There are manyinstances of drivers switching off AC in transit to save of fuel cost. Rivigointroduced Real-time remote temperature monitoring and Remote temperaturemanagement system (through mobile app) to overcome these challenges. Thissystem is also useful in preventing “chill-injury” (when FFVs are damaged dueto sudden exposure to ambient temperature).
But this is just the beginning for Mr.Garg. Through Rivigo, he plans to bring a positive change to the lives of100,000 truck drivers and their families by 2025. Through that, they want toinspire many hundred thousand more to join the truck driver workforce.
Rivigo clocked a 170% jump in total revenueduring FY17. It has raised more than $100 million in equity and debt financingfrom the likes of global equity major Warburg Pincus and SAIF Partners. The company has improved its truck fleetsize and has also made expansion of their technology platform a prime focus.According to Rivigo, it was the largest buyer of trucks in 2015 and 2016 andclaims that their fleet size has doubled from FY16 to FY17. The company possessesabout 2,100 trucks unlike any other player in this area. Besides this, Rivigoalso have a marketplace for trucks called Vyom, which was launched as a subsidiarylast year.