Logistics for MSMEs: Intra-city logistics and fulfillment company Blowhorn has integrated with the government’s e-commerce project Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC) as a logistics partner, company’s Co-founder and Chief Technology Officer Santosh Desai told FEAspire. “The integration has already been done and testing is in the final phase as we go live within a week’s time,” said Desai.
With the integration, Blowhorn will enable last-mile deliveries for sellers as a third-party hyperlocal logistics provider on the ONDC network that aims to ‘open’ e-commerce in India from the current duopoly of Amazon and Flipkart in India and onboard. ONDC looks at providing offline retailers a level playing field online to compete with large players.
Importantly, Dunzo and Reliance-Retail owned Grab have also reportedly integrated with ONDC as logistics service providers.
Blowhorn has enrolled with ONDC for express delivery, same day delivery and next-day delivery. The deliveries would initially be available in a handful of cities viz., Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Chennai, Mumbai, Delhi, Pune, Kolkata and Lucknow.
“ONDC came across as an opportunity to reach out to the smaller buyers and sellers as well. This has potential for more than 1 lakh sellers to come on the same platform and avail the services, especially in cities where Blowhorn is currently available,” said Desai. ONDC had started reaching out to various startups from 2020 onwards including Blowhorn. “We had two rounds of discussions with ONDC.”
Talking about what the company would bring to the table for ONDC sellers, Desai said merchants can scale up with the help of the company given its ‘non-traditional and satellite way of operation’. He explained, “Traditional companies set up their warehouses spread in an area of 1 lakh sq ft on the outskirts of a city, but Blowhorn is focused on setting up hundreds of warehouses spread in only 1,000 sq ft across a city to meet the customers’ demand in time and ensure same day delivery of products.”
According to the company, Blowhorn has been fulfilling a quarter million deliveries (2.5 lakh) a day and about 74 per cent of it reaches destination within four hours of receiving the order placed.
Desai said the company is looking at increasing its merchant base by 10 times with the ONDC integration from around 10,000 merchants currently.
Meanwhile, Blowhorn is currently testing drone deliveries of goods within 2 kilometers distance. “We have delivered parcels up to 700 grams. Drone deliveries can be made to locations with proper coordinates. We can’t use drones for remote locations because we do not have a precise location system here in India,” said Desai.