Samara-backed Spoton customises logistics solution for MSMEs as sector weighs Covid impact ahead

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May 12, 2021 7:04 PM

The impact of Covid on the logistics segment was visible as different sectors such as aviation, retail, realty, automobile, etc., witnessed inactivity. The lockdown last year had brought the first and last miles movement of goods to a halt.

Online logistics marketplace Zipaworld, Middle East-based ASYAD Group, GCC region, ASYAD Group , ASYAD Ports and Terminals , Oman-based integrated logistics services providerSMBs globally have more than 25 per cent share of the $18 trillion maritime trade. (Representative Image, Reuters)

Covid impact on MSMEs: Express logistics company Spoton Logistics on Wednesday announced customisable logistics solutions for MSMEs such as delivery optimization software to improve their supply chain models and enhance their reach. The company offered real-time visibility and predictability of shipments to enabling door-to-door delivery along with freight-to-collect facility and returns management to help small businesses improve their bottom line.

“The ongoing pandemic has brought along several supply chain bottlenecks in India. Given their presence at the bottom of the business pyramid, MSMEs of the country, have been the hardest hit. These businesses are being faced with the challenges of unsold stocks and lost business opportunities because of not being able to procure the right supplies in time. In order to ensure business continuity amid such an uncertain environment, they need to optimize their supply chain, build more predictability, visibility, and efficiency into it,” Uday Sharma, COO, Spoton Logistics told Financial Express Online.

Spoton Logistics also offered a customer self-service portal for MSMEs to place and track their orders in order to reduce the overall cycle time. Launched in 2012, Spoton was acquired by a group of investors led by domestic private equity investor Samara Capital and Xponentia Fund Partners for Rs 550 crore. Samara counted Monte Carlo, Guardian Pharmacy, Thyrocare, RBL Bank, and more among its portfolio companies.

Also read: Mid-sized engineering, procurement, construction firms to see 15% revenue growth this fiscal: Crisil

Meanwhile, the impact of Covid on the logistics segment was visible as different sectors witnessed inactivity such as aviation, retail, realty, automobile, etc. The lockdown last year had brought the first and last miles movement of goods to a halt. As per Crunchbase, according to a survey conducted to understand the impact of Covid on Indian businesses, more than 60 per cent of 317 respondents in March last year had indicated disruption in their supply chain. While for rating agency India Ratings and Research, India’s logistics sector looked stable in FY22, the estimate was made before the second Covid wave struck.

“The impact will certainly be there but to what extent will be known in coming weeks as Covid restrictions are different in different states currently. Logistics in most of the sectors had recovered significantly to 75-80 per cent till FY21 end in auto components, retail, garments, electronics, etc. as per feedback from industry, while pharma was perhaps the only sector that had benefited the most from the pandemic,” AV Vijayakumar, CEO, Paramount Shipping Services and Chairman, Federation of Freight Forwarders’ Associations in India told Financial Express Online.

MSMEs are also seemingly better prepared this time amid restricted lockdown in comparison to last year and are ensuring to pay their employees without deductions. “The regular employees have been taken care of by the companies. Most of them can bear the payments of these employees. In our case, we are clearing existing goods for clients even as due to lockdown they have not been able to manufacture goods. As a result, there has been some impact on our business too but we are still paying complete salary to our employees. Currently, we are at 50-60 per cent of the pre-Covid level. However, I am not expecting it to decline further as things might start improving soon,” PS Atree, Founder and Director, PS Atree & Company told Financial Express Online.

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