As part of our quest to find compelling startup stories that really stand out in the startup ecosystem, we found one for our readers – It is the story of PORTFLIP. We spoke to Sangeeta Yadav (Co-founder) of PORTFLIP while we were at ‘The Entrepreneurship Conclave 2019’ organised by ‘BITS Pilani’.
Porflip was unanimously adjudged the winner of the contest by a panel of judges. Kudos to Team PortFlip!
In our conversation, Sangeeta shared how the team had put in years of efforts, sweat, creativity and unabated zeal in the journey so far and emphasised on the fact that they still have a lot to achieve. Portflip is solving a massive problem in the logistic space by simplifying the process through their app.
Here is a short video with the co-founders of Portflip that we managed to record the very next day in the morning while they were leaving.
Excerpts from our Interview with Sangeeta Yadav:
1. What gets you out of bed in the morning i.e. what’s your source of motivation?
As You know, I’m working on my start-up www.portflip.com It’s challenging and I’m learning, and success is not something that will come to you by simply wishing it will. So, I wake up thinking of what I need to do today to make Portflip a success.
Also, spending time with my kids, my husband, and my mom.
Mostly I wake up to see how far I can take things.
2. Where did the idea of Portflip come from?
The idea of seamless logistics led to the birth of “Portflip”. Logistics sector is the back bone of our economy, yet there are several pain areas that are yet to be addressed. Technology is present in every sphere of our life and we at Portflip thought that why not do something in logistics through innovation, dedication and technology. The year 2016 went in researching the market, pros and cons,
challenges and what it would require making it a hassle-free option for the customer. In 2017, we got registered as a Pvt Ltd Co, had a live website, and by the year end we had both our Apps live in play-store. So, at present we have the MVP ready and are at an early traction stage. Starting with 3 Co-founders we are now an 8-member team successfully carrying out operations in Mumbai & Pune areas in Bootstrapped mode.
Other Co founders are:
2nd Co-founder (my husband) Amarjeet Singh – CTO & Co-Founder
3rd Co-founder – Kiran Thakur
3. What challenges/obstacles did you face in your journey so far?
No entrepreneurial journey is complete without challenges or obstacles. We too have our own share of challenges.
Finding the right people for our team. It’s very important to have people who believe in you and your mission as if they are convinced, they can take the company to great heights.
Logistics in highly unorganized. Training the drivers here particularly in Indian context where many of them are illiterate was a challenge. Making them use smart phone devices was a big operational problem.
Initially getting the partners attached to our network was a tough job. They are uneducated and asking them to use technology was tough. And important part is keeping them motivated…Behavioral issues of the drivers, maintaining the quality of service is a challenge.
A big challenge was and remains is maintaining the supply. Drivers will just log off from their devices leading to a lot of rejects for customers. The industry here is not just about keeping customers happy but keeping your supply happy as well. Earning the trust of drivers was key here.
Planning strategies to compete with our competitors, who are mostly well settled in the filed than we are and are also deeply funded.
Technical challenges: Getting the systems ready, Legal obligations etc.
Scaling up is required to make our presence felt in other cities for which funds are required.
Long credit terms with clients also affects our business.
4. Tell our audience about your failures, if any. What do failures teach us?
Instead of failures I would say that we had a different idea initially that we planned to execute. However, while testing in the real market we learnt that it would be wiser to widen the scope and make a product which actually captures a larger segment rather than a limited one. We researched the market, spoke to the partners, understood their pain areas and modified our product to make it more apt with the real scenario. We noted what pain points consumers face and accordingly modified our business plan to suit it.
5. Your start-up Portflip has become popular within a short period of time? What is your advice for other founders?
My advice would be to – Become smart as quickly as you can. The cheapest and the quickest progress you can make is to learn from the successes and failures of others.
6. Why did you choose entrepreneurship?
Being an entrepreneur gives us the opportunity to change lives. We can directly impact society by introducing a service or product that people use.
People look up to us, we have the ability to be a role model for family, friends, employees and community members.
As an entrepreneur we are always learning lessons — sometimes the hard way. It is a priceless education that you can’t get in a classroom.
And finally, my favorite reason is that I can avoid formal dressing in our office.
9. How do you handle rejection/pressure?
If one thing does not work out, we analyse what went wrong and come up with other ways/methods to execute our ideas into actions.
10. Have you raised any funds?
No, at present we are Bootstrapped
11. What advice would you give to other entrepreneurs?
Ideas are easy. Implementation is hard. Stay Focussed. Validate the idea as quick as possible and “just do it.” Do your planning and testing up front before spending much money.
And very important – Stay self-funded as long as possible.
You may follow Sangeeta on
LinkedIn – https://www.linkedin.com/in/sangeetayadavportflip/
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/sangeeta.yadav?ref=bookmarks
Twitter – https://twitter.com/Sangeeta__Yadav
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/portflip/
LinkedIN – https://www.linkedin.com/company/portflip-ventures-private-limited/?viewAsMember=true
Two apps are currently live on play-store
Customer App link: http://bit.ly/2t8EqAt
Partner App link: http://bit.ly/2xpo1KB
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