Gray Routes wins Award for Top 30 B2B startups in the country in IBM national event

In a majestic closing ceremony within IBM premises in IBM Innovation Center in Bangalore, Gray Routes was Awarded as Top 30 B2B Startups in the country.

Here is  the link where Gray Routes has been covered by the Media as the SmartCamp winners.

YourStory

http://yourstory.com/2014/10/get-ready-next-ibm-smartcamp-bangalore-starting-tomorrow-9th-october-10th-october/

NextBigWhat

http://www.nextbigwhat.com/ibm-gep-india-smartcamp-list-shortlisted-startup-companies-297/

As the SmartCamp winners, Gray Routes wins attractive bouquet of prizes from SoftLayer (an IBM cloud computing provider) and other entities.

Founded by IIT KGP-IIM Ahmedabad alumni and ex-IIT Bombay startup leader with experience in Fortune 500 firms such as HUL, Nvidia and Google, Gray Routes is angel-funded by leading investors from The Carlyle Group, Qualcomm and Intel.

Its award-winning products transform SMEs way of working by streamlining delivery and sales logistics. Check out these products on www.graydrop.com and www.grayfos.com.

Catch some snaps from the event here:

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Gray Routes selected as one of the startups in IEEE International Conference on Cloud Computing for Emerging Markets 2014

IEEE International Conference on Cloud Computing for Emerging Markets 2014

IBM announced the list of startups eligible for showcasing their emerging market innovations in the reputed IEEE International Conference to be held in Bangalore.

Agenda for Day 2.

DAY 2: OCTOBER 16, 2014

09:00 to 09:15 Conference Introduction, Welcome by Conference Chairs and Technical Program Committee Chairs
Dr. Gopal Pingali, Dr. T. S. Mohan, Dr. D. Janakiram, Dr. Rajkumar Buyya

09:15 to 9:45 Conference Inauguration
Sri Ananth Kumar, Honorable Minister of Chemicals and Fertilizers, Government of India & Member of Parliament, South Bangalore Constituency

09:45 to 10:30 INAUGURAL TALK FOLLOWED BY Q&A
Bluemix: How IBM Has Embraced and Extended Cloud-Foundry to Create an Enterprise-Grade Platform as a Service
Steve Robinson, General Manager, Cloud Platform Services, IBM, USA

10:30 to 11:00 BREAK

11:00 to 13:00 INVITED TALKS

  1. Migrating to Cloud: Challenges and New Frontiers, Dr. Sanjoy Paul, Managing Director, Accenture Technology Labs, India
  2. Competing Globally by Leveraging Cloud Computing, Kathikeyan Rajasekharan, Technical Architect, Cloud Platform Asia, Google, Singapore
  3. Enabling New Customer Engagement Models with the Cloud, Ms. Nayaki Nayyar, Senior Vice President, Cloud Customer Business SAP, USA

13:00 to 14:15 LUNCH WITH POSTER SESSIONS

14:15 to 15:15 ORAL PRESENTATIONS:

Cloudy with a Spot of Opportunity: Analysis of Spot-Priced VMs for Practical Job Scheduling
Vedsar Kushwaha, Indian Institute of SCience (IISc), India; and Yogesh Simmhan, Indian Institute of Science (IISc), India

Analyzing User Behavior Using KeyStroke Dynamics to Protect Cloud from Malicious Insiders
Mahesh Babu Bondada, National Institute of Technology, Tiruchirappalli, India; and Mary Saira BBhanu S., National Institute of Technology, Tiruchirappalli, India

15:15 to 15:30 BREAK

15:30 to 16:30 ORAL PRESENTATIONS CONTINUED:

Autonomic Characterization of Workloads Using Workload Fingerprinting
Rahul Khanna, Intel, United States; Mrittika Ganguli, Intel, India; Ananth Narayan, Intel, India Abhiram R, R.V College ofEngineering, Bangalore, India; and Piyush Gupta, National Institute of Technology Karnataka, Surathkal, India

SLA-Aware Provisioning and Scheduling of Cloud Resources for Big Data Analytics
Mohammed Alrokayan,The University of Melbourne, Australia; Amir Vahid Dastjerdi, The University of Melbourne, Australia; and Rajkumar Buyya, The University of Melbourne, Australia

16:30 to 18:30 Start-up Showcase and Demo Session

https://ewh.ieee.org/ieee/ccem/program.html

Founder Bios

CEO / Co-Founder – Soubhagya Sahoo

An innovation-hungry inventor as well as persuasive authority on sales process with a solid educational background, and management experience obtained at world-leading companies such as Nvidia and HUL, Unilever. He’s held the World rank 9, and India Rank 1 in Sciences during college days at IIT Kharagpur, and believes in working hard 15 hours a day, consistency, process and product innovation and customer centricity. His communication style and expertise make him a clear favorite on campus talks

Soubhagya’s Invention and INR 18 Crores-worth deployment of Shakti Distribution Management System across 60,000 Shakti Ammas in Indian rural markets, while at HUL, was covered in most India dailies when Unilever CEO Paul Polman visited India and saw this Big Bet initiative and results:

http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/companies/dabur-india-hindustan-unilevers-tech-route-to-rural-markets/article4915134.ece

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/business/india-business/Unilever-opens-RD-centre-in-Banglore-bets-on-innovation/articleshow/17330803.cms

The program was so successful that a similar program was initiated in Sri Lanka coincidentally after his name, and so far 2000 “Saubhagya” entrepreneurs have shifted to the DMS way of working:

http://businesstoday.intoday.in/story/project-shakti-helped-thousands-of-women-and-also-men/1/195911.html

COO / Co-Founder – Sapna Patel

An action-hungry startup leader with past Business Development leadership experience in Google and IIT-Powai startup InOpen, where she single-handedly closed challenging deals for InOpen with Mumbai’s leading schools during her tenure. She organized the first and only Google EdTech conference in India through her persuasiveness and confidence. The founders know each other from school days as they belonged to the same city, and have been collaborating and contributing to each others’ career paths over the years.

Rohit Agarwal / Manager, Worldwide Sales

Omkar Pimple

Gayatri Dixit

Kapil Modi

Kapil Modi is a Senior Associate with The Carlyle Group advising on growth capital opportunities across various sectors in India.  He is based in Mumbai. 

He has been with Carlyle since 2008 and has been involved in various investments such as Tirumala Milk Products, Visen Industries, Value & Budget Housing Corporation, South Indian Bank and Infotech Enterprises. 

Kapil received his MBA from the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad. He was awarded the Gold Medal for academic excellence at IIM Ahmedabad. He received Bachelor of Technology degree from IIT Kharagpur. He was awarded Silver Medal for first rank in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering.

Gray Routes is privately held and funded. For investment inquiries, contact cfo@grayroutes.in

Sales Force Automation should be easier. Its no Rocket Science, or is it ?

EVER WONDER what differentiates a great product manufacturer from a good one or an average one?

Capital? Reputation? Product? Creativity?
Guessed any of the above, and you would be strongly refuted by an army of believers in product distribution.

Without the strength of data, visibility into sales, schemes, assortment, red lines, outlet targets, consumer buying patterns, and SKU or category micro-trends, any manufacturer stutters when it comes to demand estimation, stock planning, delivery planning, sales planning and operational pack planning, to name a few ERP processes.

Implementation is another ball game altogether, which requires a robust automation solution, that is somehow able to take all of these planned elements, and is able to present all the relevant and right items in an intuitive manner, right where it is required, to the right users. This solution should also allow the user to capture his inputs equally seamlessly, and provide visual insights and charts indicating his progress, so this user doesn’t have to go back to his office to be able to extract sense out of his hourly, daily, monthly or annual progress.

So why is this so difficult to get?
Supply? Vendor quality? Lack of appreciation of Indian smarts? Engineering Loopholes? High Capex? Long Downtimes? Non-lingual or missing tech support?

What if we told you that there was something that could do all of the above, and yet have none of the difficulties associated with it?

What if we told you that this was not coming from back-breaking expensive SAP or a US-based SalesForce firm with an awesome grammatically correct yet text-heavy interface, that all English-speaking users would learn to use quickly, maybe in a few months? By the way, what about your sales till they ramp up??

What if we told you that this was indigenously conceived, designed and developed by a bunch of Desi IIT engineers, IIM analysts, and a couple of senior industry folks with relevant distribution leadership and sales experience at HUL, or Unilever, and Google?

We’re sure you’ll be happy. That’s the happiness that Gray Routes has been seeing on the faces of its customers such as Proctor & Gamble, Vinay Switches, Pace Projects & Logistics, Festival Ice Creams, Nivea to name a few.

Trust the over 110+ brands that have been deployed this year over the valuable-yet-affordable GrayFOS Sales Force Automation platform, and are witnessing over 10x ROI in the first few months of implementation itself.

If you’re not convinced yet, you can always go for a demo before booking your trial installation.

After all, it doesn’t involve procuring Rockets, and neither is Sales Force Automation as complex as Rocket Science !

GrayFOS Sales iQ at Your Fingertips
GrayFOS automates your last mile sales tracking & analytics needs

A life-saver for Transporters, Truckers & Fleet-owners world-wide

I wrote a letter to one of India’s largest Truck Owner’s Association in the interest of protection of the country’s two most valuable resources – people and our vast mineral resources. Rampant driver murders and goods-in-transit robbery has off late, left Eastern India aghast, but there’s hope, as preventive measures are readily available, and associations such as above are readily adopting these frugal solutions. I’m sharing the letter here so that other Truck Owners, Transporters and Fleet owners world-wide may adopt these tools and save even more lives. Please help us spread the word, and protect the world’s valuable resources.

Hi Sir,

Best wishes to TRUCK Owners Association on Ganesh Chaturthi, 29th August, 2014, from GrayDrop Real-time Driver Tracking & Gray Routes team.

We’ve met Mr. xxxxxxxx, part of Truck Owners Association, and explained a novel-yet-affordable Real-time driver and vehicle tracking Android mobile app system,GrayDrop and he’s expressed his kind approval for the same.

The system fits any transporter’s budget starting at less than Rs. 267 per vehicle per month with advanced solutions for all your dreaded problems such as:

  • driver murders If driver gets lost, you get instant alert on smartphone. Get driver alerts if they’re driving after drinking !
  • cleaner missingalert on smartphone when driver or cleaner misuses vehicle or takes unplanned breaks
  • trucks being stolen with consignments Real time truck track reports on Google Maps in 3D view on route followed
  • and Owner’s not having any trace of where was the truck located last Replay entire track history with timestamps
  • or where had the truck been to in the last few hours before being hijackedGet alerts with reason code, when the truck deviates from planned route, along with odd & rough road movements
  • SMS information falling in wrong hands 3-level Secure face based login that prevents unauthorised users from spying and checking on truck route movements

We’ve seen the RFID planning system you’ve had in place, and admit that while SMSs provide departure/arrival information, the entire route info is missing. Owners are suffering as they don’t know their own vehicle and driver whereabouts, and arealways tense until they get the arrival at destination SMS. Above all, the SMS medium is very insecure as anyone can send/forward/receive SMSs, even your robber gangs can.

Today’s article in New Indian Express newspaper clearly states that the gangs are using surveillance mechanisms to track vehicle movements. If these robbers can implement systems to track vehicle route movements, I believe your transport association can surely use intelligent mobile solutions that can alert you of such incidents right on your mobile phone before or right when it happens.

Best of all, even if your robbers or drivers remove your driver’s SIM cards, using GrayDrop, you will be able to track the driver’s whereabouts long after the incident has happened. This is again different from mobile SIM & tower-based tracking systems some other transporters use, or other more expensive, high-maintenance and cost-prohibitive GPS tracker unit based systems used in other countries that can be easily removed or damaged, and are not reusable.

What will happen when you deploy expensive Rs. 45 lakhs multi-axle vehicles without any Driver Safety cum GPS tracking system in place? The robber gang will step up their operations in no time, and that too, before you can react, if you don’t act now !

I urge you to drive your trucks towards safety immediately, as such rampant loss of man and valuable resources is not doing this blessed state its due justice.

Hope, Lord Ganesha blesses your association and this new year sees less of such events:

About Gray Routes:

Founded by ex-HUL IIT KGP-IIM Ahmedabad graduate Soubhagya Sahoo & Sapna Patel, ex-Googler Sales, we serve over 80+ brands worldwide and several Fortune 500 firms such as Proctor & Gamble, GlaxoSmithKline and Nivea, as well as transporters such as Pace Projects & Logistics worldwide, & Pace Xpress.

With offices in Mumbai, Delhi & Odisha, our mission is to drive truckers and last-mile delivery staff towards safety, and ensuring every delivery worker is empowered using technology to do their job quicker, better & safer.

Help us spread the word by liking this article and sharing with your network so that endangered delivery workers and drivers live to drive another day, and the country’s valuable mineral resources do not end up in black marketeer’s coffers !

Is it ok for e-Tailers to target SMEs in India using VC money?

With revisions and edits !

Enabling Simpler Distribution & Empowering Brands with Gray Routes

A recent article from the Financial Express suggests that e-Tailers are turning to India’s 47 million SMEs. Read more about this interesting article here: http://www.financialexpress.com/news/for-etailers-like-amazon-flipkart-and-snapdeal-small-enterprises-are-a-big-opportunity/1285062

What is more interesting is the question as to WHO really is asking e-Tailers to target SMEs with their technology products?
VCs are !

Why? Because India is a distribution country. In India, 47 million SMEs distribute their wares every day the rough n tough way – using trucks, vans, mopeds, cycles and feet-on-street. If it moves, it sells. Mumbai-based Elephant Paste Products is one such SME that sells Vermicelli products and a host of other affordable food products through a small network of retail shops in Mumbai. None of its consumers or end-users are likely to be going online in the near decade. Pan-India courier logistics firm Pace Projects and Logistics is another such SME that delivers packages of all sizes with promptness, efficiency and customized services to their customers…

View original post 1,011 more words

Is it ok for e-Tailers to target SMEs in India using VC money?

A recent article from the Financial Express suggests that e-Tailers are turning to India’s 47 million SMEs. Read more about this interesting article here: http://www.financialexpress.com/news/for-etailers-like-amazon-flipkart-and-snapdeal-small-enterprises-are-a-big-opportunity/1285062

What is more interesting is the question as to WHO really is asking e-Tailers to target SMEs with their technology products?
VCs are !

Why? Because India is a distribution country. In India, 47 million SMEs distribute their wares every day the rough n tough way – using trucks, vans, mopeds, cycles and feet-on-street. If it moves, it sells. Mumbai-based Elephant Paste Products is one such SME that sells Vermicelli products and a host of other affordable food products through a small network of retail shops in Mumbai. None of its consumers or end-users are likely to be going online in the near decade. Pan-India courier logistics firm Pace Projects and Logistics is another such SME that delivers packages of all sizes with promptness, efficiency and customized services to their customers across several states in India. Mumbai-based SME DM Stores is another corner Kirana store that was until March this year, struggling to make ends meet with its 100 sq-ft leased-out shop inside Mumbai’s biggest dairy colony, Aarey Colony. These SMEs can never comprehend or afford the outrageously expensive SAP / Infosys / Snapdeal / Amazon / eBay built platforms and solutions as these have been designed keeping in mind net-a-holic denizens of India.

What does e-Commerce have to do in all of this?

One wonders, the real answer is NOTHING ! After all, e-Commerce was always supposed to be clean, dreamy, hassle-free shopping from your living room or the bed room, minus the rough n tough ways of India.

Nothing that e-Commerce portends to be one day, has to do with the above. Meant originally as a pureplay B2C endeavour, and struggling to find a working business model, e-Commerce in India is in a sorry state of affairs.

Should e-Commerce target SMEs?
Short-lived e-Commerce aspirations

All the VCs know that. As an entrepreneur, I talk with investors daily, who have various inspiring and not-so-inspiring stories to share. E-Commerce is definitely fitting into the latter kind, only because of a gory bubble at its core.

Why wouldn’t Flipkart or its peers do an IPO any time this year or the next? Reason is the lack of a business model, especially with Executive salaries touching multi-Crores and zero profits, it is a matter of time, before aam junta realizes that most of it was really a huge marketing gimmick aimed at building personal fortunes.

“Shop till you Drop” should actually be rephrased as “Shop till we Drop”.

India’s hard-working and often struggling 47 mn SMEs deserve better than quickly hushed-up software or portals where their goods are advertised (with SMEs’ hard earned profits) with the promise of achieving 100% YoY growth.

Is that really possible? India’s 15-20 million engaged online shoppers have really very little to do with what 46.9 mn of these SMEs are selling in India. The barring 0.1 mn SMEs are really the ones who’ve set up shop exclusively to sell online. Thats the real reason why Snapdeal or Flipkart shudder at the thought of anything over 100,000 dealers online on their network.

So, why brag about the Sellers network or the 47mn SMEs figure? So that more funds might latch onto these numbers. Because, rich people know Excel (If x=100,000 valuation=Billion Dollars, if X=47,000,000, VALUATION=Trillion Dollars). Because, it is easy to fool consumers into believing that all is rosy and pink inside Flipkart or Snapdeal’s board rooms, so that they may continue to shop online and expect good Returns handling or good Installation servicing for a lifetime. Little do consumers understand, that once the money runs dry, the phone will stop ringing in Bangalore or Gurgaon call centers and the fake electronics and cheap clothes are soon going to fade away.

“Make hay while the sun shines” seems to be the marketing mantra for our homegrown e-tailers.

So, who then, are the ones who are really positioned to target these 47 mn SMEs?

It is going to be the few innovative firms who don’t like to push quickly put up good-looking-outside-empty-inside software packages down their client’s throats. These firms are pulling all-nighters and working smartly with end-users since their inception to carve out a novel app or a novel report or generate meaningful data that can really save these SMEs operational costs, or uncover hidden insights from their sales or POS data, or help them identify their consumers from hoards of India’s real consumers, rather than fake, face-less online entities that e-Tailers claim to be as loyal shoppers.

e-Tailers are going to struggle to raise their seller numbers beyond 100,000 by devious marketing tactics since India’s SMEs know better – after all, they’ve consumed India’s salt with pride, and understand that real products solve real problems.

As for our SMEs Elephant Paste Products or Pace Projects & Logistics, there is hope. They are happy utilizing GrayFOS Feet-on-Street Tracking & Sales Force Automation as well as GrayDrop Delivery Force Automation solution to derive maximum benefits from a Uber-for-Enterprise like Manager app and unearth new business opportunities in India’s supremely vast distribution network. DM Stores, a fledgling in this huge retail network, is also realizing profits for the first time in over 2 years with the adoption of India’s first mobile Retail ERP-POS-CRM-in-one app, GoStocky.

And what should VCs do? Consider not squandering valuable HNI and FDI funds in pseudo-business models that barely address 0.2% of India’s GDP, rather look at Gray Routes Innovative Distribution and other such firms that are solving real problems which 100% of India is facing every single day.

P.S. In case you are a VC and are wondering why this last figure isn’t 99.8%, the answer is: Gray Routes’ patent-pending solutions and service plans are context-aware of and quite capable of serving the tiny-yet-growing e-Commerce sector as well ! 🙂

In case you still need the numbers to prove that traditional is a safer investment bet, consider this projection where you invest equal amounts in say, both Flipkart and Gray Routes, and BAAMMM !! 39-years later, e-Commerce finally rules ! 🙂

e-Commerce projected to grow at 30% versus Traditional growing at 10%. In this timeframe, our grandsons would likely be getting into the Venture Capital business long after we’ve retired without seeing a successful EXIT in e-Commerce:

Growth vs Years e-Commerce Traditional
30% 10%
1 0.2 99.8
2 0.3 109.8
3 0.3 120.8
4 0.4 132.8
5 0.6 146.1
6 0.7 160.7
7 1.0 176.8
8 1.3 194.5
9 1.6 213.9
10 2.1 235.3
11 2.8 258.9
12 3.6 284.7
13 4.7 313.2
14 6.1 344.5
15 7.9 379.0
16 10.2 416.9
17 13.3 458.6
18 17.3 504.4
19 22.5 554.9
20 29.2 610.4
21 38.0 671.4
22 49.4 738.5
23 64.2 812.4
24 83.5 893.6
25 108.6 983.0
26 141.1 1081.3
27 183.5 1189.4
28 238.5 1308.4
29 310.1 1439.2
30 403.1 1583.1
31 524.0 1741.5
32 681.2 1915.6
33 885.6 2107.2
34 1151.2 2317.9
35 1496.6 2549.7
36 1945.6 2804.6
37 2529.2 3085.1
38 3288.0 3393.6
39 4274.4 3733.0
Yay ! Finally e-Commerce rules !