The thought behind Ecom Express was a dedicated logistics company to take care of the diverse shipping needs of the e-commerce industry, which was largely catered to by traditional service providers. Based on the experience of my co-founders and myself, we realized that there was a need for specialized customer experience with advanced technology solutions to address the business-to-consumer (B2C) requirements of the industry. Being first-generation entrepreneurs and in our 50s, it was tough starting from ground zero. From roughly penning down our thoughts to building it to the levels of a business plan, we burnt the midnight oil crunching numbers, and debating and deliberating to get business perspective.
In terms of capital, we had no more than our personal savings, but had a dream to build an organization. Thankfully, our angel investor supported us when we needed it the most. Our click moment was the realization that to stand out, we must spread our reach beyond metros to every corner of India. Thus, we launched the full-state coverage programme. Our mission was to service 100% PIN codes in a state. We made inroads into the remotest locations and cracked the challenges of last-mile deliveries. This spurred the growth of e-commerce with a newer consumer base, who were earlier unable to experience benefits of online shopping. We extended our full-state coverage programme to 20 states and 4 union territories (UTs).
We started operations with 42 delivery centres in 35 towns. Today, we pan 2,700-plus locations, serving 26,000-plus PIN codes, and have the capability to reach 92% of the population. From 311 employees, we are currently at 33,000. We have made over 400 million e-commerce deliveries since our launch in 2013. The delivery rate is six parcels in every two seconds. As one of the fastest-growing startups in India with a 90% CAGR, we achieved profitability in FY19 at a net level—the shortest time taken by any Indian startup, which is a matter of immense pride for us.
T.A. Krishnan, Co-founder and CEO at Ecom Express