Rahath Ahmed, the CMO and the cofounder of Paperfly, is a seasoned marketing professional, having 15 years plus experience in local, regional and global roles in the leading technology multinational companies. He has worked in the leadership roles for Nokia, Airtel and Banglalink, prior to joining Paperfly. Currently, Rahath oversees the Marketing department, and leads the Product and Revenue Planning, Sales, Customer Interaction and Marketing Communications.
Paperfly started its journey in 2016 as an ecommerce logistics solution provider, and currently holds the strongest doorstep delivery network, covering the entire country and population of Bangladesh. Any size, anywhere in Bangladesh, doorstep delivered – driven by this motto Paperfly now serves e-commerce and b2b merchants, and soon will enter in the courier and cargo business. They have already made a prominent mark in warehousing and fulfillment business and serving few leading multinational companies and aims to expand it further to all the divisional districts of the country.
Best in class and super-efficient network, innovating products that ensure convenience and customer delight with tech play and customer service are the key focus areas for this game changer start-up who are eying to consolidate the logistics landscape of the country which has seen not much development in terms of service quality due to the traditional mindset and process. For Paperfly, the current situation holds a great opportunity and must step up to support the country’s growing GDP requirements, where dependency on logistics will be much bigger than what we have seen before.
In early 2021, Ecom express, the e-commerce logistics giant of India made a strategic investment in Paperfly and committed their long-term interest in Bangladesh market. Ecom express delivers across 26,000+ pin codes, covering 90%+ of households of India. With Ecom express expertise, Paperfly can also serve any cross-border doorstep logistics requirement from Bangladesh to India or other way from India to Bangladesh irrespective of shipment type, size, and location.
Paperfly is focusing to build an automated, tech enabled end to end logistics infrastructure that can serve its clients with low cost, fast delivery with the support of a state of art inhouse tracking system “Paperfly Wings,” that works as the single point interface for its entire operation.
Currently Paperfly works for all the leading ecommerce brand of the country e.g. Daraz, Evaly, U shop, Dhamaka, Shajgoj, Fairmart, E-Orange, Bikroy, Robi, Grameenphone and provides them with varieties of service such as pick-up, fulfillment, warehousing, nationwide home delivery, cash on delivery, return/replacement/refund management and doorstep marketing activation.
Recently we meet one of the Co-founder and current Chief Marketing Officer of Paperfly, Rahath Ahmed who shared his views on different aspect of the logistics aspects and the future plan of the company.
- There are around 1000 local and 20 international logistics companies operating in Bangladesh. What makes Paperfly different than its competitors?
Ans: Except last few years the logistic players in Bangladesh had a very traditional approach and lack any technology integration to provide better user experience. We disrupted the market in early 2016, by introducing door to door delivery services, competitive price, tech integration and best in class customer service to provide better user experience. Currently all these aspects are unmatchable if you compare us with other logistics companies.
Infect we are going beyond and have introduced many other features for our clients and end customer, which directly solves their pain points and provide more empowerment and visibility.
- How pandemic affected Paperfly in terms of growth?
Ans: Pandemic has certainly forced the nation to order more on E-commerce. This increased order resulted into more requirement of doorstep deliveries. So, we have efficiently catered to an increased demand of doorstep delivery services which has helped us to grow significantly in the past one year.
- Way ahead plan for 2022
Ans: Current logistics sector is an innovator dream since there is so many things to be done to take the industry to new benchmark and aligning it with the global standard.
Our main objective in 21-22 to spread our point network further and getting closer to the customers and potential merchants who wants to start a online business. Also, a robust network that is capable of delivering any size of products/shipments in anywhere in Bangladesh within 24 hours to 72 hours. These are the top 2 priorities that we are working on currently. Apart from that to support the local entrepreneurs and others big corporates we will introduce fully automated warehouse and fulfillment in all divisional HQ. We are confident to provide all these facilities in a much affordable rate then the current market practice and will be able save the cost of logistics for our clients.
- What are the technological innovation that you are following to continue the growth of Paperfly?
Ans: Technology is in the core of our operation and we prefer to call ourselves a tech logistics company. Technology not only helps us to efficiently drive our resources but it also delivers great experience to our clients and customers. Few such standout innovations are –
In App Call: which will provide more visibility about the return orders and the correspondence that took place between Paperfly and the customers, while trying to deliver their orders. The service is incorporated with the Delivery App used for delivery process. Every delivery call by delivery officers to the customers will now be tracked and recorded by using this In-App Call service. With this service, merchant can now see all correspondence between Paperfly delivery team and the customer.
Smart Check: In our effort to find a solution for Returns led by indecision of the Customers, we have brought in ‘SMART CHECK’. This is part of the innovation service series we have started through ‘SMART RETURN’. This feature would enable our registered merchants to have more knowledge about the likely behavior of the customer, even before the customer receives the product! The checking process requires only 2 clicks making it magically smooth! We are utilizing our rich database to fetch the customer data, while keeping the detail information absolutely secret. This whole service is FREE, just like any other SMART services in our portfolio.
Smart Return: Return is the biggest puzzle the e-commerce players encounter! Many of the times the return reasons are not clear and we see a potential misunderstanding between all 3 parties – customers, sellers and logistics partners! We have tried go down to the core and solve this problem effectively. We have introduced SMART RETURN, an innovative process where Paperfly will keep all return cases on hold for 24 hours. Within this time, merchants can get access to all the ‘to be returned’ packages and play a role in convincing customers otherwise. Once asked by the customer or the merchant, Paperfly will retry to deliver any product to the customer. This is a standard value addition for all deliveries to be handled by Paperfly.
Smart Log: We are very excited to share that from now on we have introduced a feature called “SmartLog”, which will provide more visibility about the return orders and the correspondence that took place between Paperfly and the customers, while trying to deliver their orders.
With a deep observation on recent online consumer behaviors and trends, Paperfly, country’s largest and technologically most advanced logistics service provider, brings in “Cashless Pay” – the contactless payment-on-delivery mechanism in the e-commerce industry of the country. This technological deployment empowers both online consumers, marketplaces as well as merchants or sellers in the e-commerce arena.
- Which services merchants like most in Paperfly?
Ans: Actually, it varies from merchant to merchant. But in general, “One Hour merchant payment” is very popular among the Sellerone merchants. These are the merchants who usually runs their online business through Facebook. Other than that, since merchants like to have full control over their deliveries and returns. Smart Check, Smart Return is there to give them the full access and control over it and helping them to gain more success rate.
- Currently, the company takes three to five days to complete delivery in remote areas. Bangladesh is not a big country. So, what are the main challenges to bringing down the delivery time to 24 hours anywhere in Bangladesh?
Ans: The logistic environment is still growing throughout the country. The communications from Metropolitan cities to remote areas are still developing. Also, a lot of unions does not have direct routes. As the communication grow stronger, delivery times would be significantly faster over time. Also, since the transportation ecosystem is still very traditional, lack of proper transport vendors, scarcity of good quality transport are key challenges that we face generally, though we are on track to reduce the delivery timeline in phases. By this year we will ensure doorstep delivery in anywhere in Bangladesh between 1 to 3 days.
- In Bangladesh, most of the sellers are Dhaka centric. Seller community from outside of Dhaka can also play a vital role. How Paperfly can grow large merchant communities beyond Metropolitan cities?
Ans: Yes, the sellers are mostly Dhaka centric. But we believe there is a big potential to be unraveled here. For all those sellers who live across the country we have already launched Sellerone. No matter where they live they can send their products anywhere in Bangladesh. It is a huge opportunity for the merchants who wants to start a online business.
- Charges for logistics facilities are much higher in Bangladesh compared to other countries. Could you please explain why?
Ans: Well, if we compare our country to countries like India, Vietnam or China, Ecommerce purchase is much lower here. Which translates into low volume of deliveries. The more volume we have to deliver the price will go lower accordingly.
But in Paperfly we believe the costs can be reduced further and we are already offering the most affordable doorstep delivery rate in Bangladesh, lesser than any competition.
- How policy development can function as multiplier effect for logistics industry?
– Training and development of logistics resource
– Tax rebate to support the growth of logistics industry as it will drive millions of jobs in future e.g. India and china
– Opportunity to use government facilities and infrastructure .