Edgistify, a startup co-founded by Antim Suman, Umang Shukla and Kamal Kumawat, is building a data driven decision support system for all the end to end logistics and supply chain needs of companies.
Kamal Kishore Kumawat graduated in 2016 with Bachelors & Masters degree in Electrical Engineering from IIT-Bombay. Having previously co-founded 2 startups in his 2nd year, namely Dealwithus and Freezrealty, he describes his entrepreneurial journey::
1. What provided the motivation for the start-up idea? What problem did you want to solve?
I was always passionate about building something from scratch and creating value for the ecosystem. I started my first venture ‘Dealwithus’ in 2012, also one of the winners of the first Ten Minute Million competition conducted by Ecell IITB. In my final year Desai Sethi Centre came into picture and was exposed to Entrepreneurship in a structured manner, Identifying the real issues in end to end Logistics Supply Chain Industry which is the backbone of every country’s economy gave me the motivation for disrupting the entire value chain using technology.
2. Given the multitude of opportunities present on campus like placement, higher studies etc, what motivated you to go for a start-up?
As I was already running a startup, I was clear that the research part can be covered under a startup itself and felt it would be great to create jobs. I also had my family’s support which is one of the most important factors for starting up.
3. Briefly describe the journey so far, like finding co-founders, seed funding, challenges, success in deploying your product. What are the few lessons you’ve learnt through this exciting journey of yours?
Most startup journeys are roller coaster rides. Our case is no different, but it became great as my co-founders, who have complementing skills, are also my childhood and school friends. We spent almost a year doing groundwork, discussing with over 400+ supply chain heads, CEO’s , CFO’s of the companies this helped us to create a network of mentors who happened to be our angel investors. Same thing happened with our seed round. We found another mentor with global knowledge who invested for further growth.
A major challenge in our case has been explaining a totally unique model which does not exist across the globe and the industry which we are trying to disrupt is totally people driven and decisions directly impact the company’s P&L so multiple decision makers are involved.
It’s very important to build your IP which will help in generating future value and requires great efforts for sticking to your vision. In the last 3 years we have analyzed over 900000 plus properties and physically verified over 41000 warehouses across India.
4. Do factors like precious PoRs CPI etc make it easier to get funding or these factors are not important in the start-up world?
PoR’s and CPI show a sense of responsibility or sincerity rather easy for judging discipline in young entrepreneurs so it might bring credibility when you are starting up early
5. What are your expansion plans?
We are growing at an exponential rate, we have got some of the marquee customers like Flipkart, Reliance Jio, Udaan, Marico, Pidilite etc. Currently, because of the pandemic, people have understood the importance of the digital supply chain, and our product will be crucial in redesigning the entire supply chain for all the companies.
6. What do you think can be done to improve the start-up culture in the institute?
I believe that there needs to be a common platform where everyone knows about all the activities which are going on in the institute and can be integrated like we participate in over 5 competitions like AUV, ASME, Formula Student UK, MARS Rover. Then we also have SINE and Desai Sethi Centre, Ecell and many more department activities so need to have proper consolidation towards value creating and a valuable program which will benefit all.
7. What was the motivation that kept you going?
Actually right after my graduation, I joined Target Corporations for a period of 3 months as my father wanted me to get a job through IIT. So I saw the job culture for a short period of time and it gave me further motivation to continue with my Startup Journey. I love two simple quotes “Keep moving forward” and “Life is like a novel. It’s filled with suspense. You have no idea what is going to happen until you turn the page”
8. How is your team working through this pandemic?
We were lucky enough to take proactive actions in the month of March itself; we were able to send all our city leads to their hometowns. We focused on building our tech product and automating as many processes as possible. We also started helping people who lost jobs in non essential categories to essential categories. We partnered with “Lokal” App for reaching out to masses and also the Annapurna Movement for helping the people affected by the lockdown.
9. What advice do you have for a guy who is at the same crossroads as you were back at the time of starting-up?
Always follow your own path, there shouldn’t be any regrets. IIT Bombay provides ample opportunities to explore every domain, network with your batchmates, seniors and have a holistic experience.