Grasshoppers is the logistics industry disruptor that Sri Lanka needs.

Interview with Kapruka and Grasshopper founder—ecommerce pioneer, Dulith Herath

 

All over the world, the logistics industry is facing a new era of unprecedented change;  and like all change, this brings both risk and opportunity. Constantly evolving technology, new market entrants, new customer expectations, volatile realities and new cooperative business models; across the globe, these challenges were answered by a visionary brands like Amazon and Zipline; for Sri Lanka, the answers came from the logistics groundbreaker ‘Grasshoppers’ that is responsible for opening up some of the best possible futures in the industry. Joining in for an exclusive interview, Grasshopper’s founder Dulith Herath opened up the conversation saying that for logistics “digitisation and customer expectations evolve so fast, that the industry is in no position to be complacent to these massive shifts.” He added that new technologies and new market behaviours are enabling efficiency optimisations and new operating models that were previously impossible, and that Grasshoppers taps right into these opportunities. 

 

“Small and medium brick and mortar retailers x local logistics entrepreneurs, is our magic mix”

According to Herath, Grasshoppers currently delivers an approximated 5,000 parcels a day—a phenomenal 350% growth within a year. He speculates the number to be 25,000 a day by October 2021 considering the continuing increase in online retail within the island. He shared that the majority of these deliveries come through small and medium operations that use e-commerce as a secondary selling portal. “These are small and medium retailers; and I think they’re doing the right thing. We all know that brick-and-mortar retail, as we know it, will die in the next twenty to thirty years; and when that happens, these brands can transition gradually into the digital realm. We’re quite excited about being a part of that journey with them; and foresee the major role that Grasshoppers will have to play when this completely digitised retail industry takes root in Sri Lanka.

 

But, that’s not all. Grasshoppers has another big reason for their remarkable success. “We work with local logistics entrepreneurs through our area hubs, and on the road. These entrepreneurs work in collaboration with us, as independent professionals, and this relationship has worked really well. The sense of empowerment that  our logistics entrepreneurs have is what sets Grasshoppers delivery and service apart from the rest,” Herath adds.

 

Bringing traceability, transparency and reliability to cross border e-commerce for the consumers in Sri Lanka

Herath turns the conversation to one of the greatest woes of Sri Lankan consumers who purchase from online retailers overseas; “After an ecommerce product passes through the Sri Lankan border and comes under the local postal service, it is no longer traceable. This is something that holds back many consumers. But Grasshoppers can change this situation and give radical accessibility to any international retailer shipping to Sri Lanka, no matter where they are from in the world,” says Herath. “We can give traceability at a cost that is almost identical to that of the postal service here. Currently, there are over 15,000 packages that the SL postal service delivers daily, but this operation is not profitable to anyone as it is handled as regular post. Grasshoppers can bridge this gap and play a big role as a cross border logistics provider for markets in Sri Lanka.

 

Reliable, systemised and automated middle-mile logistics for businesses in Sri Lanka

One of Grasshoppers’ most interesting B2B propositions is its proposition to bridge the retailer or the first-mile logistics provider, with the delivery point. Herath says that large corporations, especially FMCG companies, with traditional operational models can benefit from this set-up because Grasshoppers is a reliable and systemised entity with islandwide reach that they can partner with. “And, it’s not just reliability or systematic traceability we offer; collaborating with Grasshoppers is also an opportunity for traditional companies to build automation into their operations. See, the world is changing, and workforces are changing rapidly. The young workforces demand companies to automate systems and work more transparently; this is a great way to bring that into your company logistics,” clarifies Herath.

 

Heralding in change with radical partnerships from around the world

For Grasshoppers, the disruption that they bring into Sri Lankan logistics is not limited to seeing the future through the perspective of their own brand expansion alone. The company is interested in being an active influencer in the direction of change that the Lankan logistics sector will undergo as it embraces global tides. “We’re not looking at changing the logistics sector alone; the global partnerships we are about to bring to Sri Lanka are the kinds that will really drive a big shift in the way we approach logistics here. For example, our latest collaboration is with Zipline—a real groundbreaker in terms of using drone technology to create speed and precision to deliver things that really matter—like blood to save a life. We will be working with Zipline in Sri Lanka within the next seventy days to start delivering emergency packages around the island using drones. The donation of a blood donor in Jaffna can reach the emergency unit of the hospital in Colombo within an hour. Isn’t that remarkable?,” Herath says. Here, Grasshoppers will be the local partnership for Zipline, delivering not only blood, but even extremely urgent packages around the country at unprecedented speeds, through drone technology.

 

This is the future. This is where logistics will evolve in the next ten years without a doubt; but, instead of waiting for these shifts to hit us in the face, we’re heralding in the transformation. This means that by the time it is the norm for a consumer to have a drone deliver their package quickly, transparently and at a minimal cost, Grasshoppers would already be there. It’s the logistics disruptor that Sri Lanka needs,” concluded Herath. 

 

Grasshoppers is an award winning logistics operation, and is part of the Kapruka business group that pioneered the e-commerce in Sri Lanka. For more information on Grasshoppers reach info@grasshoppers.lk 

Posted by kaprukablog