An efficient and optimised supply chain is the foundation on which companies can build and grow their business. And Bengaluru-based Acuver aims to do just that.
Founded by Sunny Nandwani, Satyajit Jena, and Mayank Gupta in 2013, the niche IT consultancy aims to transform the supply chain cycle with its services and offerings.
The startup defines, designs, builds, and implements applications for order and warehouse management, enablement, reporting and analytics, innovations, and global inventory visibility.
“Acuver can clearly see digital solutions empowering the Indian supply chain industry. The way forward for the industry now is to use data generated from digital technologies to take precise, real-time decisions,” says Sunny, Founder and Managing Partner of Acuver.
“Companies need technologies that empower them with actionable business insights derived from data. They should be able to react quickly to real-time information.”
India’s ecommerce boom necessitates infrastructure that supports the $2.8 trillion economy and the heterogeneous customer size of 1.3 billion. An optimised supply chain is vital as businesses invest heavily in a range of technologies such as AI, machine learning, IoT, and data analytics in their effort to improve operational efficiencies and increase ROI.
Acuver helps clients keep a close watch on inventory levels, deliver on their commitment to customers, and reduce logistic costs.
Its flagship SaaS product, OpsRoom, facilitates supply chain operations with the visibility to track key application processesfor real-time decision-making and tools to automate repetitive, manual tasks. It also ensures that the applications are "responsive, reliable, and resilient" to ensure that the supply chain runs smoothly.
The founding team
Sunny, who has previously worked at Infosys and Accenture, is an IIM-Bangalorealumnus with over 17 years of experience in the domain of supply chain execution. He has managed multiple roles across varied locations like the US, Europe, and Japan in implementing global inventory visibility, sourcing, order, and warehouse management solutions for global retail clients.
With his experience, he decided it was time to help organisations transition to the digital world and co-founded Acuver.
The other two co-founders also bring in a wealth of experience. Satyajit, an alumnus of IIT-Kharagpur, has over eight years of work experience with several Fortune 500 companies across multiple geographies, including Europe and Asia-Pacific. Mayank has over 10 years of experience in building enterprise e-business, ecommerce, and supply chain execution suite of applications.
The early challenges
Warehousing is no longer a good-in, goods-out centre; it has evolved into a value-addcentre. The order orchestration process has also evolved to cater to rising customer expectations. “There is a constant need to innovate, adapt, and evolve, and Acuver was born to help companies in that journey," Sunny says.
Clients were scarce for Acuver in the initial days because “nobody really understood digital transformation”.
“Our expertise in the supply chain domain helped us get our first break - one of the world’s leading retail giants, readying to setup operations in India. We could win the client’s trust with our knowledge, resources, and experience. Our commitment to this project paved the way for future engagements,” Sunny recalls.
Building a business is a leap of faith. Acuver started with a core team of three members and has grown to 100-plus employees. Since it works on a cost-plus model, it needs to get the services right as sales cycles are long.
One of the biggest issues the founders faced was the lack of skilled workforce in supply chain transformation technology. Sunny invested in upskilling and reskilling employees, which enabled the company to complete projects and improve employee retention.
Over the last few years, Acuver has garnered experience of working with large companies, and delivering order and warehouse management services.
“The business objective of the customer drives the solution we deliver. We work with clients to understand their processes and requirements,” Sunny says. “We then suggest solutions that deliver incremental value and cater to evolving business needs.”
Giving an example, the founder says his team worked for a leading multi-brand Indian retailer with a global ecommerce model that sells on multiple marketplaces. The client aimed to walk the omnichannel path and needed to integrate the ecommerce model with the marketplaces.
Keeping the scale of operations in mind, Acuver helped implement an order management system integrated with various payment methods, warehouse management system, ERP, and carrier partner. The team also suggested a Warehouse Management System that facilitated smooth operations.
Sunny reveals how this helped.
· It helped the client get a holistic view of Digital Order Management processes through synergies between the OMS, WCS and WMS teams.
· Distributed Order Management also led to streamlined order processing.
· Reduced time to market for key capabilities like alternate payments enablement, order in store.
· Enabled the rollout of ecommerce payment methods and expansion into global markets.
Focusing on the client
Customers today seek instant gratification and expect to have the right product delivered to the address of their choice, at the right time. A retailer’s omnichannel capabilities should allow for cross-channel seamless shopping with flexibility in delivery to achieve this.
Apart from OpsRoom, Acuver's services include supply chain services, product engineering, and platform development for diverse industries. The company has delivered solutions to more than 50 clients. However, the founders did not want to disclose any names due to NDAs.
After six years of bootstrapping, the company is on its way to becoming a mid-sized IT Services company. The founders refused to discuss financials at this point.
According to Gartner, the world spends $3.7 trillion on IT, and Acuver’s competition are mid sized IT Services companies.
The founders’ plans for the future are to fund the company through internal accruals.
“On the product side, we are expanding across geographies like Europe. Alongside, we are working towards making OpsRoom cognitive. Our product engineering team is aggressively working with customers to add benefits of OpsRoom AI,” Sunny says.
(Edited by Teja Lele Desai)