Techie Express

A member of the KPN (the Dutch postal and
telecommunication corporation), TNT Express Worldwide India came into the country four
years ago. And since then it has grown at a rate of 50 percent annually. The man behind
this astounding growth is 42-year-old Jinendra Sancheti, who joined the company eight
years back. A chartered accountant and company secretary by profession, Sancheti has held
various senior positions in the company including that of VP (Finance and Administration)
of South Asia (Australia Region). The company is known for capitalizing on
technology-based services for customer satisfaction. The most recent being its web-based
service called Web Tracker. Sancheti spoke to Sindhu Raj on IT and Web
Tracker. Excerpts:

How significant is the role of IT
in your business?

In the express distribution business, the focus is to maintain the same level of customer
services that you offer anywhere in the world. Also, we are a networked business where
speed is very vital as opposed to consumer products business. In addition to speed, two
other important factors are reliability and the very assurance of it. Speed is driven by
technological infrastructure that we have. We want to make sure that technology is brought
closer to the customer that way and give him the much required assurance of reliability.
So we have created an IT that mirrors what happens on IT site. One way is to make IT as
user-friendly as possible and the other is to make it as affordable as possible.

And how have you gone about doing
that?

The first stage of implementation was our Web Tracker, wherein we logged onto this
centrally located software from our offices, and on the customer enquiry, gave him
information about the movement of his goods, who had collected it etc. This we call track
and trace. Here we ensured that we give our customers a 24-hour, 365-day Web Tracker
facility with round the clock upgradation of the system. The limitation, however, was that
the customer was dependent on our office and had to either come personally or make a phone
call. In the second stage, we took the PCs to the customer’s place where he could
talk to our PC and get the required information about his consignment. But this was a bit
expensive proposition, since it required investment on the part of the customer also.

Since the focus was to make IT as
user-friendly and cheap as possible, we then went onto the third stage—the Internet.
This, we felt was the most easy vehicle for our customer. We ensured the Web Tracker links
into the host computer and now, the challenge was to make it online and we succeeded. The
difference is quite evident everytime there is an update on our mainframe as a
simultaneous updating takes place on the web site.

What has been the response to this
service ever since its launch eight months ago?

Amazingly, the response has been better in locations like Tirupur and Muradabad that are
comparatively remote contrary to the predicted big cities like Bangalore or Mumbai where
technology base is stronger. Secondly, we found that exporters sometimes travelled with
the shipment to avoid worrying about the transition status of the consignment. With Web
Tracker, we have brought information to their fingertips.

How has the concept caught on,
given the fact the that Internet itself is yet to catch on in India?

Very true. From our statistics, we find at least 20 percent of our customer base using the
Web Tracker and that is a very good number given that the Internet has not become very
common in India. Another thing we have noticed is the drop in the number of phone calls
enquiring about their consignments since they are now hooked onto the Web Tracker.

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