India's top three blockchain-powered logistics companies
With India’s logistics sector growing at a rate of around 10.5% a year - and expected to reach $215bn in 2020 - supply chain and logistics security is a top priority for enterprises in the region. In order to protect data and increase supply chain transparency, digital ledger technology is predicted to be a critical technology in the growth of the industry.
Here are Gigabit Magazine’s top three startups currently working to promote blockchain adoption in the Indian logistics sector.
Launched in August 2016, Primechain was founded with the belief that blockchain technology will be an enabler of “massive social upliftment and economic prosperity” in India and beyond. The company is working on several projects, including BankChain, a community of 37 banks for exploring, building and implementing blockchain solutions; Primechain-MONEY, a global blockchain solution for invoice discounting and debt instruments; and a number of educational programs aimed at increasing blockchain adoption on a global scale.
Signzy, a 2015 startup based in Bangalore, operates a digital contract platform, which enables digital drafting and signing of legal contracts in order to increase compliance and security during third party supplier interactions. Signzy guarantees non-repudiation of contracts through its biometric user authentication system and blockchain-based digital trail.
Founded in 2013, Imaginnovate specialises in delivering technology solutions to transportation and logistics companies. This month, the Visakhapatnam-headquartered company (which also has offices in Arkansas and Texas) was the latest to join the Blockchain in Transport Alliance (BiTA), whose President, Patrick Duffy, commented: “Blockchain will transform the supply chain by introducing greater transparency, innovation and efficiency. Members like Imaginnovate are the key to BiTA’s success, because the collective knowledge, insight and experience of Alliance members will help enable the best uses of blockchain in the transportation industry.”
Imaginnovate works with carriers, shippers and third-party logistics providers in the areas of load management, capacity management, fleet optimization, route planning and delivery solutions across all modes of transport including over-the-road, intermodal, regional and last-mile delivery.
“Imaginnovate believes that membership in BiTA will enable the company to collaborate with other industry leaders to create and implement effective blockchain standards for the transportation and logistics industry,” commented Krishna Vattipalli, CEO of Imaginnovate.
SAS: Improving the British Army’s decision making with data
SAS’ long-standing relationship with the British Army is built on mutual respect and grounded by a reciprocal understanding of each others’ capabilities, strengths, and weaknesses. Roderick Crawford, VP and Country GM for SAS UKI, states that the company’s thorough grasp of the defence sector makes it an ideal partner for the Army as it undergoes its own digital transformation.
“Major General Jon Cole told us that he wanted to enable better, faster decision-making in order to improve operational efficiency,” he explains. Therefore, SAS’ task was to help the British Army realise the “significant potential” of data through the use of artificial intelligence (AI) to automate tasks and conduct complex analysis.
In 2020, the Army invested in the SAS ‘Viya platform’ as an overture to embarking on its new digital roadmap. The goal was to deliver a new way of working that enabled agility, flexibility, faster deployment, and reduced risk and cost: “SAS put a commercial framework in place to free the Army of limits in terms of their access to our tech capabilities.”
Doing so was important not just in terms of facilitating faster innovation but also, in Crawford’s words, to “connect the unconnected.” This means structuring data in a simultaneously secure and accessible manner for all skill levels, from analysts to data engineers and military commanders. The result is that analytics and decision-making that drives innovation and increases collaboration.
Crawford also highlights the importance of the SAS platform’s open nature, “General Cole was very clear that the Army wanted a way to work with other data and analytics tools such as Python. We allow them to do that, but with improved governance and faster delivery capabilities.”
SAS realises that collaboration is at the heart of a strong partnership and has been closely developing a long-term roadmap with the Army. “Although we're separate organisations, we come together to work effectively as one,” says Crawford. “Companies usually find it very easy to partner with SAS because we're a very open, honest, and people-based business by nature.”
With digital technology itself changing with great regularity, it’s safe to imagine that SAS’ own relationship with the Army will become even closer and more diverse. As SAS assists it in enhancing its operational readiness and providing its commanders with a secure view of key data points, Crawford is certain that the company will have a continually valuable role to play.
“As warfare moves into what we might call ‘the grey-zone’, the need to understand, decide, and act on complex information streams and diverse sources has never been more important. AI, computer vision and natural language processing are technologies that we hope to exploit over the next three to five years in conjunction with the Army.”
Fundamentally, data analytics is a tool for gaining valuable insights and expediting the delivery of outcomes. The goal of the two parties’ partnership, concludes Crawford, will be to reach the point where both access to data and decision-making can be performed qualitatively and in real-time.
“SAS is absolutely delighted to have this relationship with the British Army, and across the MOD. It’s a great privilege to be part of the armed forces covenant.”