Lakshmi is a highly skilled software solutions design and implementation project manager with technology expertise across a number of supply chain management disciplines. She is always upbeat and often manages to surge through difficult IT challenges with a ‘never give up’ attitude and a very warm smile. She has a knack of looking at things from practical perspective. It all started after she completed her graduation in B.Tech (electronics and instrumentation). Her desire for research and analysis came to the forefront when she enrolled in a post-graduation program for software design and development.
She was also a part of team, leading various software projects to the successful conclusion, which made her a great team leader. This developed a desire inside her to starting her own company. Envisioning the boom in the technology sector, she started UrbanHopperz, an app based on-demand delivery service. It is an affordable last mile delivery network for local vendors as well as e-commerce retailers.
Please provide a brief overview of your product/ service.
UrbanHopperz is an On-Demand Delivery Service that allows users to get anything delivered anywhere within the city – be it food from Old Delhi being delivered to Noida, or even organic produce from some particular store. Through UrbanHopperz, we will provide users access to the best brands and shops in Delhi-NCR right at their doorstep. Our aim is to make distance inconsequential for consumers when they want to shop for a particular product, by delivering it within a few hours, no matter how far the shop is within the city. Consumers can select the shop of their choice, select the product and get it delivered to their home immediately. Our delivery services cover a wide range of product categories, right from food, medicines and baby products to pet supplies, grocery and even packages. Currently, we are offering our services in Delhi-NCR, but we plan to expand to other cities as well.
What inspired you to build the above product/ service?
We are living in times when we want the best products but don’t have time for getting these products ourselves. With the ecommerce boom, consumers now have the opportunity to purchase things they want at their convenience – they have gotten used to getting everything in a few clicks. But the future, the next big thing is – instant fulfillment And this is where I realized that there is an immense business opportunity – the consumer today has become more demanding, more impatient; and they want the best, customized service, delivered at their doorstep ‘Instantly’. I recognized the need for this instant delivery infrastructure and being a supply chain professional, I saw a business opportunity – an opportunity, where we could optimize the current resources, add value to first mile and last mile deliveries and set up an on-demand instant delivery network.
What is your life mantra?
Do something that brings about a change and adds value, even if that change is small to begin with.
What was the most challenging part of your journey till now?
Initially, the challenge was taking UrbanHopperz from a concept to reality. Then, it was getting good people to work with us. We’ve overcome these challenges, but as we have just begun, we expect more challenges, and we are well-equipped to meet them. After all, it’s these challenges that become lessons.
How did you overcome those challenges?
As far as bringing the concept of UrbanHopperz to life, it was primarily, deciding to take the plunge and work hard towards it. As for finding the right people, we went through a lot of references from friends and family.
Share some details about the investments that you have been able to fetch for the business till now.
As of now the investments we have fetched are through friends and family.
How do you protect yourself from the problem of Brain Drain?
I believe in working with my team and investing in their personal and professional growth every day. We discuss issues and work out solutions together as a team, give our employees more ownership of their work, which encourages them to give their best and add value to themselves as well as the organization. We actively take their feedback, work on and incorporate it into our practices for better fulfillment of responsibilities.
According to you, what are the three qualities an individual must have to achieve success?
1. Continuous learning
Which online tools/ services/ apps do you use the most and would like to recommend as well?
1. Buffer and Hootsuite – for keeping me online all the time
2. Trello – for managing team tasks efficiently and never letting go of any idea we come across
3. Skype – for team chats and calls we are always connected
Share any one habit which you think makes you more productive.
I think being observant – having an eye for the details helps me be more productive. That way, I am able to come up with a better optimized solution.
Share any one habit which you wish to change in yourself.
I am never relaxed. I realize I need to relax and slow down at times.
Answer in less than 50 words
One tip to success:
Adaptability, understanding changing environments and requirements and delivering optimized solutions.
One mistake you believe every individual must avoid:
Not taking the plunge thinking that you’re not ready for it.
One most important lesson that you have learnt till now:
The beginning is the most important part of the work – Plato
We tend to over-think and put off things, thinking we’re not ready yet – that is a mistake. Perfection takes time, it’s a work-in-progress – so it’s necessary to take the plunge and begin working on it.
What are your plans for next 3 years?
Over the next 3 years we will be providing on-demand delivery service for consumers in all the major cities in India, and offer an affordable last mile delivery network for local vendors as well as e- commerce retailers.
If you get a chance to start your career again what would you do differently this time?
I wouldn’t make any changes. I’ve learnt a lot from the decisions I have taken and challenges I have faced, and they make me a better entrepreneur and person today.
What are your top three getaway destinations?
1. Chamonix, France
Share a quote that inspires you the most.
“And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music.” ~ Friedrich Nietzsche