Blue Dart: A Pioneer in the Express Logistics Industry

In the current business scenario, pace is of crucial importance for most industry segments. People are running out of time and the only word that is buzzing around people’s mind is “Busy-ness”. From getting a browsing result to receiving a cargo delivery, people want everything to be immediate. Businesses need logistics services to tune to such requirements for reaching out to the customers within tight timelines, delivering products, spare parts, samples, contracts, letters, etc. The speed of such deliveries is critical for garnering sales across regions, meeting customer expectations and maintaining the business competitiveness. Blue Dart is India’s most innovative and awarded express delivery company. It has a formidable express and logistics network covering more than 35,000 locations and more than 220 countries and territories serviced internationally through DHL. Blue Dart is part of Deutsche Post DHL Group’s Post e-commerce-Parcel (PeP) division.

Blue Dart caters to the Express Logistics industry in India for B2B and B2C. It is the largest and most preferred third-party logistics service provider for Banking, Financial Services, and Insurance, E-commerce, Automotive, Life Sciences & Healthcare, Consumer Durables & Electronics and all leading industry segments. Blue Dart has genuinely differentiated itself with world-class state-of-the-art technology to deliver superior services to the customer.

A leader who believes in the Value of Technology and Innovations

Anil Khanna is the Managing Director of Blue Dart and has been a Blue Darter since 1992.  He took charge as Managing Director in 2007 and since then, he has led the organization successfully with clear strategic vision; focus on customers with the incisive execution of customer-centric value propositions, thereby consolidating Blue Dart’s leadership position in the market-place. The company became debt free within a year of his charge.

Before taking on the hot seat as Managing Director, he was instrumental in transforming the Western Region by strengthening its sales systems & structure as the Senior Vice-President. In a very short span, he turned it around to a highly result oriented business in the country. Under his leadership, the Western Region of Blue Dart became the No. 1 region in the country. Before assuming charge for the Western Region, he has also served as the Vice President – Northern Region, again proving to be an astute sales professional & turn-around artist.

The Inception of Blue Dart and its Initial Struggles

With a vision “To be the best and set the pace in the express air and integrated transportation and distribution industry, with a business and human conscience.”, Blue Dart was formed in November 1983 by three young entrepreneurs, Clyde Cooper, Tushar Jani and Kushroo Dubash with a capital of Rs. 30,000 and 200 square feet of space. It commenced operations with its first few consignments which were urgent letters and a few shipments, sorted for delivery under the staircase of a building.

In 1993, anticipating the tremendous potential in India, Blue Dart shifted focus from international to domestic services. In 1994, the company went public and launched its multi-modal, premium package delivery service Dart Apex and COSMAT II, an advanced tracking and enterprise resource planning (ERP) system. In the same year, Blue Dart Aviation was incorporated. In 1995, this young company acquired two Boeing 737 aircraft and developed SMART – a cargo reservations system in India. The following year, Blue Dart launched the first jet express airline and received the ISO: 9001 certifications.

Two years later, Blue Dart launched domestic charter operations and in 2002, the company entered into a path-breaking sales alliance with DHL Express. In 2005, the successful relationship with DHL was further cemented with DHL Express (Singapore) Pte Ltd. acquiring 81.03% of the equity capital of Blue Dart Express Limited. Later (in 2012) DHL then reduced its stake to 75% to comply with statutory requirements. Blue Dart has grown from delivering a few dozen packages outside Mumbai airport on its first night of operations, to be one of the most influential brands handling 180 million+ packages a year.

Blue Dart Online and Offline Marketing Efforts

Blue Dart, one of the first companies in its space, realized that professionalism was the key to growth at a time when the logistics industry barely existed. Offering services in air, ground and multi modes in day-definite and time-definite delivery schedules, its key differentiators became-a strong brand, information technology, vast scale operations, a dedicated ground and air infrastructure, a passionate and committed workforce, collapsed transit time and enhanced service excellence.

Blue Dart takes advantage of all the Six P’s of marketing – Product, Price, Place, Promotion, Process, and People. It continuously strives to understand its customers’ needs and conducts continuous research to understand industry verticals and macroeconomic trends, identify emerging opportunities and develop products and solutions based on the requirements of its customers.

Blue Dart like every modern enterprise has tapped into the digital space. Its official Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and YouTube pages reach an extensive audience base and are rapidly gathering followers.

Fulfilling the Expectations through Simplified Services

Blue Dart’s customers will always be a priority for the company; it fulfills their expectations with simplified services, industry-focused technologies and solutions, loyalty programs and by continually listening and acknowledging them. Blue Dart has always been prompt in identifying new opportunities in the marketplace through constant research on customers, industry verticals and macroeconomic trends, makes it an intelligent organization, resulting in new product initiatives & solutions that are customer-oriented.

Blue Dart drives a quality program named First Choice and deploys the Net Promoter Approach that helps identify the Net Promoter Score and highlight areas of improvement.

To strengthen the relationship with customers, Blue Dart introduced Key Accounts Management. Its Customer Loyalty program: Blue Points – Amazing Returns to engage the customer; build their loyalty; improve its Share of Wallet and retention. These initiatives have ensured high scores for Blue Dart in the latest Customer Satisfaction Survey (CSS) & Brand Equity studies.

Services and Solutions Offered through Blue Dart

Blue Dart has built multiple convenience options centered on the customer such as Late pick-up and early/holiday/Sunday delivery, Best-in-class Transit Time, Reliability, Security, Parcel, Lockers, Mobile Service Centers, Smart Trucks, Electric Vehicles (Pilot).

Blue Dart offers solutions like call bridge to empower couriers to contact the end customer. It works on a simple feature phone and even works in places where there is no internet connectivity. At the same time, it had to be a simple to use solution and not be time-consuming or confusing to use either.

A single virtual number was introduced on which the courier receiver could give a missed call to. Once they give a missed call, the delivery person receives a request back on their phone. An IVR prompts them to enter the order number. Once the order number is opened, the system fetches the customer number from our database and dials out to the customer. The courier is then connected to the customer. Every single call is recorded and saved for future use.

This has resulted in improved first-attempt delivery rate: there was a significant improvement in the first-attempt delivery rate. This was because the courier is now able to confirm the availability of the customer before going over to deliver.

Blue Dart has been consistently focusing on the Net Service Levels, with a strong track and trace mechanism and proactive information to customers.

“We commit to develop, reward and recognize our people who, through high quality and professional service, and use of sophisticated technology, will meet and exceed customer and stakeholder expectations profitably.”

Strengthening and Evolving in the Future

Blue Dart will continue to roll out sector-specific innovative products and services to address the ever-changing and evolving demands and requirements of different industries. Going forward the company will strengthen its focus on product innovation; reach expansion, transit time improvements, small town (Tier II and III) activation and strengthening channels for the e-commerce industry in India. The strategy is in place, and the company is geared to increase its market share and dominance through sector focus and new growth engines.

Besides this, Blue Dart will continue to service various industries that are mostly domestic consumption-driven. It will maintain its focus on product innovation and service enhancements and register good growth numbers by partnering in their growth.