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Pitney Bowes Journey From A Mailing Company To An E-Commerce Giant As a witness to the shifting trends in shipping, Pitney Bowes has graduated from mailing to e-commerce. Venkat Rao, Country Director-India & South Asia, Pitney Bowes, elaborates on the company's performance in the Indian market, its complete overhaul in operations with focus in South Asia and staying relevant in the digital landscape.

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Have you heard of the "craftsmen of commerce' yet? Having made great strides in the world of mailing and shipping, Pitney Bowes has come a long way in growing its business by leveraging digital commerce. Stanford alumni Venkat Rao, Country Director—India & South Asia, Pitney Bowes, joined the company in 2015, driving SMB and Enterprise business for the global firm in India. He has been instrumental in focusing on several initiatives in the company's transformation from a mailing to a shipping technology company. Rao in his career spanning across the technology and e-commerce industry spearheaded P&L responsibilities in the subcontinent.

Venkat Rao, Country Director - India & South Asia, Pitney Bowes

"India is a dynamic market. There is a huge growing middle class in India, which is about half a billion people. So this market is definitely a growing opportunity for us." shares Rao. On the drastic shift from mails to digital communications, he is also quick to mention how technology and internet explosion have revolutionized the market.

Pitney Bowes is establishing itself as a Shipping technology company with key partnerships in India. "We have partnered with logistics technology company Shyplite to launch a SaaS based multicarrier shipping platform for small businesses that simplifies office shipping that will reach across 21,500 pin codes pan-India. There are no subscription fees and customers would only pay for what they ship. The partnership will also facilitate simple single pricing without any hassle of calculating carrier wide costs as well as automated tracking shipments at one place without visiting different carriers' websites. Other than this, we are also bringing newer technologies in dynamic and static weighing solutions to the market," shares Rao.

Pitney Bowes along with Shyplite developed the online software solution that streamlines how companies can send anything through 15 major logistics carriers in the country. The solution helps to ensure precision and accuracy beginning with the carrier selection process right through tracking, delivery and cost accountability. "Clients now want fast, accurate and competitive solutions," points out Rao.

The company is also introducing SendKit, an all-in-one solution streamlining how companies can send anything through a multitude of carriers pan-India. The solution includes Pitney Bowes+Shyplite web platform access, an integrated scale and printer designed to supplement the software capabilities of the solution. The scale enables one to accurately weigh large envelopes and packages, helping with accuracy in courier costs. The printer allows to easily print out professional-looking labels for each item sent. "It is so easy to use, it saves time, and your cost savings go beyond just the hard shipping costs alone. We are looking at expanding our base from 15 carriers and forging alliances with regions, states and document category courier and logistics companies," mentions Rao.

With a clear strategy to tap the growing e-commerce market, Pitney Bowes is also expanding sales organization to cater to opportunities in South Asian countries, including Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and others.

"Recently, we have made inroads into South Asia region tapping into a growing e-commerce market and additional opportunities in the shipping space," shares Rao. India Post's leadership in the South Asian region plays a critical role in strengthening, guiding and front-ending other South Asian countries' postal modernization initiatives.

Pitney Bowes India is uniquely positioned to leverage our relationship with India Post and share the knowledge and experience with local postal departments, logistics and e-commerce companies.

The company boasts of two development centres in Noida and Pune with Sales offices in Gurgaon, Mumbai and Bengaluru. It has also launched a scaling technology in the country which can measure both volume and weight of the parcel. The Pitney Bowes India Accelerator is another programme focusing on startups that leverage software for customer information management, mobile, data analytics, location-based services, e-commerce management and machine learning. Start-ups have free but limited access to Pitney Bowes' software application programming interfaces (APIs) and data as well as avail of mentoring from industry experts from Pitney Bowes.

Pitney Bowes is a $3.5 billion company. About 1.6 billion is Small and Medium-sized (SMB) business, 400 million is Software and another 1.5 billion is commerce services like shipping, according to sources.

(This article was first published in the October 2019 issue of Entrepreneur Magazine. To subscribe, click here)

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