Manisha Raisinghani and Dhruvil Sanghvi founded in LogiNext 2014. The Mumbai-based startup now has an office in the US.
On the second day of Analytics India Magazine’s women in technology event, The Rising 2021, Manisha and LogiNext Product Marketing Head Jubin Mehta discussed her journey as a technology leader.
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Manisha and Dhruvil are both graduates of Masters in Management Information Systems and Services from Carnegie Mellon University. Post the studies, Manisha joined IBM as a Senior Consultant, while Dhruvil worked with Deloitte as the Data Analytics Consulting.
“We often wondered how the leading consulting companies that we worked at, were spending millions of dollars building something which could only be used by them,” Manisha recalled.
The duo had experience in logistics and big data analytics. In 2014, both Manisha and Dhruvil quit their cushy jobs in the US to move back to India, with the hope of starting something new.
Manisha said they spent ample time researching the logistics space. “We spent two months just finalising the company name and logo. It was absolutely not required,” Manisha said.
Today, LogiNext operates in more than 50 countries, and services upto 150-plus enterprise clients, including the likes of Myntra, McDonald’s, and Decathlon, among others. LogiNext is backed by marquee investors including Tiger Global Management, Steadview Capital, Paytm and Alibaba.
In 2014, Manisha wrote the first line of code for LogiNext. She said, “Never design for a million users in your first MVP. Companies should design for scale, but when starting to write the code, never design for millions.”
LogiNext broadly focuses on four major aspects of logistics: automation and optimisation, business intelligence and analytics, customer experience, and dynamic auto assignment. The firm helps companies or customers automate and optimise end-to-end logistics in a seamless manner.
When starting out, LogiNext used a plain MySQL database to capture location points. However, as the businesses expanded and acquired more customers, billions of data points had to be added. “We realised that a relational database was not going to help us scale to the level at which we were anticipating,” Manisha said. Thus, it moved from MySQL architecture to MongoDB.
At the heart of LogiNext is the route optimisation software which uses Heuristic algorithm at its core. For example, Manisha said, when McDonald’s receives an order, it is immediately pushed into the LogiNext system. It then uses algorithms to find the best rider who can serve the order. “We say best and not nearest because it totally depends on the clients’ configuration,” she added.
Manisha said the very first hire left the company on the first day itself. However, the second hire continues to be associated with the SaaS company.
For every 500 resumes that are screened, LogiNext hires only two people. “A lot of people think that learning too many technologies is a good thing. While it is good to know about more technologies so that you can be sure of the choice that you are making, it is critical to understand that it is not about knowing technology but excelling at it. There will always be new technologies in the market, keep yourself updated but excel at only a couple of them. If you want to excel at something, you need 10,000 hours of training,” she said.
Manisha feels the most important thing to remember is listening to customers’ wants. It is a common mistake made by AI developers. “They do what they want to do. But developers need to understand the problems that customers face on-ground. The problem you are solving should be customer-led and not lab-based,” Manisha added.
Manisha said two things have always worked for her while hiring for her startup:
- When hiring leaders, hire people who are smarter than you. “I am not good at DevOps but I have hired someone who is great at it,” she said.
- Trust your employees and let them do their jobs. “They will make mistakes, but so will you. Have the appetite for them to make mistakes,” Manisha said.