Next gen from Apollo Tyres family floats an Uber for trucking industry

The founders, who are in their early 20s, started the company in 2018.
22- year-old Jai Kanwar, son of Apollo Tyres Vice Chairman and Managing Director Neeraj Kanwar', has floated a new start-up Zeus along with his friend Clemente Theotokis. The digital freight platform, built by the start-up, will focus on improving fleet efficiency. The UK-based firm is planning to enter India by next year as part of its global expansion. The start-up is also talking to strategic investors to support the plan.

The founders, who are in their early 20s, started the company in 2018. For the last two years it roped in a group of tech and transport experts to build the platform, which was commercially launched in June 2020.

The company has raised money from private investors from manufacturing, transport and energy sectors during the incubation period. As it plans to expand the business globally it is looking to raise £20 million from strategic investors by next year.

Zeus is planning to foray into Indian market by the second quarter of 2021. This will make Zeus the first digital freight company that is in both the Asian and European continent. "But more importantly we will bring India’s trucking industry to a new age of digitisation it has never seen before", said Kanwar.

By 2025, the start-up is planning to expand across Europe, the US and Asia and targeting a revenue of £250 million (around Rs 2400-2500 crore). Zeus has been operational for 6 months now and the company claims its revenue growing at 200.

The solution works on the pricing and scheduling algorithms that define key parameters necessary for most efficiently matching the supply and demand of freight and trucks, says Theotokis who specialise in mathematics and statistics.

He claims that customers who have used the platform have reported a 15 per cent increase in utilisation.

The duo decided to be Uber of the trucking industry after they found that fleet utilisation is a major challenge for the industry. They noted, around 30 per cent of the trucks in Europe on the road are running empty and this is a huge inefficiency. Many companies run in an outdated way and have no software to rely on.

In India the sector largely still relies on blackboards, instead of computers and systems, which the duo want to change. They agree that India is dimensionally different and fragmented compared to the EU market. But for Kanwar, who grew up seeing manufacturing and allied activities, it is not a hard nut to crack.

Kanwar, who studied in London, says he got the inspiration to start a company after seeing Kanwars (his grandfather and father) building Apollo Tyres successfully. "I have grown seeing how manufacturing and allied activities works," said Jai Kanwar.

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