Anyone who has been keeping a close watch on autonomous delivery vehicles must have heard of Gatik. Gautam Narang, his brother Arjun and Apeksha Kumavat co-founded the company in 2017. They worked at Maverick Robotics, where Narang was also the CEO. He has co-founded other companies, but Gatik is the latest, where he acts as the CEO while his brother is the CTO and Kumavat is the chief engineer. He is proud that Gatik does not have severe competition as they focus on retailers, although non-retailers are interested in partnering with them. As he continues to expand the company, here are a few facts regarding the CEO.
1. Middle Mile is the Most Expensive Part in a Supply Chain
The middle mile is the distribution of goods from a warehouse or distribution center to retail outlets. Narang told S&P Global that the middle mile is a huge pain point in the supply chain. Therefore, he was more than willing to help Walmart reduce costs by providing them with self-driving vehicles. The partnership was to use test robot-vans to distribute goods to smaller pick-up points and not directly to customers.
2. He Keeps a Low Profile
Apart from knowing that he has a brother, there is nothing much known about Narang’s family. Even in his social media, he does not flaunt anything beyond the details of Gatik; truth be told, the CEO barely discloses some of the facts about his company. We, however, do know that he attended Carnegie Mellon University for his Master of Science degree in robotics.
3. He is Modest
We are used to hearing CEOs and entrepreneurs boast of the money they are minting while operating their businesses. Some go ahead to quote the figures. While there’s nothing wrong with showing off wealth, Narang prefers keeping his success a private affair. According to Reuters, the executive said that his business does not offer anything for free. However, instead of sharing an exact figure of how much Gatik makes, all he could say is that the revenue is in the millions bracket. He noted that Gatik makes between $1 million and $10 million per day in revenue.
4. He is Not Active on Social Media
In this day and age of social media, any entrepreneur looking to grow his clientele should invest in an excellent social media presence. People like Kylie Jenner have built empires by having millions of followers, but Narang does not seem to mind keeping his social media presence inactive. He joined Twitter in December 2011, yet till now, he only has 230 followers. For nearly a decade, he has made only 40 tweets on the platform.
5. He is Strategic
The CEO is not one to take action without having thought about the goal he wants to achieve. As published by Yahoo Movies UK, Narang disclosed that the company was in expansion mode, and having Koch Disruptive Technologies lead the Series B fundraising round increased the value of Gatik. According to the CEO, the venture arm of Koch industries was a strategic investor, and with the $85 million raised, Gatik would open other facilities.
6. He Puts His Customers First
Harry Gordon Selfridge, who founded Selfridges department store in 1908, was a shrewd businessman who believed the customer is always right. Perhaps it is this belief that has resulted in his business lasting through several decades. Narang borrows from such wisdom when operating his company. He wrote that before making any strategic decision, he must ask himself what his customers need the most. He added that since Gatik’s customers have ambitious goals to be met, it is up to him to ensure that he does all he can to facilitate their fulfillment.
7. He is a Regular Contributor on Medium
Narang is determined to let his followers learn all they can about Gatik. On his Medium account, he, therefore, enlightens them on what is going on within the company. Still, despite the company having been founded in 2017, he only started writing in 2020. However, since he began, he has been regularly publishing content regarding Gatik, his latest article being a disclosure of the latest fundraising round. He has so far acquired 47 followers, and maybe with time, as he continues to publish more articles, he will earn a bigger following.
8. He Keeps His Cards Close to His Chest
Most companies do not hide their plans for the future. For instance, even before Jeff Bezos talked about his plan to fly into space and how his company was making a rocket specifically for the flight. He even revealed that he spent $5.5 billion to go into space for four minutes. However, the Gatik CEO prefers keeping everything under wraps. He talked about how the company planned on adding more vehicles to the fleet throughout 2020. However, when asked how many cars they would add specifically, he declined to comment; instead, he said they were accelerating initial deployment plans.
9. He Thinks That the Future of Automated Grocery Delivery is Bright
The COVID-19 pandemic has brought many adverse effects, but while some businesses are shutting down, others are booming. E-commerce has taken shape amid the pandemic, and one of the businesses that have benefitted is Gatik. The CEO told Supply Chain Dive that the future of grocery delivery is shifting in favor of automated deliveries. He sees that since e-commerce is doing much better than in-store purchasing, automation has become necessary.
10. Why He Targets Third Party Logistics
In 2019, Narang said that third-party logistics companies were good as a start for Gatik. He explained that such companies were interested in bringing micro-fulfillment centers close to the customers. As a result, the CEO felt that his company would facilitate the transport to the micro-fulfillment centers and the warehouse, saying it was an ideal opportunity for commercializing and scaling his autonomous technology. Therefore, he targeted Walmart about a deal to reduce the last-mile delivery cost by up to 50%. But as always, he did not disclose any details about what the contract entailed.