Sahil Barua is the co-founder and CEO of Delhivery, an e-commerce logistics services company in India. When he decided to start the company, he had to quit a well-paying job he had held on to for 18 months and recalls the experience as painful as breaking up with someone. Still, we are constantly reminded that nothing ever grows in our comfort zone, and within three years of establishing the company, it had grown 400%. It got its first customer in June 2011; by December 2011, it was making 500 deliveries a day, and by 2020, Delhivery was delivering 1.5 million orders daily. Learn more about Barua's determination which has enabled the business to scale to greater heights, through these detailed facts.
1. Delhivery is Not His First Attempt at Entrepreneurship
According to NextBigWhat, Barua was at the Indian Institute of Management in Bangalore when the first business idea came to him. He wanted to help businesses scale their operations by expanding their finance teams and any other necessary aspect. Unfortunately, the timing was poor. Despite the idea being good, it was in 2008 when the world economy was on its knees, so the concept of financing the startups was not viable. Consequently, he had to settle for a day job.
2. Why He Quit His Day Job
When Barua joined Bain & Co in 2008, he found Mohit Tandon and Suraj Saharan in the management consulting department to which he had been assigned. They became friends, and coincidentally, they all dreamed of owning businesses. However, none of them knew which sector to explore, and they decided to take a 6-month sabbatical together. During the break, their eyes were opened to realize that they would never grow beyond being consultants. Therefore, since Barua did not want to give up on his dream of being an entrepreneur, he and the other two men quit hoping to establish their own company.
3. How the Idea of Delhivery Was Born
Once the three men quit their jobs, they were still unable to find what idea to pursue. Luckily, according to Yo! Success (https://www.yosuccess.com/success-stories/sahil-barua-delhivery/) they had struck a friendship with Zomato's founders; Zomato is an online platform presenting different eateries to customers. Barua and his two colleagues thought there was a gap in the business model because Zomato lacked delivery boys. The only thing left was to look for delivery boys, and they found them from a restaurant that was closing down by absorbing those who would be laid off.
4. He Hopes His Company Will Be the Biggest Digital Delivery Platform in India
In May 2011, Delhivery started as a local express delivery service focusing on offline stores. By June 2011, the company had obtained its first e-commerce customer. In 2015, Delhivery boasted 950 e-commerce companies as its customers, and while competitors closed down, Barua insisted that his company had a competitive edge. It also caters to non-e-commerce customers, but its main focus is e-commerce. By 2026, the CEO said he expects Delhivery to be the most prominent digital delivery platform in India.
5. He Made It to the Forbes 30-under-30 List
According to Forbes India, Barua was on the Forbes India list when he was 29. The process of making it to the list is quite rigorous and involves three stages. After completing online applications, a jury recommends who should be on the list, and Forbes India does its own research. The long list of names is then shortlisted after category experts are consulted, resulting in 30 names of those determined to be the young brightest entrepreneurs.
6. He Believes Embracing Technology is the Path to Success
Barua has always been passionate about technology; hence even when he decided to pursue the delivery route, he still wanted it collaborated with technology. Technology is his primary focus, and he opines that whatever business you are doing, you are facing inevitable doom without technology. Barua said that technology makes all the difference in the industry, but you must also be aware that it is dynamic and move with the times lest competitors overtake you.
7. He Was a Bright Student
When Barua attended the Indian Institute of Management Bangalore for a post-graduate program in Management, he became an all-around gold medalist and appeared on the Director's Merit List. Being awarded the gold medal from any of the IIM institutions is an honor, but it demands dedication. The criterion used to get the student who deserves the medal includes checking the student's contribution to society and institution through classes, committees, and case competitions. According to insideIIM.com, it isn't easy to come out on top at the institution; therefore, even getting to be in the Director's Merit List is an achievement.
8. He Enjoys His privacy
Barua has had the pleasure of gracing many media outlets, but the entrepreneur sticks to professional interviews. All he has divulged about his personal life is that he was born and grew up in India; there is nothing about his family background. Even what he does in his free time is still information that Barua keeps under wraps.
9. His Education
According to his LinkedIn Profile, the CEO attended St. Xavier's High School in Mirzapur, Ahmedabad, and graduated in 2002. After that, he joined the National Institute of Technology Karnataka for his bachelor's degree in engineering, focusing on mechanical engineering. Barua graduated in 2006 and immediately took a post-graduate diploma course in management at the Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore. He completed his studies in 2008.
10. He Gives Back to Society
Barua has been a member of the Consultative Council of The Akshaya Patra Foundation since March 2018. The foundation was started in 2000 to provide food to children; it aims to have no child missing out on education because of hunger. As a result, it began serving hot and nutritious meals to schools within Bengaluru. At the time, only 1,500 children benefitted, but by 2007, it had grown to serve over 18 million children across Indian schools.
Written by Allen Lee
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