Digitisation of transportation, where one can track the source routes on a real-time basis, is considered the future. For this to happen, organisations should transform digitally, and that’s how MTAP Technologies was started in 2014.
Founded by Satvir Singh Kohli and Srinivas Chitturi, it is a Software as a Service (SaaS) startup that uses technology to manage different kind of fleet operations. At present, the Bengaluru-based startup helps track, manage, and automate transportation for businesses.
“Our company is revolutionising transport automation,” says Srinivas.
Starting with just three clients in 2014, MTAP is now serving over 120 clients across six countries. It claims its revenue has crossed more than $5 million for FY 2021.
The early days
An alumnus of IIT Madras, Srinivas Chitturi has worked with several leading multinational companies, including General Electric, Siemens, and Mentor Graphics UK.
Before co-founding MTAP Technologies, he worked with iOPEX Technologies as the Director of Research and Development. Here, he was working with various companies to help them automate the monitoring of thousands of their servers remotely to help optimise their operational costs across various company functions, and noticed the sheer volume of trips and the complexity of the transport operations.
Satvir Singh Kohli comes with 13 years of experience in business development across various fields, and has worked with companies such as American Express and ABC Consultants. At MTAP, he spearheads new product launches and business acquisition, in addition to driving growth, strategy, and global expansion. The co-founders met through common friends.
How does it work?
According to the co-founders, MTAP is working to embed four attributes in the transportation segment – optimisation, transparency, safety, and digitisation.
MTAP offers optimisation in terms of reducing the number of vehicles and trips required for both economic and ecological purposes.
Srinivas says, “We wanted to bring transparency into every step of the management process to obtain trust. We feel blessed that we can reduce the incidents of violence against women with our safety features and emergency protocols.”
Digitisation has taken lifestyle to a whole new level by making everything simpler, quicker, and in the moment, he adds.
The platform enables registered fleet operators like buses and cars used by corporates and schools, to accept requests for planned and real-time trips. It also autogenerates invoices instantly.
The startup claims to be enabling fleet operators to compete with major ride-hailing companies in the rental space at a fraction of the cost. It is also working with some of the largest EV fleet operators in the world to help them leverage technology, making it more adoptable.
The product Some of MTAP’s products include Safebus – a school bus tracking and child safety platform; and Safetrax, a flagship product of MTAP that helps automate employee commute.
It has also launched Autologix, a rental taxi booking app, to manage ad-hoc trip requests; and Auto routes is an API that optimises routes for different types of delivery-based businesses.
With algorithmic optimisations, the company claims it can reduce transport costs by up to 30 percent.
Srinivas says: “We offer B2B technology services for both corporates and schools. We have developed algorithms to reduce the number of vehicles and trips, which saves transportation costs.”
“Our team also ensures compliance to the regulations and safety controls for transport, digitisation, and transparency for hassle-free operations, better visibility, easy coordination, and predictability,” adds Srinivas.
The startup has developed multiple algorithms to suit the different needs of different organisations. It has software that uses the smartphone and a GPS tracker that is embedded into smartphones to connect with GPS satellites to extract real-time data about the geographical location and all related events.
“All computation is carried out on the cloud servers, which stores, analyses, and sends data to authorised devices without the need to be prompted. With fine grained data access controls, only the required data can be accessed by someone with the authorisation to do so. This process enables real-time communication, which in turn makes scheduling, live tracking, monitoring, troubleshooting, and invoicing available on fingertips,” says Srinivas.
Even during the pandemic, the platform was updated to help identify COVID-contaminated zones and automatically make the necessary changes to avoid travelling to such areas. Further, it also updated the proprietary algorithms to determine the optimal seating capacities and arrangement in each vehicle to help enterprises, as well as schools, comply with social distancing guidelines.
The market and challenges
The startup raised $1.5 million from IOPEX Technologies in 2015.
MTAP’s business model is based on billing on a per user (employees/student) per month and per vehicle per month.
According to Fortune Business Insights, the global fleet management software market size stood at $14.59 billion in 2019 and is projected to reach $50.09 billion by 2027, exhibiting a CAGR of 16.8 percent during the forecast period.
Speaking about challenges, Srinivas says: “There were a few hiccups in our journey. Making the process transparent made a lot of people uncomfortable and it was an uphill task to convince them of the long-term benefits. Now, everybody appreciates the change and the industry is far more receptive.”
“We also had some resistance from employees complaining that they are travelling with more people than earlier owing to the usage of algorithmic optimisations,” says Srinivas.
The founders learnt from the feedback and iterated the product to offer multiple algorithms with different constraints and leeway for the transport admins to strike a balance between comfort and optimisation.
In the next 18 months, the startup is looking for clients in the Middle East, Malaysia, China, Qatar, New Zealand, Singapore, Vietnam, and other countries.
MTAP is also venturing into new avenues of transport optimisation by riding on its success in India.
“We hope to add more clients across more countries. We see ourselves as market leaders in route optimisation. Our home-grown algorithms offer customers a plethora of parameters for route optimisation, including seating capacity. Yet, we recognise that the real challenge is to be in sync with our customers’ goals,” says Srinivas.
He adds that the startup is aiming for 10x growth in the next three years by adding new products and regions. The company has crossed over $5 million in revenue for FY 2021.
At present, MTAP competes with LogiNext, Locus, and Skyy.