SM Express: Crafting a Timeless Legacy of Excellence Through Unmatched Logistics Solutions

Shivkaran - Managing Director - SM Express

Shivkaran - Managing Director - SM Express

The CEO Magazine - SM Express.pdf

In modern-day commerce, where distance is no longer a barrier and time is of the essence, logistics companies emerge as the unsung heroes facilitating the seamless flow of goods and services. They are the integral channels connecting suppliers to markets, manufacturers to consumers, and businesses to global opportunities. At the heart of this indispensable industry lies SM Express, a trailblazer in delivering seamless logistics solutions.

Established in 1996, SM Express has not merely adapted to the ever-evolving demands of modern business; it has set the standard. From warehousing to transportation and supply chain optimisation to last-mile delivery, SM navigates the complexities of logistics with unparalleled expertise and finesse.

Boasting over a quarter-century of the legacy of providing specialised B2B logistics services across multimodal operations, SM stands tall as India’s premier express logistics company. Headquartered in Mumbai, the company has earned widespread acclaim for its commitment to delivering superior quality services.

Vision and Mission

SM’s vision is to align with global service standards through the adoption of change management practices, investments in talent & technology, and innovative product development.

Their mission is ambitious yet focused: to secure a spot among India’s top ten express logistics companies. This goal is pursued through initiatives such as creating entrepreneurship opportunities via a unique franchise system, diversifying business operations, seeking inorganic growth, talent acquisition, continuous training, and embracing industry best practices.

SM Express: Driving Operational Excellence

Established under the leadership of Late Mr Shrawan K Chaudhary, SM Express, over the years, has expanded its footprint across various domains within the logistics and supply chain solutions industry. However their strong foothold over Home Textile industry is particularly noteworthy. Steered by a team of 1500 seasoned professionals, the company operates through a network of 250 offices across India, supported by an extensive franchise network. Setting itself apart with a solution-oriented approach, SM caters to the entire spectrum of customer supply chain needs, offering tailored solutions that drive cost efficiencies and operational excellence.

Continuously evolving to meet customer demands, the company remains at the forefront of customer-centric innovations and expansion initiatives. Leveraging advancements in Information Technology, SM has implemented state-of-the-art systems for advanced tracking and real-time information, empowering customers with unparalleled “Ease of Doing Business.”

With a proactive customer service ethos, excellent delivery management processes, and a commitment to delivering on promises, SM epitomises excellence in logistics services. Renowned as a market leader in its specialised business segments, SM embodies reliability and expertise, providing customers with the personalised attention of a small business coupled with the capabilities of a large corporation.

SM caters to over 3500 loyal customers with a comprehensive range of both domestic and international logistics services, driving the seamless flow of goods across borders and beyond. With 28 years of growth and success, SM continues to forge ahead, ensuring every customer receives the best possible delivery experience, irrespective of their scale or scope.

In addition to its operational excellence, SM Express demonstrates a strong commitment to Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) through the Shri Shrawan Chaudhary Foundation (SCF). Named after its visionary founder, these initiatives reflect the company’s ethos of giving back to society.

SM’s Chronicles of Progress

1996: Founded as SM Worldwide, initially focusing on providing comprehensive international services to clients.

2000: Responding to growing market demands, the company expanded its offerings to include domestic document services.

2007: The late founder, Mr Shrawan Chaudhary, pioneered a revolutionary marketing approach by prioritising the receiver’s needs over the seller’s, carving out a distinct niche within the competitive home textile industry.

2014: SM Express registered itself as SM Express Logistics Pvt. Ltd., emphasising B2B cargo distribution nationwide.

2016: Introduced RAPID, a premium air product, and relaunched its international services for wider coverage.

2017: Launched SM Ground Cargo (SMGC), a new surface product designed to provide reliable and cost-effective transportation solutions.

2021: Completed 25 years of excellence in the industry and commemorated the occasion by relocating its headquarters to its own purpose-built facility, SM House, on its Silver Jubilee Day.

2022: Diversified its service offerings by venturing into warehousing and FTL (Full Truckload) services.

2024: Launched B2C product, expanding customer reach.

Shivkaran, Managing Director, SM Express

"It is through humble beginnings that true leadership emerges, rooted in empathy, forged by challenges, and guided by a vision to uplift others.”

From his early days as a grassroots field staff to his current role as Managing Director, Shivkaran has been a driving force behind SM’s journey since its inception. With more than two decades of experience in the logistics sector, he possesses a rare blend of knowledge, strong leadership abilities, and sharp business acumen, which are essential for steering SM towards greater growth and diversification.

Under Mr Shivkaran’s guidance, SM has flourished, expanding its footprint with franchise facilities across PAN India. With his exceptional leadership and innovative approach in the logistics industry, Mr Shivkaran received the Rajasthan Leadership Award on 22nd June 2023, awarded by the World Marketing Congress. Championing a ‘People-First’ philosophy, Mr Shivkaran has fostered a culture of creativity, innovation, entrepreneurship and empowerment within the organisation.

A lifelong optimist, he believes that “no mountain is too high to climb, every obstacle has a solution attached to it, and even the most far-reaching dreams can be realised with imagination, creativity and resilience.”

His journey, fortified by a Master’s Degree from MDU Ajmer, reflects a commitment to continuous learning and personal growth. Mr Shivkaran has further honed his leadership acumen through the Team Management and Leadership Program of Landmark. Beyond his corporate endeavours, Mr Shivkaran actively engages in philanthropy and community service through his association with the Lions Club of Mumbai Statesmen. Known for his appetite for challenges, Mr Shivkaran’s diverse roles in the logistics sector across different regions have shaped his ‘stairway to a global mindset’, challenging conventional thinking and fostering innovation. He boasts a robust network within the corporate realm and Industry Forum, leveraging his connections to drive SM’s success further.

People-First Leadership

“A true leader is one who leads not just the company but its people.”

Exemplifying this ethos, Mr Shivkaran prioritises the training and development of his team to enhance productivity and overall business performance. His ability to influence others through his actions and build trust among his team members is remarkable. With his infectious energy, he motivates the team to approach their work with enthusiasm and dedication. Moreover, Mr Shivkaran’s willingness to accept failure and learn from it sets a powerful example for his team, encouraging them to adopt the same resilience and growth mindset.

Comprehensive Logistics Solutions

SM Express specialises in tailoring end-to-end B2B logistics solutions and distribution services throughout India via multimodal channels, offering a diverse array of products:

RAPID: A premium solution meticulously crafted to meet customer demands for the secure and swift delivery of crucial and time-sensitive shipments, backed by a money-back guarantee.

AIR EXPRESS: Ideal for expedited deliveries of urgent consignments requiring faster transit compared to surface transportation.

SMGC: An economical surface transport solution utilising company-owned vehicles for maximum efficiency, minimal transit times, and enhanced safety.

RAIL EXPRESS: Designed for bulk movement requirements, this economical surface transport solution offers cost-effective pricing tailored to accommodate large-scale shipments.

VALUE ADDED SERVICES: Customers have the flexibility to settle freight charges upon delivery, along with the option for Cash On Delivery for product payments at the time of delivery.

INTERNATIONAL: SM Express serves over 220 countries worldwide, leveraging an extensive agent network and strategic partnerships with international allies.

WAREHOUSING: They offer tailored warehouse solutions designed to meet the specific requirements of their clients.

FTL: In addition to part-load services, they provide Full Truck Load (FTL) services, particularly catering to metropolitan areas.

Staying Ahead of the Curve

The logistics and supply chain industry is vast, and standing out is no easy feat. Yet, amidst an ever-evolving market landscape teeming with new players, SM strives to maintain its competitive edge. Leveraging its wealth of experience, commitment, and determination to excel, the company ensures that every customer receives the best possible delivery experience, with personalised attention regardless of the scale of their needs. Combining the reliability and knowledge of a large corporation with the friendliness of a small business, SM Express offers unparalleled service.

As lucrative as the logistics industry is, it also has its own set of challenges. Mr Shivkaran highlights, “One of the biggest challenges we have to deal with in the logistics industry is high fuel costs.” As fuel prices rise, so do transportation costs for customers, potentially impacting SM Express’s revenue and earnings. “To address this challenge, we have transitioned our domestic fleets from diesel to CNG fuel. This not just mitigates the impact of rising fuel costs but also is our take on sustainability, giving us an edge over our competitors,” adds Mr Shivkaran.

However, sustaining this edge requires ongoing innovation and creativity. Innovation is the backbone of SM’s approach. By focusing on ideas and programs that supersede current standards, the company ensures sustained competitive advantage in the industry.

Think Logistics, Think SM Express

Since its establishment in 1996, delivering top-notch service and ensuring customer satisfaction has been the top priority for SM Express. As a result, the company dedicates all its resources to providing the industry’s finest services. Here are the key factors that contribute to their industry leadership:

  • The Customer Service Team responds proactively, ensuring prompt attention to customer needs.

  • SM boasts excellent forward and reverse delivery management processes.

  • The company continuously introduces new products and services tailored to meet customer requirements.

  • Customer feedback is meticulously analysed, and commitments are consistently met.

  • SM combines the reliability and expertise of a large corporation with the warmth and personalised service of a small business.

A Journey of Excellence

"Success is what you can achieve when you try your best in all aspects of everything you do, even if that doesn’t lead to big results. If you’ve done your best, you should feel proud of your efforts”

- Shivkaran

With its commitment to customer satisfaction and operational excellence, SM Express has achieved numerous significant milestones and received recognition over the years. Some of their noteworthy achievements include,

2023: Awarded the “Outstanding Achievement Award for Business Excellence” by the All India Achievers Foundation.

2023: Recognised as one of “India’s Top 3 Persuasive Logistics Firms” by the Times of India.

2022: Named one of the “10 Best Logistics Companies in India” by The Global Hues, a renowned global media organisation.

2022: Listed among “The 10 Most Trailblazing Companies to Watch in 2022” by The Business Fame, a certified media firm.

2021: Honored as the “Brand of the Year” by The Global Hues, a global media organisation.

2018: Awarded as “The Most Preferred Logistics Partner” by HEMTEXTIL INDIA.

Technology-Driven Advancements at SM

Over the past few decades, the logistics industry has undergone a technological revolution. The technological advancements have enabled the development of innovative logistics apps that bridge the gap between consumers, retailers, and logistic providers, streamlining operational management. Yet, this is just the tip of the iceberg. Technology has fundamentally altered how the logistics industry functions and delivers services. At SM, a relentless commitment to innovation drives ongoing upgrades to system features and technology. This approach, tailored to meet market demands, enhances productivity, minimises costs, and reduces errors.

Mr Shivkaran emphasises the importance of staying updated with industry trends and technologies, stating, “The most accessible way for me to stay up-to-date is by reading industry publications and blogs.” His approach to keeping abreast of industry trends and technologies guides the company in navigating the evolving landscape of logistics and supply chain management, ensuring SM’s continued success and growth.

Leadership Mantra

Advising aspiring entrepreneurs, Mr Shivkaran shares,

“Keep challenging yourselves. Do work you care about, take risks, believe in yourself, have a vision, find good people, and face your fears.”

In his opinion, this industry offers unlimited opportunities for exploration, and the only way to sustain it is through good relationships with customers, prompt responses, and easy-to-use technology.

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