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It was around 2 years ago when Manisha Raisinghani decided to quit her high paying job as a consultant at IBM to start her own venture. She wanted to optimise logistics in companies across the country. That’s when she started up LogiNext with Dhruvil Sanghvi in Mumbai.
LogiNext’s proprietary technology is powering more than 50,000 shipments and goods movement on a daily basis across e-commerce, on-demand, hyperlocal, last mile and multi-nodal transportation segments
When Manisha was leaving her job in the US to start her own venture in India, the society raised a lot of questions. “People asked me if my Visa was not approved or if I was kicked out of my job,” says the Carnegie Mellon alumni. She believes that her success has answered all the questions raised at her. Fortunately, her family showed faith in her actions and supported her completely. “But my mom is still worried about me getting married, after all she is an Indian mom..I can’t complaint,” she adds with a laugh.
When I stared building up LogiNext, people started to perceive me as bossy. I found it very weird because when a man commands, he’s seen as a leader, but a woman doing the same is seen as ‘rude’ or ‘bossy’
A normal upbringing and the lack of social or economic pressures have made Manisha seek out challenges and pave her own path. “I was expected to take the family business ahead. However, I opted to choose numbers and data over that,” she says. Heading technology at an early age startup demands a lot of commitment and time. Although Manisha’s hometown is less than 50 kms away but sometimes it takes her even months to visit her family.
LogiNext started providing real-time visibility, big data analytics and optimization products to logistics companies across different segments. After 2 years, it has become the only real-time logistics analytics company in India with more than 95% accuracy of delay, route and time prediction across different legs and models of logistics. Manish leads the technology and product at the organization. With a 9 year experience in design and development, she is suited well for the role.
In the initial days, like any other Startup, LogiNext also faced the challenge of gaining credibility. “We were questioned if we can deliver what we are promising or not. It also had to do with our idea; we were trying to bring a change, which takes time,” says the cofounder. To gain credibility, they undertook a statistical evidence based approach while pitching to logistics companies. This helped them pitch their client real insights, and when they understood the value of the product, LogiNext took no time in getting them!
Manisha says that she works in a male dominated industry. “Being the sole woman in meetings usually dominated by men has worked to my advantage. While it’s disappointing that I’m the only woman in the room, it does get me a lot of attention. People tend to take what I say more seriously, perhaps because it’s a different voice,” she says.
Hunger for growth and innovation just keeps me going
Manisha says that the root cause why we there are lesser women entrepreneurs is the lack of mentorship and motivation to the girls in their early years. “Whether in the family or at work, for more women to come to tech, we need to create stronger support systems. Women already in leadership roles need to consciously plan things out for other women,” she adds enthusiastically.
As a leader and an entrepreneur, Manisha faces a big challenge in striking a good balance between male and female team members. “Most workspaces we have seen, especially the early age startups, are male dominated. At LogiNext, we want to see our current female team members become the leaders of tomorrow and possibly start their own startups,” adds the data expert. She drives immense motivation from their investor Vijay Shekhar Sharma (founder paytm) and their advisor Mark DeSantis. “They are constantly supporting me to make sure that I lead in this game,” she says confidently.
As an advice for future womenpreneurs, Manisha says, “Don’t keep on building plans on the drawing board, take the risk and start executing without worrying about chances of success. Even if you fail, you’ll be wiser”. She advises women not to be apprehensive, and speak out. People will eventually come around and start accepting your strong voice in a jiffy!
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