SupportBiz presents an exclusive conversation with Neha, founder of Fly By Knight.
Tell us about your background....
I was a Solutions Consultant with Google for over five years, before starting Fly By Knight. I quit my corporate career to start this venture.
How did Fly By Knight come about?
When I quit Google, I knew I wanted to do something on my own using the internet as a medium, as there is where my skills lie.
One of my friends, Sanjeev Nair, came up with the idea of starting a midnight delivery service. I loved the idea, and thought it was quite unique. I started doing hard-core research on its feasibility. I found that there are a number of students, residents and employees, as well as party-goers, who are in need of certain things in the night-time. We do not have that many 24/7 stores, where they can buy such things. Moreover, some people consider it risky to get out of home to get something in the night. I saw a good business opportunity, and decided to start Fly By Knight in July 2012. It is a completely self-funded business.
What are the different types of products that you deliver?
We deliver different products – chips, chocolates, biscuits, muffins, Maggi and other cup noodles, some medicines, muffins, colas, mineral water, contraceptives, etc. We even offer low-sugar, low-fat muffins for diabetics and weight-watchers.
How big is your team, presently?
Currently, we have a team of six. We also have some crusaders joining us off and on – these are mostly bicyclists who pedal in the night, people who volunteer to deliver products in their areas of residence, in return for a fee. This helps us reduce our carbon footprint.
What is your business model? How do you operate?
We have storehouses in different parts of Mumbai, where we stock products. A customer can place an order to us either through our website or on phone. On receipt of an order, delivery boys or crusaders are sent out, depending upon the area.
How has the customers’ response to Fly By Knight been?
The customers have been delighted with the services of Fly By Knight. Most customers have been extremely satisfied with our services, and they find us very unique.
How do you market your business?
We are not a conventional sort of company, and hence, have never undertaken the traditional form of advertising. Most customers come to us through word-of-mouth referrals, our Facebook and Twitter pages. Our online juke box and quizzes, along with the media coverage we have received, have also helped bring us customers.
What are the major challenges that you face?
Logistics is a major challenge for us. To expand our menu in a way that the logistics can be worked out, and the delivery can be made within 30 minutes is a tough task – specially in case of products like ice cream.
Secondly, it is a big challenge to find delivery personnel who are efficient and train them. A lot of delivery personnel are not ready to work in the night, and it is always a struggle to find people who are.
What are your expansion plans?
We are considering geographical expansion – as in delivery to more areas within Mumbai, as well as in other cities of India, particularly Pune and Bangalore, which have a high student population.
We are also planning to tie up with some restaurants to provide our customers with the option of a packaged meal in the night-times.
Also, we are considering adding more night-time related activities and services to our portfolio, for which we are actively inviting suggestions and considering tie-ups.
What have been your major learnings from business?
You cannot always go by the book. Real-life business might require you to think on your feet, take decisions that are not always as recommended by the books, and adapt to changing situations.
Corporate Website: Fly By Knight