The preeminent Leader in Integrated Mailroom Management Solutions in India: Avon Solutions & Logistics’ Success story
Once a company grows to a certain size, managing the changing volume of mails, the variety of carrier rates and compliance requirements weighs down the shoulders of online mailroom management processes of the company, thus increasing a lot of frustration and potentially costly mistakes. Growing companies have observed that an extra hand for mailroom services can help them trim down on additional overhead in short order with a layer of enhanced quality, productivity and efficiency. Nestled in Chennai, Avon, as a pioneered ISO certified, understands the unique needs and demands of today’s corporate seeking a sweeping transformation in their mailroom management & services. The veteran behind the pioneer is K Krishna Kumar, also known as Mr. Initiative who started his professional voyage 32 years ago. It was in 1998 when KK was bitten by the entrepreneur bug and a Mailroom initiative with one client channelized his journey to incorporate Avon with an initial capital investment of Rs 8000. KK connects with The CEO Magazine and speaks his heart out over the endeavor of Avon and its journey ahead.
Mailroom services are termed as an ‘often forgotten business’. Despite knowing this, what ignited in you to initiate Avon in this spectrum?
During my early career days in the 1990’s, while I was working for a reputed logistic company, it was a service delivery incident that had triggered the thought of this mailroom service initiative. There was a case wherein the corporate customer had requested a package to be delivered on a Sunday. The service commitment was met promptly. We did not have the luxury of ‘digital connection’ those days hence there was no facility of instant confirmation on our committed services.
While I was totally thankful to the service staff who had taken the pains to work on a holiday and meet the customer commitment, the customer had complained the next day morning that we did not meet up to the customer’s request and a chaotic situation at the office. On further investigation, we had proven to the customer that package was delivered as committed but the recipient was on leave and also missed to inform about the package. Later, though the customer acknowledged and appreciated about our service commitment, the incident and the experiential learning had left a deep impact on me.
Reminding of the statement, Experience is not what happens to you, it’s what you do with what happens to you. Incidents as above and similar had urged me to bring about a conceptual service model that could cater to the corporations at large in addressing such service issues.
Looking down at the chronoscope…what have been the differentiating factors that have driven Avon ahead of its competitors throughout the journey so far?
The mantra of providing “+ 1 Service” consistently has been the guiding standard principle right from the initial stage of our journey. We understand the client’s needs and stitch the solution to render a comprehensive service to the customer, rather than providing an off the shelf box product. Also, our ability to produce new ideas; provide better solutions, and pioneer new products had made us sustain and succeed in the ever-evolving corporate world. We simply wanted to be the Best on our service model. This determination and commitment had been the fuel to be what we are thus far.
Give us a glimpse of the services catered under the hat of Avon.
We cater to large corporations providing a comprehensive & customized end-to-end service solutions encompassing the resources viz. manpower, MailMaster (a proprietary software), computer hardware, tablet PC’s, PDA’ etc. We have various models of Mailroom services including Front-end (mail delivery services at the mail counter), Backend (mail delivery services at the recipient desk) and Hybrid – combined services of both counter delivery as well as mail delivery at the desk.
Our hallmarked integrated bulk mail distribution logistic services for Banking, Insurance, Large Corporations comprises of bulk physical mail pickup from the print shop, dispatching through a host of courier services including postal, shipment tracking and online update, curing of undelivered/return mails through call centre, re-dispatch etc.,
Our Mobility Solutions for field logistics specializes in developing field-based Mobility Solutions, for courier/express industry, employee verification.
How did u blend technology with ‘mailroom’?
There is always a Sweet Spot between the Past & the Future – In others words, we can say that as what cannot be changed (that which is conventionally done) VS what needs a Change, wherein there is a possibility and potential to Change. It is this seed of thought that gives us feed to look out for upgrades & tech tools. In other words, it is the Customers need that becomes our deed and gives us the winning edge
What is the secret ingredient in cherishing long-term relations with the customers?
Well, the recipe has been cooked well because of our +1 Service, our company’s culture, innovation and transparent pricing.
It has been quite a tremendous business voyage for Avon. What are the milestones reached so far?
In the early stages of the company inception, we had few clients to serve. The product or the service offering evolved only after a few years of the initial client had been signed up. It had taken some years to get the concept to a product. Only during late 2001, with the inception of IT/ITs companies, the need for such services was specified by the Customers. Hence it was a growth through evolving progress. We as a concept had grown to a Pan India presence with 1000+ employees while cherishing long-standing customer retention rate.
Please throw some light over the service model of Avon Solutions.
Our service model is appropriate for any delivery services wherein there is a cluster of volume or people is concentrated. Our service offering is an absolute method to enhance the productivity, reduce the cost and delivery turnaround time for the e-com companies. With a compatibility to integrate with ecommerce companies’ logistics arm to render a seamless service to the supply chain with transparency in the activity trials at all touch points on real time basis. Further our model has also facility to offer the payment collection from the recipients. In simple terms, it would be one of the best convenience models to the end customers and save costs for the ecommerce companies, an absolute strategic win-win.
What does future hold for Avon? Is there any new project in line?
We envision staying ahead in the industry and keep innovating to serve the customer with our impeccable service. We are eyeing to extend our services to SME’s through license based web modules and to achieve a sales target of 100 crores by 2020. Also, to scale up in such conceptual model, of-course funding is a key aspect and Avon is on the lookout for such investment at this time. We would like to mention that we are profitable, dividend declaring company for the last 10 years.
The Founder’s Periscope
K Krishna Kumar
It’s the journey that excites, enthuses to enhance and expand. The journey was exciting but a hard one for me as an entrepreneur to take it from a concept to a commercially viable model.
KK hails from Chennai. Prior founding Avon in 2002, during his professional tenure from 1986-1993 he held various positions including senior marketing professional. He is the first generation entrepreneur in the family.