Holisol Startup Story: Tech-enabled end-to-end Supply Chain Logistics Platform

Jeenal Jain Jeenal Jain
Jun 23, 2021 15 min read
Holisol Startup Story: Tech-enabled end-to-end Supply Chain Logistics Platform

Company Profile is an initiative by StartupTalky to publish verified information on different startups and organizations. The content in this post has been approved by Holisol.

Logistics industry size is USD 215 Bn, growing at 10.5% CAGR. In which, the Third-party Logistics market size is USD 9 Bn growing at 16% CAGR, which happens to be Holisol's target market. Holisol is building a tech-enabled end-to-end supply chain logistics platform that will help customers improve their product availability at the lowest possible cost. Holisol offers multi-channel fulfilment solutions for B2C & B2B businesses spanning across retail, fashion, lifestyle, FMCG, online marketplaces and auto industries.

Co-founded by Manish Ahuja, Naveen Rawat and Rahul S Dogar in 2009, Holisol has already got a pan-India presence and manages close to one million square feet of fulfilment space spread across 25+ fulfilment centers, 60+ hyperlocal fulfilment centers and 30+ integrated packaging sites. Let's know the success story behind Holisol's growth.

StartupTalky interviewed Mr. Rahul S Dogar (Managing Director and Co-Founder of Holisol Logistics) to know The Startup Journey and Growth Story of Holisol since its inception in 2009.

Holisol - Company Highlights

Startup Name Holisol
Founders Manish Ahuja, Naveen Rawat, Rahul S Dogar
Founded On June 24, 2009
Headquarters Delhi
Industry Supply Chain and Logistics
Total Funding $27.24 Mn
ARR (Annual Recurring Revenue) INR 170 Cr
Website holisollogistics.com

Holisol - About, Mission & Core Belief
Holisol - Logistics Industry Details
Holisol History - How it Started
Holisol - Product/Services Offered
Holisol - Founders and Team
Holisol - Name and Logo
Holisol - Business Model and Revenue Model
Holisol - Startup Launch and Marketing Strategies
Holisol - Challenges Faced
Holisol - Growth and Revenue
Holisol - Funding and Investors
Holisol - Advisors and Mentors
Holisol - Acquisitions and Mergers
Holisol - Competitors
Tools used by Holisol to run the company
Holisol - Recognition and Achievements
Holisol - Future Plans
Holisol - FAQs

Holisol Logistics

Holisol - About, Mission & Core Belief

Holisol offers multi-channel fulfilment solutions for B2C & B2B businesses spanning across retail, fashion & lifestyle, FMCG, online marketplaces and auto industries. It also provides integrated packaging, logistics and returnable solutions to automobile, farm equipment & heavy engineering businesses.

Holisol is building a tech-enabled end-to-end supply chain logistics platform that will help customers improve their product availability at the lowest possible cost.  

Holisol's short-term goal is to add 20 new fulfilment centers and 400 hyperlocal centers to its network while increasing the reach to 95% of the consumption market. And the long-term goal is to set up 100 FCs and 800 HFCs by 2025 in the country. Its core belief is to offer customers an experience of working like their own extended team with affordable, strategic, and operational expertise.

Holisol - Logistics Industry Details

Logistics industry size is USD 215 Bn, growing at 10.5% CAGR. 3PL (Third-party Logistics) market, which is Holisol's target market, is USD 9 Bn, growing at 16% CAGR. The market share info of Holisol is not available as the industry is highly fragmented and unorganized.


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Holisol History - How it Started

After spending many years in the industry, the founders realized that there was a market need for an organisation that can understand customer’s business and design solutions which fit their business needs instead of offering a “product” that requires the customer to fit in. On this idea, Holisol started on June 24, 2009.

Reminiscing the initial journey of Holisol, Mr. Rahul S Dogar (Managing Director and Co-Founder of Holisol Logistics) says -

"We wanted to build the knowledge layer on top of the logistics execution that is how our value proposition incepted i.e., Design-Implement-Manage. To get our positioning right from the beginning we started with the consulting and solution design assignments and on-demand from our customer we scaled up to managing the end-to-end operations.

Our first assignment was with a marque Agri-consulting company that approached us to design a cold-chain logistics network across India to reduce fruits & vegetable wastage in the country. We were highly enthused with the purpose and scope of the project, and whole-heartedly decided to immerse ourselves and delivered it successfully."

Rahul S Dogar continued on how Holisol expanded its scope of work and positioned itself -

"We expanded our scope of work from design-implement to management with a project for Genesis Colors, they had 3 warehouses and we designed a solution to consolidate all of them into one and set it up for them also ran the operations before training and handing it over to their team. Holisol solution improved the process efficiencies and helped Genesis in cutting down the cost.

In another project, Holisol got an opportunity to design implement and manage the fulfilment centre for e-commerce brand Jabong. The scope included infra set-up, IT set-up, resource deployment, process training and daily operations management.  The business of Jabong scaled up considerably in a short period.

For the auto segment, we designed a reusable pallet for the packaging of axles for international transportation. We not only replaced the one-way expandable wooden packaging with a multiuse returnable packaging but also helped the customer in reducing in transit damages and loading & unloading time at both origin and destination. Holisol designed-implemented and managed the whole process of axles packaging.

These showcases helped in validating our ideas which further contributed to expanding Holisol's customer base and scaling up the business"

Holisol - Product/Services Offered

Holisol has created an Omni/multi-channel fulfilment network with 120+ facilities across the country which gives its customer access to 85% of the consuming population in India.

Holisol's network includes well connected best-in-class warehouses, fulfilment centers, hyperlocal fulfilment centers, pick-up centers, customer experience centers, exchange centers, refurbishment centers, automated sales centers etc. Focused on apparel, footwear, cosmetics, healthcare and grocery segments, this tech-enabled ever-expanding network is ready-to-use, versatile and flexible to take care of their needs and pain points.

Holisol also offers line-to-line integrated packaging and logistics solutions to 80+ automotive customers wherein any product coming out of the line is put on its own designed packaging unit (rack, pallet, bin, box etc.) and it gets transported, handled, stored in the same packaging unit until it gets consumed on the next line. The same packaging unit is then re-used, thus creating ‘green’ supply chains.

These solutions have smoothened flow for Holisol's customers and brought in much-needed efficiencies in terms of costs, productivity, damages, and seamless fulfilment. These solutions are replicable, and the team have been able to assist customers with expansion in global markets where professional packaging is highly valued.

"The USP is to operate like a customer’s extended arm bringing our ability to understand the need/problem and design-implement-manage solutions which helps them achieve their business objectives" says Rahul S Dogar, Co-founder & MD, Holisol

It initially started as a supply chain consultancy company wherein Holisol designed solutions for the customers and implemented them as proof of concept. While doing so more and more customers started asking the company to manage the operations as well, the team realized it as a huge opportunity especially in the e-commerce, fulfilment and packaging & logistics segment; that is how we build a full-service portfolio with a value proposition of design-implement-manage. It brought us recurring revenue and an opportunity to scale up the business.

"We have a subsidiary called Holisol Talent Solutions which takes care of the talent required to manage the end-to-end operations for our customer’s business" Rahul added.

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Holisol - Founders and Team

Holisol was co-founded by Manish Ahuja, Naveen Rawat and Rahul S Dogar in 2009.

Holisol Founders
Rahul S Dogar - Co-founder & MD of Holisol

All the three founders previously worked together in APL Logistics and were in the supply chain logistics industry for almost a decade before deciding on Holisol. In their previous roles, they got opportunities to manage supply chains and logistics for quite a few global brands.

After working for many years, they realized that there was a market need for an organisation that can understand customer’s business and design solutions which fit their business needs instead of offering a “product” that requires a customer to fit in.

Headquartered in Delhi, Holisol today has a workforce of +200 supply chain enthusiasts who are continuously building value through leadership, innovation, and relationships.

"When it comes to hiring a “holisolian” our top priority is to acquire a talent who is aligned with our core values. We have built a culture of bonding & togetherness where everyone is respected, and our people are celebrated for their excellence.  We look for people with attributes of simplicity and are eager to build their knowledge and innovate solutions which our customer needs." says Rahul

Manish Ahuja | Co-founder, Holisol

Having 15+ years of working in the industry Manish has made Holisol a leader in integrated packaging & logistics solutions with new innovations. Before co-founding Holisol, he was responsible for service integrity in APL Logistics for India operations. He is a commerce graduate and has completed MBA in Marketing.

22+ years of industry experience, Naveen’s expertise is in designing fulfilment solutions for multi-channel & omnichannel retail. He drives innovation and is responsible for building new capabilities in Holisol. He has previously worked with APL Logistics as Head – Contract Logistics for their India operations. He is a B. Tech and completed MBA in Marketing.

Rahul S Dogar | Co-founder & MD, Holisol

22+ years of domain experience, worked with some of the leading brands such as Ikea, Agility and APL Logistics before co-founding Holisol. Rahul has experience working on both sides of the table which helped him in gaining deep insights into the supply chain. His expertise includes Strategy, Business Planning and P&L Management. He is a B. TECH and an MBA.


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The name ‘Holisol’ originated from Holistic Solutions. Logistics as an organisation function impacts and get impacted by a lot of other functions like finance, marketing, production etc., Holisol wanted its solution to be ‘holistic’ by examining all aspects, hence ‘holistic solutions’.

Holisol Logo

Holisol - Business Model and Revenue Model

This is how Holisol makes money. Holisol's three main Revenue Lines -

  1. Offering warehousing and fulfilment services in terms of storage, inventory management, order processing and delivery. There are two models with this.
  • Multiuser FCs – the customers get charged on a variable basis their the throughput
  • Dedicated FCs – the customer gets charged a fixed monthly charge + mgmt. fee

2. Logistics tech products – mostly in SaaS model

3. Integrated packaging and logistics services where the customer pays Holisol for using its packaging units, warehousing, and transportation services.

Holisol - Startup Launch and Marketing Strategies

In the beginning, it was the founders’ network across the industry that brought business on board. Slowly, the word-of-mouth spread based on the good work which helped in getting more business on board. Word-of-mouth marketing continues to be a big business contributor for Holisol. However, in the last 5 years, Holisol has built a robust digital marketing practice wherein the focus has been to increase the outreach to the target audience through digital channels like – SEO, Social Media Marketing and E-mail marketing campaigns by sharing its stories.

Holisol's digital marketing strategy is based on the quarterly themes it selects which is aligned with the business plans and goals. It builds campaigns around these themes and creates content around the key problem statement of the customers and industry and publishes them in the form of Blogs, Case Studies and Customer Success Stories. Along with this the team also creates Co-worker success stories to celebrate the excellence in its co-workers.

The key focus of Holisol for the marketing has been to reduce the sales efforts and increase Holisol’s outreach to the target customers and accelerate the pipeline with its digital marketing activities.

"What we focus on is insight-led marketing, our team focuses on building their understanding of the customers and their market. These insights are generated through the internal and external medium" Rahul added.

Holisol's internal program “HoliSoul” focusses on engaging the co-workers and build their marketing orientation to enable them to become the marketer. This helps in building engagement and the trust of its customers.

Along with this, Holisol has a “Peer Engagement” program wherein it invites leaders from the industry for a Masterclass and with this, the team also expands the network of Holisol’s friends to enhance its word-of-mouth marketing activities.

Holisol uses these insights in building the content which provides valuable information and helps in solving the queries of the target customers. It values the time audience spends on its digital channels; Holisol aims to learn about them and serve them with the information they are looking for.

"There is a major dearth of talents in the supply chain logistics industry and at Holisol from the starting, we have put great emphasis on the learning and development of our people which contributed to the success of our customer’s business and their professional growth as well"  says Rahul S Dogar, Co-founder & MD, Holisol

“Celebrating the Excellence in Holisolian” is a marketing campaign wherein Holisol focused on both internal and external communication of co-worker success stories. During this campaign, it recognized the co-workers and shared their story internally and externally both. It created a positive impact by boosting morale and inspiring its people, this also contributed to maintaining the high quality of services and products which made its customer’s happy and successful. This further means building more opportunity with existing customers and increasing the confidence of the target customers in entrusting their supply chain logistics to Holisol.


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Holisol - Challenges Faced

Initially, the team faced challenges in scaling-up as there were not many takers for concepts like multi-user facilities and re-usable packaging. These were also the concepts that needed to be built with a lot of depth in conceptualizing, designing, and engineering. Finding the right talent was a huge challenge with talent wars going on for supply chain professionals. The team at Holisol decided to take a little longer route and decided to build rather than buy, which has helped them deeply ingrain their engineering DNA, problem-solving, customer-centric attitude, and value-based culture.

One major change Holisol faced was in 2016-17 when it started building last-mile capability. Within a year it realized the key challenge related to the price-war with the heavily funded core player in this segment and increasing the market share. So, the team built the network and later scaled it down and went back to focus on their core competencies i.e., multi-channel fulfilment and packaging & logistics.

Holisol - Growth and Revenue

Holisol has a pan-India presence and manages close to one million square feet of fulfilment space spread across 25+ fulfilment centers, 60+ hyperlocal fulfilment centers and 30+ integrated packaging sites. Holisol serves 80+ large global and domestic brands across all its lines of business.

"In the next 18 months, we intend to add 20 new fulfilment centers and 200 hyperlocal centers to our network while increasing our reach to 95% of the consumption market" anticipates Rahul, Co-founder & MD, Holisol

In FY 21, Holisol turned EBIDTA profitable. Its models have got validated and are scaling up fast. Holisol is already at an ARR of INR 170 CR.

"We will do INR 240 CR. in FY 22, posting a growth of 80%" Rahul added.

Holisol - Funding and Investors

Holisol has raised a total funding of $27.24 Mn to date. It's most recent funding was led by Northern Arc Capital in May 2021 for USD 3Mn in the form of debt.

Holisol's Funding and Investors details are as follows -

Date Stage Amount Investors
2013 Angel Round USD 1.5 Mn Sundeep Bhandari-promoted Datavision Systems Pvt. Ltd.
2015 - USD 10 Mn CLSA Capital Partners
2017 - USD 10 Mn CLSA Capital Partners
2019 Debt USD 2.74 Mn Black Soil
May 2021 Debt Fund USD 3 Mn Northern Arc Capital

The first angel round happened in 2013, raising USD 1.5m from Sundeep Bhandari promoted Datavision Systems Pvt. Ltd. In 2015, Holisol raised USD 10 Mn from CLSA Capital Partners and in 2017, CLSA did a follow-on round of USD 10 Mn followed by USD 2.74 Mn debt from Black Soil in 2019. On May 21, 2021, Holisol raised a debt of USD 3 Mn from Northern Arc Capital.

Holisol has been consistently witnessing a surge in demand from its customers for its reliable digitized fulfilment services and the fund raised helped in fulfilling this demand and accelerate its growth further.

Holisol - Advisors and Mentors

Holisol's mentor is Mr. Virendra Negi, his experience of investing, building businesses and mentoring entrepreneurs have brought deep insights into Holisol and helps the team in strategizing, building leadership and execute better.

Holisol - Acquisitions and Mergers

Holisol acquired Directship Fulfilment Services Private Limited in Jan 2017 and Vishwakarma Innovative Engineers Pvt. Ltd. in 2017


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Holisol - Competitors

DHL, Delhivery, Ecom Express, Safe Express, K&N, FM Logistics, Mahindra Logistics, Stellar, LI & Fung, Bollore, Expeditors are some of Holisol's competitors.

Tools used by Holisol to run the company

Holisol has a high-tech orientation, and the team works consistently in making all its activities and functions tech-enabled.

  • For organisation efficiency, Holisol has implemented the tech tool dOpEx (Daily Operational Excellence) which helps in managing the day-to-day task efficiently.
  • For people development and measuring the performance, Holisol has implemented dtalk (Development Talk) where the it breaks down the company's yearly goal in the quarterly themes and create KPIs and Projects around them and review them on a quarterly basis to ensure faster alignment with the overall goals.
  • For managing HR activities, the team has implemented Holistart and for finance, we have developed Holibook.
  • For Omni-channel fulfilment the company is using in-house developed technologyWMS (Warehouse Management System), DMS (Delivery Management System), Holiscope (Last-Mile Delivery Management System), TMS (Transport Management System), OCFS (Omni-channel fulfilment solution), PnP (Pick and Pack System)
  • For Packaging, Holisol has implemented HOPS (Holisol Outbound Packaging System), ULMS (Unit Load Management System), YMS (Yard Management System)
  • Apart from these, the company is using AI tools – PPC (Production Planning & Control), DAP (Dispatch Allocation Planning), iGrid – Logistics Supergrid.
  • For managing its sales activities, Holisol has developed Holisight.

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Holisol - Recognition and Achievements

Holisol Logistics Pvt. Ltd. has received the prestigious award of “Emerging Company in Logistics Service Industry” category at Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) SCALE Awards 2016 on 16th December 2016.

Holisol - Future Plans

Holisol's mission is to set up 100 FCs and 800 HFCs to create a seamlessly connected logistics super grid by 2025 and enable customer success through its platform.

Holisol - FAQs

What is Holisol Logistics?

Holisol offers multi-channel fulfilment solutions for B2C & B2B businesses spanning across retail, fashion, lifestyle, FMCG, online marketplaces and auto industries. It also provides integrated packaging, logistics and returnable solutions to automobile, farm equipment & heavy engineering businesses.

Who founded Holisol?

Holisol was co-founded by Manish Ahuja, Naveen Rawat and Rahul S Dogar in 2009.

How much funding has Holisol raised?

Holisol has raised a total funding of $27.24 Mn to date. It's most recent funding was led by Northern Arc Capital in May 2021 for USD 3Mn in the form of debt.

Who are the competitors of Holisol?

Holisol claims these companies as its competitors - DHL, Delhivery, Ecom Express, Safe Express, K&N, FM Logistics, Mahindra Logistics, Stellar, LI & Fung, Bollore, Expeditors.

How does Holisol make money?

Holisol makes money by offering warehousing and fulfilment services charged on variable or fixed basis, by providing its Logitech product in SaaS model and also by providing integrated packaging & logistics service.

Is Holisol an Indian Company?

Yes. Holisol is an Indian Company headquartered in Delhi, India

How much is Holisol's Turnover?

In FY 21, Holisol turned EBIDTA profitable. Its models have got validated and are scaling up fast. Holisol is already at an ARR of INR 170 CR. "We will do INR 240 CR. in FY 22, posting a growth of 80%" Rahul (Co-founder of Holisol) says.

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