When we decided to pen down Our Story – we thought of all the stuff that the five of us would want
to talk about.
The Romance of a Start-up that grew out of a co-founder’s home.
The Passion with which we come to work every day (because it’s not work).
The Struggle to grow from an idea to a product.
The Support & Affection which we found in an industry where we still are the “outsiders”.
The People who have been a part of our journey, and now our individual lives.
Those would be long stories – best shared over a hot cup of coffee or better yet, cold mugs of beer.
If you want to hear more about those, just drop us a line -and we’d happy to have you over (and
even foot the bill).
For now, we’ll stick to the simple story of what happens when five novices, who have never been on
a ship (well, Anand had briefly visited one) get together and start working with the Ocean Shipping
Industry. Only one of two things can happen – Drown, in the sheer vastness of this industry, or build
a completely different way to do things.
We already had a successful company Esfera & Aster ( www.esfera-aster.com ; www.360tna.com) when we decided to do something completely different. Save the world. And
since that was too tough (and you can’t compete with The Avengers), we did something different.
That something different became ODeX - An Online Document Exchange Platform.
ODeX – a fairly simple idea. Connect stakeholders. Manage their workflow. Collect Payments. ODeX -
The Facebook, Uber and AirBnB of Shipping.
Sounds Easy – until reality set in fairly early – when we almost drowned – in the sea of documents
that needed to be managed by any person trying to ship - say a pen - from China to India. In trying to
build a coherent workflow that would connect multiple stakeholders exchanging a multitude of
documents. In the challenges of ensuring that payments reach the right beneficiary, at the right
time, in the right places.
But above all the greatest challenge was to find believers. The whole idea that all stakeholders of
EXIM Trade would come onto a single platform and transact, was deemed impossible – though we
were not the first to moot the idea.
Finally, after almost a year of hawking our vision we found support from KLine – which became our
anchor Carrier for many solutions. With them, and a few good mentors who helped us along, we
launched ODeX on 15 th May 2015.
Today ODeX is no longer just our vision. It is an Online Community – where Carriers, Yards, Port
Terminals, Custom Brokers, Forwarders, Shippers, Consignees and even Banks come together to get
things done. A Community of over 15,000 Businesses and 22,000 users in India alone – and growing
Along the way we built many firsts:
Real Time, Maker-Checker enabled B2B payment solutions
Multi-stakeholder workflow & documentation for Imports
Electronic Gate In at Port Terminals (Form 13)
Electronic Invoice Release and Delivery Order Release for EXIM Trade
VAN – a unique payment solution for Corporates
Short Term Credit Solutions for the EXIM Trade (with a partner)
And we will continue to deliver many more firsts – so that this industry, our community can win.
We are grateful to this industry, which embraced us and gave us not just an opportunity to build a business – but also gave us a mission in life. And to each of us individually, has given us lifelong friends who we wouldn’t have found if we were not here.
This is not just Our Story as founders. This is also the Story of Our Community, Our Industry.
And we promise that we will continue to contribute to this story and ensure that it remains a Great Story.