We Turn 5 Today!
In conversation with Pranav Goel, CEO and co-founder of Porter. On our 5th anniversary, he talks about the birth of Porter and his vision for the company. The success our company has achieved in the span of 5 years is visible on his face as he glows with excitement and enthusiasm while talking about his most ‘invaluable possession’. He is all smiles, as he answers the questions. Read on to know more.
Can you tell me about your story prior to Porter?
I spent the first 10 years in Delhi then shifted to Gujarat which completely broadened my cultural viewpoint. Following the logical steps to IIT, I then moved to Kota and straight to IIT Kharagpur. I was initially not very excited to move to a place I considered small but this place changed my perspective and shaped me. Kharagpur humbled me, making me value substance over show. After graduating I joined cognizant where I worked for 6 months. I then moved to JP Morgan. These jobs did not feel right. I come from a business family and always wanted to start something of my own. I met my co-founders Uttam in Kharagpur and knew Vikas since Kota. Porter was Uttam’s idea. We saw an opportunity to start our own company and grabbed it. There were a lot of LCV’s that were not being used to their full potential and the need to fix this demand and supply problem gave rise to Porter. The last 5 years have been a great learning curve for me and I would not trade this for the world!
How does it feel to follow your passion?
To be able to create a difference, however, small gives me great satisfaction. I am one of the privileged people who can do what they want to do. I wake up excited every day and that excitement has not gone down in the past 5 years.
Today is Porter’s 5th Anniversary. Are you nervous, exhilarated or excited? How does it feel to be continually moving towards your dream?
I am beyond excited! Each year has been better than the last for us. This year has been one of the biggest and best for our company. Now we have a place in the market and I feel finally we deserve to exist. On a scale of 10, we are now at a 5, so I believe there is a lot more left to achieve. It gives me great satisfaction to see our dream playing out in reality. We plan to fully transform intracity logistics in India. For the next two years, we will focus on India. Once we have exhausted all possible avenues and made a difference in India then we can then look at larger markets but our primary concern is to solve the problems in Indian Integrated logistics.
What is your current area of focus on the occasion of Porter’s 5th Anniversary?
It took us a while to translate our thoughts and plans into action. Our business model validation is done and henceforth we will focus primarily on blitz scaling!
Instead of CEO would you prefer to be addressed using any other title? (Entrepreneur, Developer, Pioneer)
I would like to be a developer as I think it will give me a good learning opportunity. It would be a complete black box for me giving me, great potential to learn and explore.
Who are your role models in life and what did they teach you?
First and foremost my father. He taught me empathy toward people. I also learnt a lot from my family. They always said that you always get more than you give so be kind first. My business role model is Sunil Bharati Mittal for the fact that he built a large phenomenal business in a very short span of time and went from being an underdog to an achiever.
Why do you call the drivers who join Porter, Partners?
Anytime there is an accident, the driver is beaten up even if its not his fault in the very least. People do not have any respect for this profession. Truck drivers are considered untouchables in India and this needed to change. We need our driver-partner community to flourish and get the economic and societal position they deserve. This helps when they earn to the best of their abilities. We place our partners at par with our customers and give them the respect this profession deserves. We are their partners by choice, not compulsion and we plan to keep it that way.
How has your role grown in these last 5 remarkable years?
My role is more strategical now whereas initially, it was more tactical involving a lot of hands-on work. I think I work more width now, and depth is brought in by others.
What would you like to say about your team on the company’s 5th Anniversary?
I am privileged to have people that stay and put up with us! I have an amazing pool of talented and brilliant people who treat Porter like their own, nothing less! We truly have better people than we deserve.
What kind of a legacy would you like to leave behind in Integrated Logistics 30–40 years down the line?
I hope Porter, its culture, values and ethics outlasts its co-founders. We want to build a lasting institution that far outlives us. Porter should always be synonymous with all that is good in business.
Favourite Book: Lord of the Rings
Favourite Movie: The Dark Knight
Favourite Song: Luka Chuppi, Rang de Basanti
Favourite Restaurant: Sammy Sosa
Favourite Dish: Dal Makhani
Dream Destination: Northern lights in Norway
Favourite Destination: Pokhara, Nepal
Favourite Hobby: Listening to Music
Favourite Shows: Stranger Things season 1, Mirzapur, Sacred Games
Favourite Drink: Orange Juice
Describe yourself in 3 words: Highly Opinionated, Inconsistent and Kind
What you would never leave the house without: My smartphone
Most Invaluable Possession: Porter (but of course)!