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Sandeep Deshmukh

PGPX 2011

CEO, Co-founder, ElasticRun


  • Sandeep Deshmukh is the Co-founder and CEO of ElasticRun and founded the company in 2016.
  • ElasticRun is a Deep-Reach Logistics technology platform, a key player in servicing the low-density remote areas of India. The ElasticRun platform would channel trade, finance, and data of $500 bn consumption in India through its network.
  • Currently, ElasticRun’s company provides livelihood to over 25,000+ partners with ~1,200+ full-time employees.
  • The company’s network has been built to service 28 states and over 400+ cities in India.
  • ElasticRun is a pioneer in several technology disruptions in the Indian transportation and logistics space. All technology innovations are protected by patents. The company has filed over five patents in the USA and India. Under Sandeep’s leadership, ElasticRun has been able to attract some of the top-tier executives from global organisations.

What does the award mean to you?

This award means a lot. First of all, on the entrepreneurial journey, it is very uncertain. You have near-collapse experiences every single day, and your destination is never in sight. In that uncertain journey, an award like this is a big event. It is a stabilising event, a fact that recognition from his type of teacher cohort or the peer cohort, means something. It is a big motivating factor for the journey ahead.

You mentioned you went and worked for Amazon. What is it that pushed you towards entrepreneurship and towards taking that plunge?

I think the goal of entrepreneurship, that itch, was always there. When I moved from technology to go for the MBA, I think my search was not complete then, I did not know what exactly to do. And I thought that MBA is what I wanted to do. During my time on the campus, clarity dawned that I need to do something on the creative side and I need to build something. I would have as much as I would have loved to do something straight out of college but that was not possible for me then. Joining Amazon was a great experience. I learnt quite a lot there in terms of building businesses, and then taking the itch of entrepreneurship and execution experience at Amazon, became the right combination to launch this venture.

You started ElasticRun in 2016 and it became a unicorn in 2022. What was it at IIMA specifically that you think helped you to take that leap?

I think two things–this is where I started knowing myself—what I can do, cannot do, what I will strive to do or what will keep me engaged. I realised that I would enjoy building something and creating something. I came in here as a techie—with analytical and straight-line thinking, this is where the transition happened from analytical techie to understanding business in business terms.

Elastic Run has done exceptionally well–400 plus brands and 80,000 plus villages and 26 states. What were the key elements that enabled you to grow at that pace?

First of all, the market that you are targeting has to be large enough. Even if you want to build a 50 to 100-billion-dollar company, that market should allow you to build that, the potential has to be there. The second area is, you want to know what you can solve. What we knew was operations and technology. If it was a game which was heavily marketing-oriented, we probably would have lost that match. We stuck to our guns that operational technology and operational skill set were our ticket. We played into the domain where we could establish the product market fit and establish the unit economies. Once that is established, you can scale the business. I think those are three that helped us to win that market. We are nowhere close to the end game yet.

What would your advice be to somebody wanting to go walk in your steps and wanting to start a start-up or take the plunge into entrepreneurship

I will talk about my journey. I always wanted to do an entrepreneurship journey. For a few years, I told myself that if I had more experience, I would be better suited for entrepreneurship. It does not work like that. Even in my job profile, what I did last year does not correlate with what I’m doing this year. So even if you work for five years in some organized setup, there is very little takeaway when you launch because you almost have to build everything from scratch and learn yourself. So you might as well do that straight off the bat. If you want to do it, do it now. There’s absolutely nothing that you gain by postponing the decision.



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