Shishir Gokhale, CEO & Co-Founder, Dista

Shishir Gokhale is the CEO and Co-Founder of Dista. A dynamic and performance-oriented leader, he brings over 25 years of experience across technology, consulting, delivery operations, business development, and scaling business units. He has been instrumental in running the business in organizations like CTP, Mindtree, and MediaAgility.


The COVID-19 pandemic pushed businesses to pivot their strategies and adopt new technologies to align with the challenging times. An IBM survey shows that companies accelerated digital transformation at close to 60% owing to the pandemic. With changing government restrictions and increasing health risks, the service industry in India comprising delivery of food, medicines, and other essentials leveraged AI-based technologies like location intelligence (LI) to fulfil customer requirements successfully.

Here’s how Dista helped companies ensure a seamless last-mile delivery experience during the pandemic.

Route optimization and resource forecasting

Our LI platform offered route optimization to help delivery agents maintain their delivery SLAs. With Dista, you can define zones by pin codes, drawing them on the map, or inheriting ward definitions. To keep abreast with the changing rules and traffic patterns, our smart systems helped restaurants redefine their serviceable areas. This helped them align and manage resources, thereby catering to previously unserviceable regions due to distance and traffic constraints. We also provided businesses with market mapping that helped them identify favourable and potential markets for opening new outlets.

Territorial-based delivery planning 

Our clients leveraged one of our key features of creating and updating regions and rules for delivery zones. They managed to easily map areas with specific regulations of essential and non-essential deliveries allowed in different zones. We also added a vital feature of including the delivery representatives’ details, body temperature to enhance the customer experience. These features were further customized as we saw what information was crucial for customer safety.

DaaS provider orchestration

To meet the increasing demand for delivery services during the pandemic, businesses managed self riders and third-party DaaS (Delivery as a service) providers. Our delivery management software facilitated smooth orchestration and easy integrations with DaaS players.

Catering to changing customer operations

Besides combating delivery zone challenges, one of the key learnings during the pandemic was aligning services to the sudden shift in the way customers were operating. Dista was designed keeping in mind that deliveries needed to be more efficient, keeping location as the focal point. Several organizations still fail to consider location as a critical business component while forming their customer strategies. This is a pivotal metric owing to the multifold use of maps and mobile devices. We’ve helped numerous organizations from various industries with region mapping and management capabilities across the globe. Dista’s systems have enabled significant small restaurants to deliver seamlessly via their in-house staff at considerably lower costs. This helped them bid adieu to hefty commission fees to food delivery aggregators and deliver meals to their customers via touchless deliveries and enhance customer satisfaction.

Several restaurants and small outlets that used third-party delivery personnel previously opted to use their own workforce for deliveries. A key reason was finding ways to re-employ their existing people – instead of letting them go – and cost savings. The pandemic has tweaked delivery equations; for e.g., few companies used Mumbai dabbawalas on a trial basis for food delivery. This gave them much-needed job opportunities and offered these organizations a good delivery workforce backbone. Dista being an agile and robust platform, orchestrated all of the above scenarios within a couple of days.

A deeper focus on dynamic scheduling and routing

We are focusing more on future platform updates related to dynamic scheduling and routing. This will help organizations make tweaks to their offerings with changing circumstances and restrictions. Dista has an excellent balance of managing operations automatically and manually, giving our clients more options to adapt to sudden and frequent changes quickly. 

Final thoughts

The repercussions of the pandemic will be felt for years to come. It is imperative for leaders to understand the changing business conditions and leverage location technology to support their organizations during the crisis and beyond.

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