A Chat with Akash Gupta, CTO at GreyOrange: Automating Warehouse Fulfilment

Akash Gupta

GreyOrange was founded in 2011 by myself and my business partner, Samay. We both had a passion for AI-driven software, machine learning and robotics, so decided to combine them to solve challenges those in the fulfilment industry were facing. Our goal has always been to provide right fit fulfilment, creating operational efficiency and giving brands the tools to meet consumer demands for immediacy. As omnichannel and eCommerce has become a priority for many retailers, it is also a priority for us to enable these operations for our customers.  

The rise in eCommerce has created a need for retailers to optimise their online channels, this includes fulfilment. Without right fit fulfilment, retailers can’t offer next or same-day delivery, can’t guarantee when products will arrive or how long returns processes will be. Modern fulfilment demands cannot be met with technology built for a time when online channels were not a priority and 5-7 day shipping was considered fast, meaning retailers must invest in solutions that give customers what they are asking for: convenience, control and speed.  

We have worked for the last 10 years to create and develop our flagship offering, the GreyMatter Fulfilment Operating System to meet the ever-changing demands consumers ask of retailers. GreyMatter continuously solves to drive optimal decisions and rapid execution across the entire fulfilment operation, this allows our customers to adapt to peaks and troughs in demand and prepare effectively for periods of increased activity. The system combines the people in fulfilment centres with AI and robotics to drive high yield operations and create a frictionless, end-to-end performance. 

GreyOrange unveils Butler XL warehouse robotics system | Post & Parcel

How did you come up with
the idea for the company? 


I met my fellow GreyOrange co-founder Samay at school. We have known each other for a long time and have worked closely for several years before starting GreyOrange. We worked on a robotics team whilst in school and competed in several robotics competitions together.  

At the end of our first year of college, we were offered an internship at the University of Louisiana which gave us the opportunity to work on some major robotics-based projects. This experience also gave us major insight into the industry and some great work experience. Working on these projects was eye-opening and lots of opportunities came from this, one of which was being invited to take part in workshops at colleges across India. We were making kits for these workshops as well as building products for other companies when the idea of starting a robotics company was first brought up by Samay. The initial concept for this was to use a combination of elegant hardware and complex software.  

We thought the supply chain and fulfilment industry had lots of potential and really needed a solution that could transform how brands looked at fulfilment. I had visited warehouses and noticed that a lot could be done to optimise the operations. From here we built our software and hardware with the aim to increase efficiency in fulfilment centres- the rest is history! 



How has the company evolved during the pandemic? 


The pandemic has caused demand for our products to surge. The rise in eCommerce caused larger order volumes than ever, and retailers were struggling. We have seen a lot more interest in omnichannel operations and questions around how retailers can achieve this. Using AI software and robotic fulfilment technology is the way to go. By combining them in operations, retailers can streamline the process and respond to consumer demands with flexibility and ease. 

The supply chain and fulfilment have been hit hard by the pandemic, especially with staff shortages due to social distancing and people being forced to self-isolate. The industry has had to evolve to cope with these changes, us included. As fewer people were present in fulfilment centres, our robots took a larger role in a lot more fulfilment operations. This was another cause of the increase in demand for fulfilment solutions.  


What can we hope to see from GreyOrange in the future? 


We are currently experiencing a period of expansion at GreyOrange, moving into the EMEA and LATAM regions. Expanding into these new territories is allowing us to offer our products to a larger audience and allow more retailers to experience the benefits of right fit fulfilment. We believe that fulfilment technology is only at the beginning of its journey and has a lot to offer to businesses across the globe now, and in the future.  

Another one of our priorities is partnering with other experts in the industry to provide support and an all-round solution for our customers. These partnerships are supporting our move into new regions as we leverage their expertise and supply chain experience to give our customers industry-leading robotics solutions. We are very excited about these partnerships and are looking forward to developing strategic relationships with a selection of specialists in the sector around the globe.  

Evolving our product offering according to consumer demands and customer needs is also something we are committed to at GreyOrange, and something we look to do continuously. We want to empower our customers so that they are able to adapt to the changing landscape and react to their customers’ needs with agility and flexibility, whether that is optimising the returns process or responding to the demand for immediacy and same-day delivery. We want to continue to support our customers on their fulfilment journey in the near future and beyond.