Of Lo­gis­tics and Busi­ness

The 18th IVY League ad­dressed the top­ics of De­sign­ing Busi­ness and Out­sourc­ing Lo­gis­tics for SMEs. For this, The IVY League Sub-Com­mit­tee of The Cloth­ing Man­u­fac­tur­ers As­so­ci­a­tion of In­dia (CMAI) ar­ranged for a two-speaker ses­sion for the first time. The

Apparel - - Contents -

A re­cap of the 18th IVY League, which ad­dressed the top­ics of De­sign­ing Busi­ness and Out­sourc­ing Lo­gis­tics for SMEs

On Thurs­day, 10th May 2018, the 18th IVY League meet­ing was held at the May­fair Ban­quets, Mum­bai. The ses­sion ad­dressed two im­por­tant top­ics: ‘Ways of Work­ing for a Prof­itable Growth’ and ‘Out­sourc­ing of Lo­gis­tics’. These were led by two ex­perts. As­pire In­fi­nite and TAB In­dia were the out­comes of Mr Kr­ish­nan’s long term fas­ci­na­tion with the SME (or as he calls it, the OMB – Owner Man­aged Busi­ness) Seg­ment and its in­her­ent Po­ten­tial and Value. Mr Ma­hesh Gupta is the Coun­try Man­ager, Lo­gis­tics – Sales, of Aramex In­ter­na­tional Ex­press – a Lead­ing Global Provider of Com­pre­hen­sive Lo­gis­tics and Trans­porta­tion So­lu­tions, Ex­press Courier De­liv­ery, Freight For­ward­ing, Sup­ply Chain Man­age­ment, E-Com­merce and Record Man­age­ment Ser­vices. Mr Gupta has enough knowl­edge of So­lu­tions on Lo­gis­tics/ Ware­hous­ing-Ser­vices. He pre­sented these to the Mem­bers and spoke about his prac­ti­cal ex­pe­ri­ence with the Gar­ment Seg­ment, and the Process, Tech­nol­ogy and in­di­ca­tions on Pric­ing Mod­els, etc.

Mr Vikas, who had un­der­gone men­tor­ship un­der Mr Kr­ish­nan, in­tro­duced him and spoke about how ben­e­fi­cial ses­sions with him are, “When we came un­der his guid­ance, we re­alised how our ap­proach was wrong and how we were lack­ing knowl­edge in some very im­por­tant as­pects of the busi­ness.” Hav­ing trained over 100 SMEs, Kr­ish­nan is an ex­pert in push­ing own­ers and busi­nesses in the di­rec­tion of progress. A short in­tro­duc­tion later, he took to the stage.


Mr Kr­ish­nan started the talk with a fun­da­men­tal ques­tion, “What comes to mind when I say de­sign?”. Then he added an­other ques­tion to ev­ery­body’s chain of thoughts, “Does any­one think of plan­ning while think­ing of de­sign?”. He went on to ex­plain how, along with cre­ativ­ity, de­sign needs struc­ture that can be mon­e­tised, which is the only way to make it sus­tain­able.

The ses­sion started with a re­quest - “Think like a con­sul­tant for 30 min­utes. Be with me.” He threw light on prob­lems that dif­fer­ent OMBs go through - Should the fo­cus solely be on build­ing a brand? If I part­ner with a third party e-com­merce plat­form, will I have to drop my prices dras­ti­cally? If I run a brand in­de­pen­dently, how do I mar­ket it? He sharply pointed out how man­u­fac­tur­ers love their prod­ucts more than their busi­ness to which most man­u­fac­tur­ers nod­ded in ap­proval. “Big jumps are needed, as own­ers, we tend to for­get that.”

An­other im­por­tant point Kr­ish­nan made was

that growth is never lin­ear, de­pend­ing on your moves, it’s ei­ther in­cre­men­tal or in­tru­sive. Ex­pect­ing own­er­ship from em­ploy­ees or to work to­wards a jump in the growth of sales isn’t fair, he en­cour­aged the own­ers to give a deep thought as to how they can turn their on­go­ing busi­ness into a sus­tain­able and prof­itable busi­ness.


Hav­ing cre­ated his own ter­mi­nol­ogy for risks, he said you should get your busi­ness to un­dergo ‘surgery’ reg­u­larly. “When the go­ing is good, opt for surgery. Ev­ery time your busi­ness makes prof­its and shows a sharp up­ward curve in terms of sales, find a rea­son to in­vest your money and ex­per­i­ment in­stead of spend­ing it all away so your busi­ness can en­joy the re­turns at some point.”

Be­fore wrap­ping up his talk, Kr­ish­nan asked all par­tic­i­pants to go home with three pow­er­ful thoughts; the first of which was, ‘What’s Your Exit Plan Go­ing To Be?’. All gath­ered own­ers put on their think­ing hats when Ra­mas Kr­ish­nan pre­sented the three pos­si­ble op­tions for an exit plan, viz, a) Wealth, b) Free­dom or c) Am­bi­tion. He re­quested all own­ers to think about where they see them­selves. While ex­plain­ing each point, he shared how he be­lieves that a busi­ness owner’s big­gest as­set is their gut and each and ev­ery­one should trust their own unique DNA, “For all big de­ci­sions, use your gut, for all small ones use ex­cel sheets.”

The sec­ond thought was, ‘Choose Your Value Ad­van­tage’. A busi­ness has many as­pects to con­sider while cre­at­ing a plan, but as an owner, you need to pick what your busi­ness should fo­cus on. “If as a busi­ness, you’re fo­cus­ing on all seg­ments, you’re mak­ing a mis­take.” Giv­ing China’s ex­am­ple, he as­serted how it’s rul­ing the mar­ket when it comes to mass pro­duc­tion, which is hap­pen­ing solely be­cause of their fo­cus on ‘Price’. He even gave a per­sonal mantra called the ‘T20-B10’ mantra to churn out data from their ex­ist­ing au­di­ences. “Fig­ure out who your top cus­tomers and prod­ucts are and the ones that oc­cupy the bot­tom 10 of that fun­nel. You’ll def­i­nitely gather some rather in­ter­est­ing in­sights.”

The third thought was to ‘Wear Mul­ti­ple Hats’. Busi­ness own­ers get to wear mul­ti­ple hats dur­ing the course of their ser­vice. Ze­ro­ing down on the hat that the sit­u­a­tion de­mands is the owner’s re­spon­si­bil­ity. He ended his ses­sion by leav­ing ev­ery­one with some­thing to think about, “Align your per­sonal vi­sion with your busi­ness goals.”


Mr Ma­hesh Gupta took over and dis­cussed the sec­ond topic which was ‘Out­sourc­ing Lo­gis­tics’. In his wel­come speech, a sat­is­fied cus­tomer men­tioned how he has gained peace while do­ing busi­ness by as­so­ci­at­ing with Aramex Lo­gis­tics and kicked off the talk on a pos­i­tive note.

He started the talk by say­ing, “You may have an in-house lo­gis­tics team, you may be look­ing for a team out­side, you may be man­ag­ing it without any ex­ter­nal help—what­ever stage you are at, I wel­come you all.” What sets Aramex apart is its client base; most of their clients are SMEs. Aramex has worked with 45 coun­tries in the past. Over the years, due to their highly flex­i­ble na­ture of work­ing, Aramex has grown and de­vel­oped its ser­vice based on feed­back. With the help of a de­tailed pre­sen­ta­tion, he walked the par­tic­i­pants through many fea­tures of Aramex like the pack­ag­ing op­tions, qual­ity check pa­ram­e­ters, ware­houses and the pro­cess­ing of or­ders.

Ma­hesh stressed how Aramex has teams in place to main­tain in­ven­tory ac­cu­racy. “Since we un­der­stand stor­age, we also un­der­stand fluc­tu­a­tion and we in­cor­po­rate it in our plan­ning so you have no rea­son to worry.” A sat­is­fied user of the ser­vices also spoke about how dis­patch­ing over 10,000 pieces dur­ing the fes­tive sea­son when most of the coun­try’s staff was on leave, was pos­si­ble be­cause of Aramex. “Their team is proac­tive and re­li­able. Grow­ing from a space of, say 800 sq ft to 3200 sq ft is not pos­si­ble to do all by your­self. Their sup­port makes it hap­pen.”


“We’re not very good at lo­gis­tics and re­port­ing. We’ll be vis­it­ing the premises of Aramex to see how it goes,” said Kapil Gupta, a man­u­fac­turer of men’s for­mal trousers, un­der the brand name To­pller.

“Both the speak­ers were very in­di­vid­u­al­is­tic as they both had a lot to share. We had a great time and I’m go­ing to fol­low up with both of them soon,” said Vidhi from a west­ern wear brand called B:Kind.

The at­ten­dees left feel­ing en­light­ened and hop­ing to see more such in­for­ma­tive and re­source­ful ses­sions soon.

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