Indian Forwarders will witness upturn in 2013: Sharma
With a sharp decline in exports in various fields owing to a slow down in domestic manufacturing and weak demand from major markets, there was a low growth which has been pegged at 5.8 per cent during the current fiscal year. SL Sharma, founder, Skyways G
Sharma feels that the Government has already taken some initiatives in the Foreign Trade Policy which will take little time to bear fruit and the industry can hope for some growth in the second half of 2012-2013. “The Government should look into the cost of credit which is adversely impacting export and manufacturing,” he said. He maintained that the government must continue to look into the need for improving logistics infrastructure across the country, so that Indian exporters can compete with their overseas competitors. “Improvement in roads, ports, airports, etc., directly impact the industry by facilitating smooth movement of inbound and outbound goods,” he explained.
According to Sharma, last couple of years have been challenging for the global businesses. He, however, observed that the upward swing, though very slow, has already started and with the required reforms, India’s growth will get a decent boost in the near future.
Commenting on the strategies of Skyways to stay afloat, Sharma shared, “We had anticipated the year 2012 to be a slow one and planned strategies based on this assumption. Since mid 2011, we have been diversifying our company strategy and energy in various products and verticals of Logistics. This spread helped us to grow in 2012.” With special efforts in imports, ocean freight and exhibition handling Skyways was able to grow this year over the previous one. “We intend to further make inroads in these products in 2013 while keeping the growth targets in place of our key strength – airfreight exports,” he added.
Skyways is planning to spread its footprints in 3-4 more cities in India in 2013. The company has already initiated its international plans by opening an office in Germany. “We intend to strengthen our presence in Germany and will further create Skyways footprint in another country in 2013. We will also strive to create a 3PL vertical as well,” Sharma informed.
Sharma was of the opinion that Indian freight forwarders are poised to play the greater role and the recently concluded 39th ACAAI Convention Istanbul was a great help in this regard. At this convention, they not only got an opportunity to exchange ideas among themselves but also interacted with logistics companies in Istanbul for exploring business tie-ups.