I Set­ting the house in or­der to sail through tur­bu­lence

With an ex­pe­ri­ence of over 20 years in the lo­gis­tics busi­ness, Shankar Chat­ter­jee, Chair­man & Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor, S Cube Trans Con­ti­nen­tal Group, main­tains that the lo­gis­tics and sup­ply chain in­dus­try in In­dia needs to be well-struc­tured through proper pla

Cargo Talk - - Contents -

It is iron­i­cal to re­alise that, while on one side that global au­to­mo­tive lo­gis­tics is a trade with a busi­ness po­ten­tial of US$ 125 bil­lion; but on the other end of the spec­trum, we are cap­sized with the fact that there are low de­mands across the in­dus­try. Most large projects are ei­ther on a “go slow” mode or sim­ply halted- the coun­try’s eco­nomic slow-down, weak in­vestor con­fi­dence are all the rea­sons for such a sce­nario. Com­pound­ing the prob­lem, the global econ­omy has been un­der­go­ing its own share of prob­lems, too.

Fi­nan­cial un­cer­tainty, cou­pled with po­lit­i­cal com­plex­ity, is ad­versely af­fect­ing the over­all lo­gis­tics plat­form, which in turn is af­fect­ing In­dia, too. Sus­tain­ing growth is a huge chal­lenge for many or­gan­i­sa­tions in this busi­ness, and this is so ap­par­ent from var­i­ous lev­els of re-trench­ments and lay­offs one of­ten comes across in this busi­ness; which was not so in ear­lier times.

The most sig­nif­i­cant of all chal­lenges fac­ing this trade is the as­pect of very poor in­fra­struc­ture set-up. While some ef­forts were ear­lier made in this di­rec­tion with the cre­ation of a golden quad­ran­gle; there are lit­er­ally miles to go to ac­com­plish the re­quired re­sults. Ev­ery­thing else, di­rectly or in­di­rectly stems out, of this prob­lem. If In­dia

builds the roads, the roads will build a new In­dia.

Com­pli­ance re­lated as­pects were com­pro­mised for decades in this busi­ness. While the trade is grad­u­ally evolv­ing, there is still a wide gap be­tween anti-cor­rup­tion re­lated norms and what is of­ten con­strued and ac­tu­alised as against it.

‘Dog-eat-dog’ kind of pric­ing bat­tles to gain busi­ness at ‘any cost’ takes a toll on ser­vice qual­ity, and sev­eral other im­por­tant as­pects re­lated to lo­gis­tics.

And, our people/ pro­fes­sion­als, who form both the ‘ hard­ware’ and ‘soft­ware’ of this busi­ness, kind of grow more by de­fault and ex­pe­ri­ence, but of­ten not re­ally struc­tured through any plan to then de­velop and at­tain busi­ness ex­per­tise!

Role of Gov­ern­ments & In­dus­try The Govern­ment of In­dia/ States along­side all pol­icy- mak­ers need to re­lax on con­trols and re­sort to a far more com­pli­men­tary fa­cil­i­ta­tor’s role. They need to de­vote time, money, in­vest­ments and en­ergy into build­ing qual­ity in­fra­struc­ture at all lev­els, not just for ma­jor cities, ports and air­ports. If the gen­eral in­fra­struc­ture de­vel­ops, the trade in gen­eral will im­prove and boost the econ­omy per

se. The ques­tion again, is when will the govern­ment come up with a fo­cussed plan to evolve and cre­ate the na­tional in­fra­struc­ture?

It is high time that lo­gis­tics ser­vice providers are now el­e­vated to a class called Busi­ness Part­ners! With­out lo­gis­tics sup­port, noth­ing moves. Hence, the man­u­fac­tur­ers need to fac­tor in a cer­tain cost to­wards de­mand­ing and en­sur­ing qual­ity with 100 per cent com­pli­ance. Do­ing the fun­da­men­tal plan­ning and cost­ing right, is more than win­ning half the bat­tle.

In­dia is un­doubt­edly a po­ten­tial su­per­power in the world eco­nomic map, in terms of its busi­ness po­ten­tial, growth, di­ver­sity, trained man­power both for blue­and white- col­lar jobs. In­dia is no longer only an in­vest­ment des­ti­na­tion/ mar­ket. In­dia is now on its thresh­old of be­com­ing a global sourc­ing hub for the world mar­ket. China gains an in­fras­truc­tural edge over In­dia; but a growth- driven one on the wheels of solid democ­racy is more ro­bust, and need­less to add, even ev­er­last­ing. With a lit­tle boost to­wards In­dian in­fra­struc­ture and con­scious­ness to­wards im­por­tant el­e­ments like Qual­ity, Safety, Se­cu­rity, Com­pli­ance - In­dia should be­come a large global sup­plier on the world stage. This, in turn, can only aug­ment the sup­ply- chain busi­ness in gen­eral.

Hav­ing un­der­taken lo­gis­tics ac­tiv­i­ties for all the ma­jor au­to­mo­tive gi­ants, in­clud­ing the an­cil­liary sup­port in­dus­try; I am con­fi­dent that In­dia has all it needs to be the finest au­toma­tive hub from South Asia. Our coastal wa­ters only help us to­wards fa­cil­i­tat­ing these ex­ports, where ship­ping plays a rather sig­nif­i­cant role. Let us not for­get In­dia opened its gates to­wards global econ­omy, driv­ing on the wheels of the au­toma­tive trade, which is also a huge eco­nomic in­di­ca­tor.

We need ef­fi­cient part­ners, as much as our cus­tomers need to fo­cus on their own core busi­ness, al­low­ing true pro­fes­sion­als to un­der­take their lo­gis­tics busi­ness

Shankar Chat­ter­jee Chair­man & Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor, S Cube Trans

Con­ti­nen­tal Group

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