Pub­lic-Pri­vate Par­tic­i­pa­tion can im­prove the lo­gis­tics sce­nario

Car­gotalk, strikes up a con­ver­sa­tion with Mad­hukar Subra­ma­nian, Branch Head – Mum­bai, DIESL, who talks about the ware­hous­ing sit­u­a­tion in In­dia, build­ing re­quired in­fra­struc­ture and im­ple­men­ta­tion of GST.

Cargo Talk - - Contents - CT BUREAU

How do you feel is the ware­hous­ing sit­u­a­tion in In­dia?

The ware­hous­ing in­dus­try is un­der­go­ing a trans­for­ma­tion. We are see­ing con­sol­i­da­tion of ware­houses in the coun­try with com­pa­nies choos­ing to op­ti­mise dis­tri­bu­tion costs by con­sol­i­dat­ing Dis­tri­bu­tion Cen­tres. There is also an emerg­ing adop­tion of tech­nol­ogy in Ware­house op­er­a­tions with in­creased us­age of au­to­ma­tion tools like Ware­house and Trans­port Man­age­ment sys­tems. At DIESL, we have aligned our of­fer­ings with this trend and of­fer leading IT tools to our cus­tomers. With com­pa­nies em­bark­ing on Ven­dor Con­sol­i­da­tion, it is also be­com­ing im­por­tant for ware­house oper­a­tors to in­te­grate de­liv­ery ca­pa­bil­i­ties with their ser­vice of­fer­ings. The em­pha­sis on Health & Safety has also in­creased in re­cent times. DIESL has re­sponded to this by plac­ing em­pha­sis on safety pro­ce­dures and ap­point­ing safety of­fi­cers and Emer­gency Re­sponse Teams ( ERT) in all fa­cil­i­ties and of­fices.

The ware­hous­ing in­dus­try is ex­pected to show a growth of 35-40 per cent in In­dia. Would you agree with this state­ment?

Our es­ti­mates are more mod­est at ~15% growth in the short- to medium-term. With this be­ing an elec­tion year, we don’t ex­pect to see any im­me­di­ate ma­jor ini­tia­tives from the Cen­tral Govern­ment that will boost the econ­omy and lo­gis­tics in­dus­try to a large ex­tent.

What are the chal­lenges faced by the or­gan­ised ware­hous­ing play­ers in In­dia?

Avail­abil­ity of skilled/qual­ity man­power re­mains a big chal­lenge. Or­gan­ised ware­hous­ing play­ers also face height­ened

With com­pa­nies em­bark­ing on Ven­dor Con­sol­i­da­tion, it is also be­com­ing im­por­tant for ware­house oper­a­tors to in­te­grate de­liv­ery ca­pa­bil­i­ties with their ser­vice of­fer­ings. The em­pha­sis on Health & Safety has also in­creased in re­cent times” Mad­hukar Subra­ma­nian Branch Head – Mum­bai, DIESL

com­pe­ti­tion from low-cost un­or­gan­ised oper­a­tors where com­pli­ance to wage laws is not the high­est pri­or­ity. In some cases, in­fra­struc­ture hur­dles like con­tin­u­ous power sup­ply and net­work and sur­face con­nec­tiv­ity pose chal­lenges to op­er­a­tions on a day to day ba­sis. At DIESL, we en­sure that such chal­lenges are an­tic­i­pated well in ad­vance and mit­i­ga­tion plans drawn when we roll-out projects for our cus­tomers.

What are your sug­ges­tions to im­prove the sit­u­a­tion of lo­gis­tics and ware­hous­ing in In­dia?

Im­ple­men­ta­tion of GST will lead to lo­gis­tics-ef­fi­cient sup­ply chains as against the tax-ef­fi­cient de­signs that are more preva­lent to­day. Fo­cus on build­ing in­fra­struc­ture and con­nec­tiv­ity to in­te­rior ar­eas will also help in im­prov­ing the sit­u­a­tion. Lo­gis­tics sce­nario in In­dia can keep im­prov­ing due to PPP for in­fra­struc­ture and land de­vel­op­ment projects, and re­forms by the govern­ment. While the qual­ity of ware­hous­ing may not be at par with those seen in de­vel­oped western economies in the next 5 years, in­vest­ments in in­fra­struc­ture, au­to­ma­tion, tech­nol­ogy, and en­gage­ment lev­els will def­i­nitely lead us in the right di­rec­tion.

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