Cre­at­ing more pro­fes­sion­als

De­spite the huge man­power in In­dia, there is a short­age of skilled pro­fes­sion­als in the lo­gis­tics in­dus­try. But some in­sti­tutes of­fer pro­grammes to bridge the skill gap.

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The in­dus­try con­tributes around 13 per cent to the coun­try’s GDP but is suf­fer­ing from skill gap at all lev­els, from se­nior and mid­dle man­age­ment to the op­er­a­tional level. A re­port by Na­tional Skill De­vel­op­ment Cor­po­ra­tion (NSDC) also says that In­dia will need around 28.4 mil­lion strong work­force in trans­porta­tion, lo­gis­tics, ware­hous­ing and pack­ag­ing sec­tors. Make in In­dia is the new buzz word on which hopes lie for cre­ation of mil­lions of jobs. To meet this de­mand, there is a dire need for ad­e­quate skills. On the need for learn­ing,

Raju Ganesh Sun­der, Pro­fes­sor and Aca­demic Head– Cen­tre for Con­tin­u­ing Ed­u­ca­tion, UPES, notes, “The man­u­fac­tur­ing in­dus­try has un­der­gone dra­matic changes in the last cou­ple of decades. As ‘cus­tomer is the king’, the de­mand is for best qual­ity with the fastest de­liv­ery across con­ti­nents. The scope for the field is in­creas­ing with sup­ply chain spend­ing grow­ing faster than the over­all econ­omy and in­dus­try recog­nis­ing the im­por­tance of Sup­ply Chain Man­age­ment (SCM).”

Capt. Ramanujam, Chief Ex­ec­u­tive Of­fi­cer, Lo­gis­tics Sec­tor Skill Coun­cil, says, “Lo­gis­tics has not been de­clared an in­dus­try by the gov­ern­ment. It is more in the na­ture of sup­port­ing man­u­fac­tur­ing func­tions or clubbed with EXIM cargo move­ment by sea or air. We need to chan­nelise our ef­forts to turn this un­or­gan­ised sec­tor into an or­gan­ise­done. With the evolv­ing busi­ness en­vi­ron­ment cre­at­ing a strong de­mand for qual­ity and ef­fi­cient lo­gis­tics ser­vices, core is­sues around en­abling in­fra­struc­ture, reg­u­la­tory en­vi­ron­ment and the frag­mented na­ture of the in­dus­try are be­ing over­come grad­u­ally. Bet­ter wages and a bet­ter work en­vi­ron­ment are the key trig­gers to mak­ing any job as­pi­ra­tional.” “The youth do not know what lo­gis­tics is and the ca­reers in it. The need is to un­der­take mass con­tact pro­grammes in schools and col­leges cou­pled with a me­dia cam­paign on TV, hoard­ings,” says, Samir J Shah, Part­ner, JBS Group of Com­pa­nies.

K V Mahid­har, Ex­ec­u­tive Di­rec­tor, Con­fed­er­a­tion of In­dian In­dus­try, opines, “It’s not correct to say that lo­gis­tics is not con­sid­ered as a ca­reer op­tion. Roles such as de­mand plan­ner, in­ven­tory con­troller, pur­chas­ing man­ager, trans­port of­fi­cer, cus­tomer ser­vice agent, ware­house su­per­vi­sor, ex­port man­ager are in de­mand as global SCM is a strate­gic func­tion. Till date more than 3,000 work­ing pro­fes­sion­als have par­tic­i­pated in our cer­tifi­cate pro­grammes. Many uni­ver­si­ties and col­leges have been work­ing with us to de­liver spe­cialised pro­grammes. This is a clear in­di­ca­tion of chang­ing per­cep­tion about lo­gis­tics as a ca­reer choice.”

“Com­pa­nies now need new kind of sup­ply chain/lo­gis­tics/op­er­a­tions man­agers and this need has led to the cre­ation of MBA in Lo­gis­tics & Sup­ply Chain Man­age­ment. The MBA pro­gramme seeks to pro­vide In­dian or­gan­i­sa­tions the knowl­edge base re­lat­ing to the op­er­at­ing core, to help them be­come do­mes­ti­cally and in­ter­na­tion­ally com­pet­i­tive,” adds Sun­der.

“The lo­gis­tics in­dus­try should in­crease its aca­demic con­nect. In­dian lo­gis­tics com­pa­nies can show­case their ex­perts and lead­ers through me­dia, col­lege events, sem­i­nars and events or­gan­ised by in­dus­try as­so­ci­a­tions. This will help in cre­at­ing more aware­ness among the young grad­u­ates,” em­pha­sises Divya Jain, Founder & CEO, Safe­d­u­cate. This com­pany has in­tro­duced MBA pro­grammes, with spe­cial­i­sa­tion in sup­ply chain and lo­gis­tics with many lead­ing pri­vate uni­ver­si­ties in In­dia to sup­ply tal­ent to ju­nior and mid­dle level man­age­ment. Also, for the en­try level there is a host of long and short term cour­ses. In­ter­na­tional v/s In­dian lo­gis­tics tu­tor­ing

Ac­cord­ing to Ramanujam, “In­ter­na­tion­ally lo­gis­tics has had a head start and most of the in­ter­na­tion­ally ac­cepted codes such as In­ter­na­tional Com­mer­cial Terms (In­coterms) and Uni­form Com­mer­cial Prac­tice (UCP) have been framed abroad. Tech­nol­ogy used in ware­hous­ing, cold chain, MHE and soft­wares used in freight for­ward­ing, con­tainer yard man­age­ment have em­anated from abroad. Hav­ing said that, if a lo­gis­tic player man­ages to ex­e­cute cost ef­fec­tive and op­ti­mal lo­gis­tic trans­ac­tions in In­dia it is much eas­ier in other coun­tries. In that sense In­dia is a de­mand­ing op­er­a­tional area for lo­gis­tics due to non-stan­dard­i­s­a­tion of stan­dards and op­er­a­tional doc­trines and SOPs pan In­dia.”

“Lo­gis­tics Mid­dle Level Man­age­ment utilises in­ter­na­tional knowl­edge but dur­ing op­er­a­tional de­liv­ery have to deal with mul­ti­tude of dis­tinctly In­dian is­sues mak­ing them more prac­ti­cal lo­gis­tic pro­fes­sion­als. As re­gards train­ing at the op­er­a­tional level we are lag­ging be­hind and that is where MSDE and NSDC /LSC are con­cen­trat­ing their ef­forts to im­prove,” he adds.

“The in­dus­try in­sti­tute in­te­gra­tion can be found at a higher de­gree in in­ter­na­tional schools that in turn en­hance learn­ing en­vi­ron­ment,” feels Mahid­har. “The CII In­sti­tute of Lo­gis­tics is work­ing in this direc­tion.”

Giv­ing his opin­ion, Sun­der says, “In­ter­na­tional lo­gis­tics schools are backed by in­dus­try and or­gan­i­sa­tion-led pro­fes­sional pro­grammes. In­dian lo­gis­tics schools are match­ing the global stan­dards and pro­fes­sion­als from th­ese in­sti­tutes are man­ag­ing chal­leng­ing roles in global or­gan­i­sa­tions but there is still a long way to go.” Con­clu­sion

Com­pa­nies have recog­nised the im­por­tance of lo­gis­tics and el­e­vated its role from the stock room to the board­room. As the com­pe­ti­tion be­tween or­gan­i­sa­tions rises on ef­fi­cient sup­ply chains, Mahi­dar says, “We are work­ing with var­i­ous stake­hold­ers in lo­gis­tics sec­tor to iden­tify and pro­pose cur­ricu­lum fo­cus ar­eas aligned with sec­toral changes.”

K V Mahid­har Ex­ec­u­tive Di­rec­tor Con­fed­er­a­tion of In­dian In­dus­try

Divya Jain Founder & CEO Safe­d­u­cate

Capt. Ramanujam Chief Ex­ec­u­tive Of­fi­cer Lo­gis­tics Sec­tor Skill Coun­cil

Samir J Shah Part­ner JBS Group of Com­pa­nies

Dr Raju Ganesh Sun­der Pro­fes­sor and Aca­demic Head – Cen­tre for Con­tin­u­ing Ed­u­ca­tion, UPES

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