Young lead­ers for cargo

The trans­porta­tion and lo­gis­tics in­dus­try is filled with mul­ti­ple ca­reer op­tions. While there is a re­quire­ment of ex­pe­ri­enced play­ers, there is also an ar­dent need for young guns to join the in­dus­try, we find out more.

Cargo Talk - - Front Page - KAL­PANA LOHUMI

Strong lead­ers are cru­cial to any busi­ness, but lo­gis­tics man­age­ment de­mand unique ca­pa­bil­i­ties. And, if these lead­ers be­long to the youth of the coun­try, one can ex­pect in­no­va­tion and unique­ness not only in the work­ing cul­ture but also in the re­sults. The in­dus­try, no-doubt, is ramp­ing up its ef­forts to at­tract more white-col­lar pro­fes­sion­als, par­tic­u­larly youth. As­so­ci­a­tions are also not leav­ing any stone un­turned to bring in no­tice how young pro­fes­sion­als can bring cre­ativ­ity and in­no­va­tion in the lo­gis­tics in­dus­try. FIATA World Congress 2017 has an in­di­vid­ual ses­sion on ‘Young lo­gis­tics pro­fes­sion­als’.

CARGOTALK ex­plores the op­por­tu­nity of know­ing from the ex­perts about how are the youth driv­ing the lo­gis­tics in­dus­try. Shar­ing his per­spec­tive on the same, Ashish Asaf, MD-CEO, SA Con­sul­tants & For­warders, says, “Young pro­fes­sion­als are the fu­ture of our in­dus­try. How­ever, we must not just ask our­selves what we can teach our younger mem­bers, but what we can learn from them. En­gage­ment with so­cial me­dia and other plat­forms, as well as tech­nol­ogy in gen­eral is crit­i­cal to any­one work­ing within our in­dus­try. There is tremen­dous po­ten­tial in them to in­no­vate lo­gis­tics con­cepts which con­nect the e-com­merce world to the real world, they can lift up in­dus­try to a whole new level.”

“But in the In­dian con­text we re­quire more young pro­fes­sion­als; with sup­ply chain evolv­ing and more tech­no­log­i­cal in­no­va­tions com­ing to the fore there is a dire need to change so­cial per­cep­tions when it comes to lo­gis­tics. The lo­gis­tics sec­tor doesn’t en­joy so­cial ac­cep­tances. This re­lates to the youth not be­ing at­tracted to this sec­tor. It is im­por­tant for lo­gis­tics in­dus­try and gov­ern­ment to make the peo­ple at large aware of the im­por­tance of the sec­tor and job op­por­tu­ni­ties pos­si­ble so that highly skilled lo­gis­tics and techno savvy per­son­nel can join the in­dus­try. Ac­cord­ing to a re­cent KPMG re­port on skilling In­dia, the av­er­age age of its pop­u­la­tion is es­ti­mated to be within 29 years for the next six years; this gives an en­vi­ous edge over other na­tions who could con­trib­ute to the eco­nomic growth of the na­tion. A per­fect com­bi­na­tion of labour and tech­nol­ogy is the ideal driver for lo­gis­tic in­dus­try,” he adds.

From youth and tech­nol­ogy, Vaib­hav Vohra, In­dia Cargo Awards win­ner 2016 and Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor, Con­ti­nen­tal Car­ri­ers, shares, “With the pas­sage of time and the regime of con­trol chang­ing to the hands of third gen­er­a­tion, those who are well ed­u­cated, many of the youths pro­fes­sion­ally qual­i­fied and tech­no­log­i­cally in­no­va­tive, the trend is slowly chang­ing. Tech­no­log­i­cal in­no­va­tions and progress gov­ern the mech­a­nism for se­lect­ing part­ners and mon­i­tor­ing their per­for­mance in the en­tire process of sup­ply chain. Tech­nol­ogy has pro­vided in­no­va­tions into lo­gis­tics and this has re­sulted in im­prove­ment in ef­fi­ciency, ac­cu­racy, trans­parency and speed in op­er­a­tions. It is hoped that the com­ing years would open am­ple op­por­tu­ni­ties for growth and con­sol­i­da­tion of lo­gis­tics in­dus­try, driven by youth and tech­nol­ogy.”

Raj Malani, In­dia Cargo Awards win­ner 2015 and Di­rec­tor, Shree Balaji Ship­ping, notes, “The lo­gis­tics in­dus­try is not only an im­por­tant driver of growth but also plays a piv­otal role in na­tion’s de­vel­op­ment by en­sur­ing seam­less move­ment of goods across re­gional and in­ter­na­tional bound­aries. The ex­ports of a na­tion hap­pen to be the key in­di­ca­tor of how a na­tion has fared on over­all eco­nomic pa­ram­e­ters. While lo­gis­tics has al­ways been there and will be there, as long as some­one is will­ing to trade, the youth of the na­tion have now taken over the driver’s seat of this oth­er­wise con­ven­tional in­dus­try. Rightly, be­cause the in­dus­try is re­mu­ner­a­tive, fast chang­ing, fu­tur­is­tic and seek­ing im­pro­vi­sa­tion and it is no ex­ag­ger­a­tion in say­ing that ‘Youth’ are syn­ony­mous to ‘Change’ and they lever­age ‘Tech­nol­ogy’. The in­dus­try of­fers ex­po­nen­tial scope in terms of in­fra­struc­ture and tech­no­log­i­cal de­vel­op­ment and job cre­ation, which youths are quite pas­sion­ate about and the in­dus­try is on the cusp of a par­a­digm shift due to in­flow of new tal­ents.

Ac­cord­ing to Amar More, CEO, Kale Lo­gis­tics So­lu­tions, “The ex­ist­ing sce­nario on the par­tic­i­pa­tion of youth in the lo­gis­tics and sup­ply chain sec­tor is quite en­cour­ag­ing. In­creas­ing num­ber of young­sters are get­ting in­volved, not only in the niche op­er­a­tions, but also in the sup­port­ing op­er­a­tions like mar­ket­ing, sales and cus­tomer. With the ad­vent of e-com­merce and glob­al­i­sa­tion, op­por­tu­ni­ties have in­creased man­i­fold. Un­like ear­lier, where it was con­sid­ered as a nonglam­orous ca­reer choice, young­sters to­day are at­tracted to it as this in­dus­try too is keen to brand, mar­ket and pro­vide cus­tomer de­light, open­ing doors for mul­ti­ple ca­reer op­tions.”

Naveen Rawat, Direc­torBusi­ness De­vel­op­ment, Holisol Lo­gis­tics, says, “In In­dia, lo­gis­tics as an in­dus­try has only come to the fore in re­cent times. The ar­rival of e-com­merce and the re­or­gan­i­sa­tion of lo­gis­tics net­work and strate­gies on ac­count of GST has brought in em­pha­sis on com­pet­i­tive sup­ply chains. How­ever, with the sup­ply chain be­com­ing more and more so­phis­ti­cated, there has been a spo­radic in­crease in the need for skilled labour which is not read­ily avail­able. A lot of young peo­ple hence have joined the SCM in­dus­try in the re­cent past learn­ing re­quired skills on the job. The tal­ent join­ing the in­dus­try is go­ing to shape lo­gis­tics in In­dia for the com­ing decades.” “While there may be many un­der­ly­ing rea­sons to why youth have shifted their in­ter­est to ca­reer in lo­gis­tics, the most plau­si­ble ex­pla­na­tion is the chang­ing na­ture of the in­dus­try. Lo­gis­tics in­dus­try play­ers have shifted their ap­proach from ana­logue to dig­i­tal process and have be­come more or­gan­ised. In fact, gov­ern­ments world­wide have taken ini­tia­tives to sup­port and ben­e­fit from the in­creas­ing vol­ume,” adds More. “Sup­ply chain & lo­gis­tics in­dus­try has not en­joyed the same so­cial ac­cep­tance as many other in­dus­tries. Since most of its func­tions and op­er­a­tions hap­pen out of pub­lic view, younger gen­er­a­tion has not got as great a per­cep­tion about the in­dus­try as it de­serves. There is a big need to de­velop ethos and work cul­ture which is at­trac­tive and lu­cra­tive enough for young tal­ents to pro­vide the sup­ply chain & lo­gis­tics in­dus­try with fu­ture lead­er­ship. On a pos­i­tive note, it is heart­en­ing to men­tion that young tal­ents, of late, have shown keen in­ter­est in the field of sup­ply chain & lo­gis­tics. With tech­nol­ogy play­ing an ever-larger role in the in­dus­try, the in­flux of tech­savvy youth into the in­dus­try has also started tak­ing place in a big way,” en­light­ens Vi­neet Kanau­jia, In­dia Cargo Awards win­ner 2015 & VP - Mar­ket­ing, Saf­ex­press.

What fu­ture holds

“There are huge ex­pec­ta­tions from the in­dus­try as lo­gis­tics firms are mov­ing from a tra­di­tional setup to the in­te­gra­tion of IT and tech­nol­ogy to their op­er­a­tions to re­duce the costs in­curred as well as to meet the ser­vice de­mands. Hence, pre­dict­ing which lo­gis­tics and sup­ply chain trends will make a dif­fer­ence to busi­ness has be­come no­to­ri­ously dif­fi­cult, yet, most

The lo­gis­tic sec­tor doesn’t en­joy so­cial ac­cep­tances. A per­fect com­bi­na­tion of labour and tech­nol­ogy is the ideal driver

Tech­nol­ogy has pro­vided in­no­va­tions into lo­gis­tics and this has re­sulted in im­prove­ment in ef­fi­ciency, ac­cu­racy, trans­parency

promis­ing. At the same time, tech­no­log­i­cal ad­vances such as the In­ter­net of Things, au­to­mated trans­porta­tion and sim­i­lar fu­tur­is­tic in­no­va­tions could lead in­dus­try to the dif­fer­ent level,” points Asaf.

Malani notes, “The do­mes­tic sec­tor is cur­rently in a trans­for­ma­tion phase, with game chang­ing trends like GST, in­creas­ing fo­cus by for­eign in­vestors across the lo­gis­tics value chain, grow­ing de­mand for end-to-end so­lu­tion providers and emer­gence of new av­enues such as e-com­merce, lo­gis­tics parks, cold chain fa­cil­i­ties and new start-ups. The gov­ern­ment’s em­pha­sis on ‘Make in In­dia’, build­ing multi-modal trans­porta­tion in­fra­struc­ture, ef­fi­cient freight cor­ri­dors, faster clear­ances at check-points, etc. are also likely to have a sig­nif­i­cant in­flu­ence on the in­dus­try over the longer-term. Hence, largely the fu­ture of the in­dus­try seems bet­ter than ever with enough pri­vate and gov­ern­ment par­tic­i­pa­tion in this cap­i­tal-in­ten­sive in­dus­try where costs are daily min­imis­ing.”

Ex­plain­ing fur­ther on digitisation, More adds, “Fu­ture of lo­gis­tics and sup­ply chain in­dus­try will be shaped by the level of digitisation and au­toma­tion, the in­dus­try de­cides to adopt. Po­ten­tially, there is a pos­si­bil­ity of com­plete end-to-end pa­per­less trans­ac­tions with­out any hu­man in­ter­ven­tion ex­cept at the book­ing and fi­nal door de­liv­ery stage. How­ever, such a dras­tic adop­tion of tech­nol­ogy on this scale will need ro­bust tech­ni­cal so­lu­tions, fairly in­sight­ful re­search and sig­nif­i­cant fi­nan­cial in­vest­ment.”

It is no ex­ag­ger­a­tion in say­ing that the ‘Youth’ are syn­ony­mous to ‘Change’ and they lever­age ‘Tech­nol­ogy’

There may be un­der­ly­ing rea­sons to why youth have shifted their in­ter­est, the most plau­si­ble is the chang­ing na­ture of the in­dus­try

A lot of young peo­ple have joined in the re­cent past. The tal­ent join­ing is go­ing to shape lo­gis­tics in In­dia for the com­ing decades

There is a big need to de­velop ethos and work cul­ture which is at­trac­tive and lu­cra­tive enough for young tal­ents

Echo­ing sim­i­lar views, Vohra shares, “The digitisation revo­lu­tion has given birth to dig­i­tal sup­ply chain, fa­cil­i­tat­ing all the play­ers to ori­ent them­selves to their cus­tomers through so­cial me­dia, e-com­merce, dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing, and knowl­edge gained from the di­rect ex­pe­ri­ence with the cus­tomer. In­dia is iden­ti­fied as the ‘ser­vices hub’ of the world. Move­ment of goods, both in­ter­na­tional and do­mes­tic sec­tors, is ex­pected to regis­ter phe­nom­e­nal growth in the com­ing years. Along with the growth, de­mand for a ro­bust sup­ply chain sys­tem will also grow, pro­vid­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties for ex­ist­ing play­ers as well as new lo­gis­tics ser­vice providers to ex­pand and es­tab­lish.” “To stay and pre­vail in the busi­ness it is im­per­a­tive for the sup­ply chain & lo­gis­tics com­pa­nies to come to the terms and run smart sup­ply chains,” feels Kanau­jia.

Hand-in-hand

Af­ter much talks with lo­gis­tics pro­fes­sion­als on the role of youth be­ing techno savvy and bring­ing in­no­va­tion in the in­dus­try, CARGOTALK sight­sees how young lo­gis­tics pro­fes­sion­als are rein­vent­ing tech­nol­ogy and cre­at­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties. “New tech­nol­ogy, new mar­ket en­trants, new cus­tomer ex­pec­ta­tions, and new busi­ness mod­els. There are many ways the sec­tor could de­velop to meet these chal­lenges, some evo­lu­tion­ary, oth­ers more revo­lu­tion­ary. How­ever, the guid­ing force would be the new/young tal­ent en­ter­ing this ver­ti­cal. Start-ups are driv­ing new busi­ness mod­els in the in­dus­try. Most of the new en­trants to the lo­gis­tics sec­tor are start-ups, and many of these are look­ing to use new tech­nol­ogy to en­ter the in­dus­try. Their busi­ness model is as­set­less which ex­ploits dig­i­tal tech­nol­ogy to of­fer in­ter­ac­tive bench­mark­ing of freight rates, or match ship­pers with avail­able ca­pac­ity,” tells More. “An­a­lyt­ics and IT are the name of the game and our youth are pro in it. From in­creased af­ford­abil­ity and ef­fi­ciency of the trans­porta­tion man­age­ment sys­tem (TMS) to the ap­pli­ca­tion of blue­tooth tech­nol­ogy for su­pe­rior track­ing of prod­uct move­ments, wherein tech­nol­ogy be­comes an in­te­gral, if not the ex­clu­sive, part of the ship­ping process, ware­house robotics etc.,” opines Asaf. “Chang­ing face of lo­gis­tics in In­dia has re­sulted in quite a few young en­trepreneurs set­ting up tech­nol­ogy en­abled lo­gis­tics com­pa­nies of­fer­ing cut­ting edge so­lu­tions to some of the real chal­lenges faced by the in­dus­try in terms of real time vis­i­bil­ity, trace­abil­ity, net­work plan­ning, scal­a­bil­ity, ac­cu­racy and time­li­ness, to name a few,” no­ti­fies Rawat. “The in­dus­try ear­lier was plagued with poor ca­pac­ity util­i­sa­tion, in­ef­fi­cient pric­ing due to lack of mar­ket knowl­edge, snail paced lo­cal move­ment, time-con­sum­ing doc­u­men­ta­tion pro­cesses, etc. and all be­cause of no real-time plat­form for track­ing, e-fil­ing and trou­ble-shoot­ing is­sues. But, the ‘start-up bug’ has also bit this in­dus­try al­beit luck­ily and with use of tech­nol­ogy,” con­cludes Malani. “To­day, many of these pro­fes­sional in­no­va­tors are util­is­ing au­toma­tion, mo­bile apps and big data. E-com­merce is here for solv­ing lo­gis­tics and home de­liv­ery chal­lenges. They are gen­er­at­ing re­sults and praise by con­sumers and on­line re­tail­ers,” shares Kanau­jia.

MD-CEO SA Con­sul­tants & For­warders Ashish Asaf

Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor, Con­ti­nen­tal Car­ri­ers & In­dia Cargo Awards Win­ner 2016 Vaib­hav Vohra

Raj Malani In­dia Cargo Awards Win­ner 2015 & Di­rec­tor, Shree Balaji Ship­ping

CEO Kale Lo­gis­tics So­lu­tions Amar More

Naveen Rawat Di­rec­tor- Busi­ness De­vel­op­ment, Holisol Lo­gis­tics

Vi­neet Kanau­jia In­dia Cargo Awards Win­ner 2015 & VP - Mar­ket­ing, Saf­ex­press

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