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.
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.
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