An Exclusive interview with the directors of Teamglobal Logistics Pvt. Ltd., Mr. Nityam Khosla and Mr. Vivek Kele, who have been the pioneers of consolidation in India and have years of experience in the logistics industry. Both Mr. Nityam and Mr. Vivek are known internationally for their domain expertise and business acumen. Teamglobal is a logistics company having pan India presence and a strong global network, offering logistics solutions in various segments of the sector.
Q. How and when was your company started? How has the journey so far been?
Nityam: The Company was formed in the year 2005 with an aim to provide quality service in various segments of Logistics. The journey so far has been very interesting, challenging and rewarding.
Q. Teamglobal is recognized as a leader in LCL consolidation, are you focusing on specialization in this particular aspect? How do you plan to position yourself in the market?
Vivek: It is flattering when someone says that we are the leaders in LCL consolidation market, but we feel that there is a long way to go in this segment of logistics. There is lot that can be done in terms of developing linkages in the infrastructure nationally and internationally and make the LCL cargo handling more seamless. We will continue to focus on this segment and position our self as a first choice LCL carrier for our customers.
Q. The logistics market is crowded with players of all sizes offering cut-throat competition, how have you managed these challenges? What differentiates you from the rest of the competition?
Nityam: In the Indian context price is one of the important driving factors when it comes to buying of a product or a service. We have tried very hard to keep our services very competitive and simultaneously focused on improving the quality of our services to make them more reliable and dependable, so that our customer continue to use us for being competitive in prices and consistent in services. Our endeavor is to continuously learn and adapt, which means the focus remains on constant and continuous unlearning, learning & relearning. This results in enhancing customer experience through creation of value.
Vivek: Finding the most efficient and effective way to analyze and develop customer intelligence is a vital part of our customer care initiative. We understand that providing quality service by increasing operational efficiency has a direct correlation to the value we can offer to our clients. Our clients depend on us to provide the highest quality and we are pleased that, we have been able to satisfy them to a large extent. We believe we can deliver a significant competitive advantage to our customers with our unique and focused solutions.
Q. What trends are you seeing with regard to the logistics sector and its strategic importance? How has it evolved over the last decade?
Nityam: The trend in logistic sector has been to outsource, more and more companies are focusing on manufacturing and sales which is their core competence. In fact the large transnational companies are now concentrating only on product development, quality control and marketing, all other activities like manufacturing, warehousing and distribution are being outsourced.
Vivek: We see very good opportunities for growth for the freight forwarding companies, the opportunities are available for logistics companies to explore and execute. Moreover we have seen significant shift in business policy from market share concept to customer satisfaction and retention concept.
Q. Logistics sector is yet to be conferred industry status; do you think this will happen by this budget or near future? What kind of impact on the inflow of investments do you perceive it will bring about?
Nityam: Not having an industry status for Logistics is a major hindrance its growth in India, we still do not seem to be giving deserved importance to Logistics. Efficient logistic system actually cuts down cost of reaching the goods from the point of manufacturing to the point of sale. It is to be noted that per kg per km transport rate in India are one of the highest in the world. The Indian retail companies are still not giving due importance to logistics; it has been widely perceived that retail sector will be allowed foreign investment in this budget, that will lead to lot of foreign companies coming in who in turn will require professional logistic service provider.
Vivek: The foreign investment will come in, but that will be in terms of equipment manufacturing, we have already seen large truck manufacturers like Man, Leyland and Volvo setting up manufacturing facility in India, we will see more cargo handling and container handling equipment companies setting up manufacturing in India, The foreign investment in railways is still eluding us as the rail companies still find the track fees to be paid to Indian railways very high, similarly the warehousing will also not see too much foreign investment due to very cumbersome land acquisition process in India.
Q. There is a dearth of quality manpower in the logistics sector, how does your company tackle this problem? What kind of initiatives have you undertaken to address the issue?
Nityam: There is a huge supply gap in untrained manpower in the logistics sector resulting in high level of inefficiencies. Because of the skill deficiency among operational staff, supervisors and managers the logistics sector is finding it difficult to shrug off the inefficiencies. The evolving business environment is creating a strong demand for quality and efficient logistics services, and with logistics being a service oriented sector, skilled manpower emerges as a key capability. At Teamglobal, Use of technology, continuous training of manpower and constant monitor of Key Performance Indicators is how we have been addressing the issue.
Q. Logistics involves several activities that require considerable co-ordination and interaction. There are still activities that have not been automated; what are the challenges faced by you in these areas and how do you deal with it?
Vivek: We have EDI linkages with all our overseas agents, we are already submitting our manifest to customs in electronic format and are ready for Ice gate 1.5, we have a full e commerce module on our website and all our major processes all web enabled, we are now working very closely with Soft link to make it possible for the users of soft link to submit their Shipping Instructions to us through their system so as to avoid multiple data entry.
Q. How important is information technology vis-à-vis logistics?
Nityam: It is very important as with IT we are able to give visibility, we always say that the status of the cargo to a customer is like the whereabouts of a child to the mother; we can effectively give the visibility and comfort to the customer through use of IT. IT also cut down wastage in the process and makes the transaction faster.
Q. what are the challenges faced by the logistics sector and how can companies address them? How do you see the scenario five years hence?
Vivek: The challenges faced by the Indian Logistic companies is the keeping with the pace with the changes in the industry, with globalizations the users are expecting global standard services to be available to them in India, so the Indian Logistics companies have to fast adopt to international standards to cater to the changing business requirements.