Logistics is the backbone for any industry: Somani

Inland World Logistics is in the process of starting its Last Mile Delivery division.

Sharath Chowdary

The Maritime India Summit held in Mumbai last month, was met with a lot of enthusiasm by the cargo and logistics sector. The summit concluded with 141 business agreements for investments worth Rs.82,905 crore. These agreements will play a positive role in port led development to enhance the economic growth of the country. The Dollar Business Bureau had spoken to Praveen Somani (PS), Director, Inland World Logistics, one of the active participants in the summit. The excerpts of the exclusive interview are given below:

TDB: Over 5000 delegates from across the world have participated in the three-day summit. How do you think this summit will help the country's ports and shipping companies?

PS: Hosting the Maritime India Summit 2016 is a positive step taken by the Government of India. It also fits the Make in India programme initiated by our Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Logistics, is the backbone for any industry to perform seamlessly, and this summit has increased awareness and interest among the Indian logistics firms. It will help in developing port infrastructures to raise funds and seek potential partners in meeting international benchmarks and technology.

TDB: Do you think the Sagarmala Project can bring down the logistics cost? What are the other benefits you expect from this project?

PS: The Sagarmala Project is an excellent initiative as it will help in the cohesive development of ports and bring about industrial clusters along the coastline. This will help in attracting large investments, thereby making a positive impact on the GDP of the country. It will also generate good employment opportunities.

TDB: With more number of SEZs (Special Economic Zones) being developed in India, how would this boost India’s exports?

PS: In SEZs rules is relaxed and companies can operate in a license/duty free environment. Proper monitoring will help in achieving the desired industrial output and boost exports, as the industry can perform well with faster exports due to less clearances and procedures.

TDB: The government is offering many incentives to small exporters, but the trade activity in the country is yet to pick up. What could be the reasons behind this?

PS: The incentives offered by the government are not clearly articulated and archaic red tapism leads to delays, which discourages SME companies from approaching the government. The processes too are lengthy and difficult to comprehend, forcing the small exporters to take the help of middlemen. This inhibits many traders and exporters.

TDB: Do you think we have enough infrastructure for our logistical needs in India? Considering the proposed industrial parks, logistic parks, SEZs and warehouses, what else do you feel the country needs to develop this sector?

PS: There is a shortage of infrastructure for current logistics needs and that is the reason why new proposals are being made. What needs to be looked into is that, there has been no clarity with respect to incentives extended to the logistics fraternity. However, the government is already working on wholesome infrastructure development, which will make it easy for entry and exit from the ports.

TDB: With the announcement of Make in India, do you see any increase in imports? What is the current trend in Indian imports?

PS: From a personal perspective, the imports have come down, but I feel that it is not necessarily due to the Make in India campaign but due to the slump in the global economy.

TDB: What are the major commodities that India imports and exports?

PS: Major import commodities are crude, gems and gold, while exports are petrol products, gems and jewellery.

TDB: Being one of the leading players in the sector, what is the focus of Inland World Logistics? Also tell us some more about your company's priorities and future expansion plans.

PS: Inland World Logistics is primed to be a leading logistics provider. It is also expanding its footprint in servicing the needs of its customers. Inland is currently focusing on developing the logistics infra space with rollout of Container Freight Stations (CFS), Logistics Park and Private Freight Terminal (PFT). Apart from that the company is in the process of starting its Last Mile Delivery division and we will be looking at new developments happening within this year.

The Dollar Business Bureau - May 03, 2016 12:00 IST