Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Economic Times – ET Edge Insights, its management, or its members

Leadership 2

Across businesses, especially in leadership, there have been significant developments in the previous few years. Sustainability has become more prominent as industries have undergone more development. As businesses strive to implement policies that promote a sustainable and green economy, we’re seeing an increase in the number of enterprises aiming for net-zero, as well as a shift in leadership.

To give us a better look Vivek Chopra, Senior Director, Air Freight, DB Schenker, the Indian affiliate of German rail operator Deutsche Bahn’s logistics arm, provides us with an in-depth look at leadership in the present decade, as well as the firm’s evolution over the years to arrive at its current market position.

Q: What are the essential pillars of DB Schenker that have propelled it to the top of the market?

A: At DB Schenker in India, the customers and employees are at the center of all our strategic initiatives. With this, we have been focusing on our core pillars – People, Digitalization, and Innovation.

  • People: Inculcating a positive culture in the company helps in employee satisfaction, which drives business growth. DB Schenker’s culture is designed to support work-life balance while ensuring transparency, frequency of communication and an inclusive approach. Following this approach, DB Schenker in India has been recently certified as a ‘Great Place to Work’ for the second consecutive year.
  • Digitalization: Digitalization remains one of the key focus areas for DB Schenker in India. We aim to continue to scale up the supply chain with digital solutions to address the growing need of the customers in the region.. Along with using advanced technologies at our warehousing facilities, we provide a seamless shipping experience to our customers through digital platforms such as eSchenker and Connect 4 Ocean and Air.
  • Innovation: Air Freight: DB Schenker has always made sure to keep the customers’ demands as their first priority. In the last two years, we have been observing an increased customer demand for Air Freight cargo and charter facilities in India.

The company offers charter services across sectors such as Healthcare, Automotive, Industrial, Aerospace, Electronics, Retail & Consumer.

Q: Can you elaborate how your company has steered itself during the pandemic?

A: Our shift to digitization was a quick one during the pandemic. We believed in keeping the safety of our employees as a priority and so shifted to the full-time WFH model which benefited the manpower from a personal level.

If we talk about the businesses, there was a heavy disruption in the cargo moving capacity for our customers. Through ‘Global Air Freight’ we started to source the flights / freighters and signed up the series of our charters between Europe, CN/HK and the US.

Q: How have you supported the international and the Indian market over the years?

A: We are very focused on working on the growth plan for DB Schenker in India. Our main aim is to focus on training, digitalization, robotics, artificial intelligence & predictive analysis to support our decision-making in every aspect of our business.

When we talk about the international market, the flight operation program is a collaborative program to support IN and International customers. There has been a constant dialogue and discussions on the type of aircraft, origin/destination port pair to have the maximum benefit to both domestic and international market. Apart from flight operations, at Schenker we work on the concept of“Door to Door”. This supports both the domestic market and the international market.

Q: Can you highlight some of the key challenges in the industry, and what were the steps that you took to mitigate them?

A: In the beginning of the pandemic days, one of the significant challenges for the company was to address the growing demand of the customers for the supply of essential goods.

The logistics demand from the pharma and healthcare sector was high, we initiated Global Flight operations and deployed weekly charters to support customers who are manufacturing personal protective and health care equipment.

We started with 01 flight a week and progressively grew to 2x a week scheduled operation. Apart from the scheduled flight operation, we set up a unit to cater to the adhoc demand and operated adhoc flights across 2020 and 2021.

Q: How do you see the logistics industry evolving over the years?

A: Like other industries, technological innovation in this industry has grown leaps and bounds over the years, making unimaginable things real today. The industry has moved to integrate its businesses with cutting-edge technologies like AI, ML and IoT. Features like the e-logbooks, chatbots and live tracking, as well as automation in warehousing come with the benefits provided by the technology.

From this, we can surely believe that this sector is expected to grow in 2022 and in the coming years.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Economic Times – ET Edge Insights, its management, or its members

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