Being the preferred logistics partner for industries operating in healthcare, automotive, fashion and renewables, Hellmann Logistics is focusing on expanding reach in tier II cities
Q How has been the business in the past year and through the first two quarters of the current year? Which are the major verticals you serve in India?
The last 18 months have been challenging. Though we have grown by 30 per cent in terms of volume & shipments but we are under a lot of stress to keep up to a decent profit margin. Cost of sales have gone up & constant struggle on capacity both in Air & Ocean. Retail business in Imports slowed down due to Demonetisation & Exports are still weak. Rupee getting stronger by +5 per cent against Dollar has also impacted the EPS of the Export companies mainly in Automotive & Pharma.
Our Major verticals are- Healthcare, Automotive, Fashion & Renewable
Q Tell us about your operations in India and South Asian region. How different is Hellmann from other logistics service providers? We are young, successful mid -size company in India with a healthy bottomline. Our operations are based on providing solutions to Customer at a competitive price. We have our competency centre in Mumbai which works on solution design not only for India but for South Asia & Middle East.
Today you can sustain business only if you have a good value proposition to your customers & have your basics right. Consistency, flexibility & knowledge in Operations are the key factors of Customer retention.
Q The Hellmann Group has recently undergone reorganisation. What changes it brings to the business strategy?
The Re-organisation was necessary to the changing market dynamics. The business strategy is now more robust & focussed which will help the Organisation move to the next level.
Q How has been your experience in moving temperature sensitive cargo through air? What are the gaps that need to be plugged?
Quite positive as we partner with our Preferred carriers to do dry run on different routes & products. Based on our study we then create solutions jointly for Customers. The infrastructure challenges we had at airports and sea ports are slowly getting better.
Q The future growth seems to come from tier II and tier III cities. Last-mile connectivity in these areas remains a concern. Your comments?
Yes agreed. As an organisation we take step by step approach. Our focus now is on Tier 2 cities and these are connected through our partners under Hellmann controlled environment.
Q Automakers in India have often complained about the high cost of logistics from Indian ports? How can these be brought down?
Our logistic cost is +13 per cent of the GDP which has direct impact on most of the verticals including Automotive. Automotive logistic cost as a per cent of sales are at least +26 per cent higher in India as compared to other large automotive markets. The Industry has a serious challenge of the escalating cost of supply chain operations and one of the major reasons being the usage of road transport. Poor road conditions, restrictions in entering city during day time, lack of rail connectivity from plants to ports, lack of robust coastal shipping, port capacity and infrastructure and the idling of vehicles lead to cost escalation. These cost can be brought down by investing in infrastructure in all modes and improving the current capacity.
Q India has emerged as a major importer of solar panels. How is Hellmann placed to serve this market? What are the challenges involved in moving solar panels?
Hellmann India is well placed in this vertical. We have catered to some of the best Companies in India from the point of Import till installation at site. We have “ One-stop shop” solutions for our customers.
Challenges are many but that makes it more interesting if you have enough experience. The imports are in bulk so movement of average 30-100 containers in vessel especially when it is from China needs engagement with your reliable shipping line with proper planning. Road transportation to remote locations, storage at temporary sites exposed to theft & pilferage, safe handling of sensitive panels with limited infrastructure at sites are some of the challenges you encounter.