Webinar : Evolution And Innovation In The Logistics Industry

IFCCI organised a highly exclusive cross-committee webinar with the help of IFCCI Logistics & Maritime Committee and IFCCI Technology Committee.

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The Indo-French Chamber of Commerce and Industry (IFCCI) organised a highly exclusive cross-committee webinar with the help of IFCCI Logistics & Maritime Committee and IFCCI Technology Committee addressing: EVOLUTION AND INNOVATION IN THE LOGISTICS INDUSTRY, on Wednesday, the 4th November 2020.

The session began with the welcome remarks from Ms. Payal S Kanwar, Director General, IFCCI while acknowledging IFCCI’s active interactions through virtual platforms hosting webinars and knowledge sharing events since the lockdown due to the COVID pandemic. She also added that our initiatives have strengthened our committees and engagements with its members, simultaneously increasing our associations with the relevant government authorities. Several companies have identified new opportunities with the changing landscape in the logistics sector and addressing how technology can fit into it.  

Mr. Clifton Menezes, Executive Vice President - India Cloud leader, Capgemini and Chairman, IFCCI Technology Committee presented an overview of the objectives of the committee and its aim to bring together top companies within the Indo-French Business Community in the technological domain: discussing market trends, sharing best practices, exchanging knowledge, and designing innovative solutions in the current context.

Joining him were Mr. Ranjeet Goswami, Head – Corporate Affaires Global, Tata Consultancy Services and Vice-Chairman of the Committee; along with Mr. Raviraj Rodrigues, Director – Supply Chain, Alstom Transport India Limited; and Captain Ram Iyer R, Vice President, Haropa Ports C/O Seahorse Ship Agencies Pvt Ltd

Shri Pawan Kumar Agarwal, Special Secretary – Logistics, Ministry of Commerce and Industry: presented the special address while shedding light on the time appropriate topic of the usage of technology in logistics sector which has received a huge attention at this time of the pandemic and over the past months, the transition towards digitization has been fast in this unprecedented situation of the crisis. The government has been revisiting ideas to facilitate these changes like creation of national logistics portal, evolution of digital platforms of transport ministry and various other related agencies and institutions, reviewing the PCS [Port Community System] of the Ministry of Shipping and its upgradation to the national logistics portal.  

The two flagship and noteworthy initiatives of Ministry of Road Transport & Highways, Govt of India: VAHAN and SARATHI PARIVAHAN displaying a robust and advanced IT platform and that of the Indian Railways too, have interesting features. These progressive changes have been implemented over the existing legacy systems and has helped in identifying the gaps in the system as well as helped them make informed decisions to fill up the gaps especially in the road transport systems eventually opening opportunities for many start-ups to emerge while addressing issues like reducing the empty hauling of trucks, management of warehouse spaces for transport players, among many other challenges answered. He concluded by vouching the continued support of the government in providing updated information and database to promote the development and growth of vibrant start-ecosystem to bring about dynamic changes in the logistics and supply-chain sector to increase efficiency and to reduce costs. 

The webinar continued to proceed towards the panel discussion with Ms. Priti Suri, Founder and Managing Partner, Priti Suri & Associates moderating the session.  

Mr. Himanshu Shekar, Product Head – Ports & Cargo Unit, Tata Consultancy Services:  

“On the contrary to the effects of the lockdown, the leaders of the industry due to the budget allocations, were able to initiate considerable innovative changes within the sector like the adoption of robots & automated vehicles to aid remote operations, enable drones for the last mile deliveries, usage of AI and integrated IoT solutions, etc.… Undoubtedly, COVID has accelerated the adoption of these technological changes.”  

He also expressed that the reach of such a technological change could be made possible only with the support of the government and appealed to incentivize the innovation culture by the regulatory authorities. Incentivization can motivate the adoption of these kind of technology to make the industry smart, resilient, and automated. It could also benefit in switching to green and alternative energy sources and monitoring the emissions. 

Mr. Haresh Panjawani, Director & Lead - Supply Chain Consulting, Capgemini India:  

“Technology has been the forefront of most of the companies. With this unpredicted situation, companies are willing to operate and explore different models to support the high volatility and the dynamics of the current business scenario. Certainly, there is a huge disruption in the industry, but this could be converted into an opportunity. We are also witnessing focus on sustainability, implementation of biofuels and carbon neutral initiatives by companies as supply chain has a direct impact on the environment. The adoption of advanced technology could be impactful and optimize the cost of an organization. And lastly, Capgemini, being a global company headquartered in France, helps in leveraging advanced technology and have positive impacts.” 

Mr. Tamal Das, Head – Sales & Marketing, Criticalog India

Disruption across industries, with varied responses from companies that are trying to re-calibrate their strategy. Companies are realizing the vital role played by Supply Chain and currently they are identifying the vulnerabilities of their supply chain strategies and focusing on solutions.  

“We immediately diversified our vendor base, hedged our risks across industries trying to convert challenges into opportunity. What really would transform the Logistics Sector is granting an Industry Status, implementation of a robust framework and driving a Sea-port centric, Railway centric, Airport centric, Coastal Shipping centric and Road-hub centric to ensure growth. By not restricting to Tier-1 / metropolitan cities will also benefit the growth of rural economy too.” 

Mr. Rituraj Saha, Head – Supply Chain, Pernod Ricard India

Embarking on digital transformation journey, companies are trying to make their supply chain agile. There is significant change in the demand pattern. The lockdown has questioned the existing processes and has also moved the government to ensure to seamless transactions, increase in the adoption of technology, until now highly regulated liquor industry has opened e-commerce opportunities and setup of single channel windows has been advantageous. 

The session came to end with the concluding remarks by Mr. Vaibhav Vohra, MD, Continental Carriers and Chairman - IFCCI Logistics & Maritime Committee.

The webinar was attended by 100+ participants. It was well-received and highly appreciated by the Indo-French Business Community.

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