Shashi Kiran Shetty

Allcargo Chairman Shashi Kiran Shetty pens his 2020 vision and roadmap for the future. Allcargo has been moving steadily towards its vision of becoming a US$ 2 billion end-to-end logistics company by 2020. Chairman, Dr Shashi Kiran Shetty shares his thoughts on recent developments and achievements at the Avvashya Group, his vision for the future and the role of technology in this vision. ”We have been ramping up our FCL capabilities & heavily expanding in the contract logistics sector. We will continue to look for inorganic opportunities”.

When we attain a certain height, some reflection is bound to happen. It somehow propels us to an even more exciting journey ahead. I find myself in that phase. Next year, Allcargo will complete 25 years. What a journey it has been and what a journey it will be! With immense confidence, I would like to see the same vigour in our upcoming journey as well. The 2020 vision is set and we are getting future ready in several ways.

During the WEF’s annual conference in Davos early this year, I got a very close peek into the industrial revolution 4.0. Automation, big data and artificial intelligence seem set to change the business dynamics. Companies are bracing themselves for this rampant change and we are not new to this. The global nature of our company requires us to take a mature step towards digitisation. After our strategic network expansion, comes the terrain of the borderless IT revolution at the new-age Allcargo.

So far, ours has been a healthy mix of organic and inorganic growth. From here on, there is a renewed sense of the same strategy but with an even more increased focus on customer centricity. We are moving faster in the direction of strengthening our end-to-end services. Our eventual aim is to enable customers to profit from our supply chain solutions. Talent, technology, change management and a strong value system will play an important role in the next leg of our growth.

Marching ahead with technology

Different regions are responding to technology differently, but the intent is the same — to seamlessly exchange information, reduce turnaround time and enhance customer experience. Our technical innovations are targeted towards bridging this gap. We invested in an Enterprise Management System a few years ago with an aim of bringing in internal efficiency. The tool is live across many offices, enabling better customer relations management for our people, worldwide.

We have also tied up with CargoWise One and Dakosy for e-booking in Europe — a step which will lead to a significant time saving for our customers and the availability of transparent information. In a coordination-heavy sector like ours, these steps are crucial to bring down the response time.

ECU 360, a one of its kind customer portal, will assist customers in accessing their historical data and shipments. The tool is to empower our customers and ease their work for us; it is a complete customer-centric personalised platform which will enable shorter wait time, faster online bookings and invoice generation and reduced paperwork.

In coming years, technology will be an even bigger focus across the group — from enhancing business offerings to achieving operational excellence. This is a significant initiative because our customers can access everything with a click, without coordinating with anyone. Even though technology adoption by this sector has been slow, there is a huge scope. We are well-placed to serve our customers when technology picks pace.

The future definitely looks exciting. We are at the top of innovations in the process of reinventing ourselves, not just technically but also talent-wise. Change management will happen through the people who form the culture of the company. Our IT vision also reiterates this focus from time to time.

Thriving talent

Our people, across all levels, have been instrumental in making us what we are. The company is adapting to new-age ideas. From recruiting talent to training existing people, we are welcoming a new change. But, the first step was uniting each and every employee under the name ECU Worldwide in 2016. It was an extensive global exercise that saw a huge reception from our customers, worldwide.

Since then, several product and service expansions have paved the way for young talent. Today’s youth comes with unique ideas that we readily embrace. There is a renewed focus on reinforcing a stronger value system that brings out the best in individuals as well as their teams. We believe that talent can thrive only when the belief system is strong enough to withstand any kind of challenges.

Foundation of strong values

The key to our business has been relationships, and I am glad that this thought is well engraved in the company culture. As an agile and young organisation, we are always open to seek opportunities. This spirit has served us well in attaining a wide global footprint. The next important step is to maintain this presence and goodwill. Our people make this possible every day. I believe, inspiration is inward. One needs to look within to seek inspiration. That’s a practice I urge our people to follow.

Another important aspect of strong values is, believing and following ‘quality and excellence’ in everything we do. We constantly encourage our people across all levels to practice quality, weed out duplication, increase efficiency and improve productivity by looking for continuous improvement, learning by mistakes & empower oneself with founders mentality.

Sustainability runs deep

Community development is an area where you can never give enough. There are several ways you can help people around and Avvashya Foundation is actively involved in many of them. My prime focus is to leave behind a better and resourceful future for the coming generation by taking Allcargo beyond an enterprise and make it an institution. One of the major focus area is environment sustainability. Through tree plantation drives under our flagship initiative Maitree, we try and give back to mother nature for what we consumer from her. I strongly believe that with everyone’s support we can do much more and make a bigger difference.

With the right elements in place, our aspirations are to grow further with a meaningful purpose of building a nation and society and, create a responsible company that creates value for shareholders with a renewed focus.