Allcargo-Gati collaboration: One year down the line

It was in December 2019 that Allcargo Logistics initiated the process of strategically acquiring India’s premier express logistics major Gati. A year into Gati becoming part of the larger Allcargo family, Mr. Bala Aghoramurthy, Deputy Managing Director, Gati-KWE, shares thoughts on the transition into an Allcargo company, the unbelievable pace of transformation, and the bold ambitions and bright future ahead!

Bala Aghoramurthy

How would you describe the amalgamation of Allcargo and Gati?

It has been truly unbelievable. The way both the teams have come together and started collaborating closely is commendable. After all, when you have a global visionary like Mr. Shashi Kiran Shetty, Chairman – Allcargo Logistics, ECU Worldwide and Gati, at the helm it is no surprise. I believe that his approach of aligning Gati and Allcargo to a common Vision, Mission and core Values is a key reason for the success. The cultural amalgamation has been smooth, seamless and very advantageous.

What makes it all the more noteworthy is the fact that our collaboration moved ahead successfully despite the fact that times were tough, we were battling an unforeseen and unprecedented global pandemic and lockdowns across India and the world had impacted businesses of all sizes and sectors.

Have there been any major changes to the team?

With the appointment of Mr. Shetty as the Chairman of Gati, Mr. Adarsh Hegde taking on the role of Managing Director at Gati-KWE and inclusion of several senior leaders from Allcargo into Gati’s management and Board, we have been strengthened by a renewed leadership and global perspective.

But having said that, I must also add that during this phase of transformation, we have maintained near zero attrition of top talents. Additionally, we have been able to on-board fresh talent from within and outside the industry. Key appointments have been made at senior levels across sales and operations to expand business and boost customer confidence.

Keeping all our team members at the top of their game are the gamut of new and existing training and L&D programmes that we continue to conduct at regular intervals.

What are the key strengths of this collaboration from a customer’s perspective?

I would say the biggest advantage is the possibility of truly end-to-end services. If you see the collective expertise of Allcargo and Gati across different logistics verticals, we cover almost all of them. Whether it is ocean-side logistics like NVOCC and CFS operations or land-side logistics like express distribution, first and last mile, contract logistics or project logistics, the kind of synergies we can create by collaborating are very unique. Going further, we can also look at customization at a number of levels to cater to specific business supply chain requirements of key customers across sectors.

Another important factor is the unmatched reach. Allcargo’s vast global network operates in more than 180 countries and Gati’s domestic coverage right up to India’s hinterlands covers more than 19,800 PIN Codes in 735 out of 739 districts. This kind of connectivity and accessibility can be a source of competitive advantage to businesses across India and the world.

When you work with industry leaders and pioneers, there is a certain level of reliability and commitment to excellence that you come to expect and we do everything we can and more to not just maintain that level, but set new benchmarks of service and customer centricity.

Could you elaborate a little on the transformation at Gati?

We have partnered with external specialists to drive an intense transformation project at Gati to help the organization pivot towards a market leadership position in terms of revenue, margins, ROCE as well as customer, vendor and employee satisfaction. Some of our initiatives include setting up of a Transformation Office, identifying action areas across business functions, launching the Avvashya Vision, Mission and Values, etc.

Cross-leveraging our capabilities in Marketing, IT, HR and other functions, are also playing an important role in driving the transformation forward.

In an effort to reduce debt and contingent liabilities by selling off its non-core assets, Gati is moving towards an asset-light model. With a refocus on the core business of express distribution and warehousing, the company is gradually exiting non-core ones.

How is Gati geared for the new normal?

Gati is transforming to be digitally-enabled and future-ready. A number of customer-centric tools and technologies are being implemented to significantly reduce TAT, offer excellent levels of customer service and make processes swift, simple and convenient.

We have recently launched our WhatsApp assistant, Genie, which is already helping customers save time and get shipment tracking information instantly, on-the-go. We are also looking at revamping our customer portal and leveraging numerous other internal and external digital platforms to optimize operations and delight our customers.

What does the future look like?

The future looks bright, promising and exciting. Recovery in global business and trade, growth in India’s economy and the positive sentiment among consumers is likely to create business opportunities and possibilities that we, at Gati and Allcargo, are more than ready to make the most of.