Till the time freight forwarders remember that their core existence is to streamline the challenges faced by end customers and keep on adding value, they are here to stay, says Shivaji Prasad, CEO India, ISS Global Forwarding.
It all started three years back on September 1, 2018 – the day when ISS Global Forwarding came into existence. In three years, the company has managed to grow to a team of 180 people with presence in 22 locations within India. With a focus towards ‘customer delight’ and ‘happy team’, ISS Global Forwarding is forecasting 2021 closure at around 1,200 crores of turnover.
In today’s world where everyone is moving towards digitalisation and are losing the customer connect big time, here is a company who believes they went from zero to Rs 1,200 crores just by keeping the basics right of staying engaged with their customers, giving innovative solutions to every new demand, not losing sight of the tiniest business goals, while focusing on ‘customer delight’. Chaos in the world brings uneasiness, but it also allows the opportunity for innovations and growth. This is the key mantra of the team of ISS Global Forwarding.
ISS Global Forwarding is owned by the Investment Corporation of Dubai. The company is recognised as a premium supplier of end-to-end supply chain services. With owned offices and affiliate office representation in more than 100 countries worldwide with global headquarters in Dubai, the ISS Global Forwarding team can cater to the needs of customers across the world. In India, ISS Global Forwarding has 22 branch offices with the Country Head Office in Mumbai. ISS Global Forwarding has presence in all major airports, seaports, and dry ports of India – Mumbai, Pune, Nashik, Nagpur, Goa, Raipur, Jharsuguda, Gurgaon, Ludhiana, Kanpur, Indore, Kolkata, Gandhidham, Ahmedabad, Baroda, Surat, Jaipur, Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad, Cochin and Tuticorin.
Commenting on ISS Global Forwarding’s strategy for surviving the pandemic, Shivaji Prasad, CEO India, says, “The pandemic has increased uncertainty to a level never seen before in supply chains. Demand patterns are all over the place, supply lines are disrupted, lead times are uncertain, and nobody is quite sure when and how things will change going forward. Having said that, when the lockdown actually started in mid-2020, ISS decided that the most important asset of the organisation was its team and all efforts were made to make sure that the team is taken care off. When most of the organisations were cutting costs, ISS Global Forwarding India was expanding and hiring new talents.
On the issue of space crunch, Prasad shares, “Yes, it’s a problem in today’s world and with a strong relationship with most carriers, most of the times space has been managed for the customers. Also, there is so much scope of Innovation still there to serve the customers and help them manage the supply chain. ISS India team has managed to convert more than 20,000 TEUs into bulk in these difficult times to make sure customer demands of raw material are met.”
Talking about the role of a freight forwarder in the next five years, Prasad states, “Till the time freight forwarders remember that their core existence is to streamline the challenges faced by end customers and keep on adding value, they are here to stay. In today’s world the importance of strong logistics players who can give multiple solutions under one umbrella has increased. Digitalisation is good but it should add some real value when it comes to immediate rates, real-time visibility, issue resolutions. I believe the market is big enough for all to co-exist. The story of the role of a freight forwarder is an open question from the time I have entered into the industry and keeps on coming up in different shapes every five years. Whichever way the market moves, companies with an innovative mindset, scale and strong bottom line will also sail through the waves.
Talking about the USP of ISS Global Forwarding, Prasad shares, “The growth of ISS Global Forwarding is second to none in the industry and can be a real story of ‘Growing India’ If we can keep this pace for another two to three years. No other company that I know of has managed such growth in such a short time in a competitive market like India. The USP of our company is its ‘Team, Team and Team’. This is a story of a team who together want to be in office every day at 9.30 am and enjoy the whole day with work mixed with laughter and joy. It’s like a typical Indian joint family where everybody is working for the good of the other member of the family. Once this is achieved then sustainable growth comes automatically. The whole team has a global mindset with a local approach which gives a completely different experience to a customer”
When queried on where does he see ISS Global Forwarding five years down the line, Prasad states, “2021 is the year where all the hard work done in last few years have shown results for ISS Global Forwarding India with a decent top line along with a strong bottom line. All this has been managed due to a strong focus on sales along with an eye towards cashflow management. In next three years we would like to be a 5,000 crores company. While we are doing all right in ocean with our controlled volumes of 60,000+ TEUs in India, key growth in 2021 has been towards air freight. In 2022/23 our focus will be on further strengthening air and LCL product along with investment in last-mile deliveries within India. We are also on the lookout for the right acquisition opportunities in warehousing and LCL product areas.”