Unorganised infra, low visibility hinder growth

Visibility between ministries and departments will help. Make in India initiative is going to boost our India’s manufacturing sector and we need to create supply chain channels for growth. We must create channels through which growth in supply will go through, says Kruti Jobanputra, Director, JW Ventures.

Ritika Arora Bhola

Tell us about the on-going projects and investments in tech and infra?

We have expanded our operations to New Delhi and Bengaluru to create state of the art facilities in warehousing. In the two cities, we have a total of 33,700 pallet positions, which are separate and dedicated towards storage of food and pharma. We have invested in upgrading our technology by incorporating a tailor-made ERP system by modifying our processes and operations. We have also upgraded our WMS to a web-based application to ensure live updates and reduce the amount of paper used throughout the trade.

Can the infra at your warehouses and MMLPs handle cold chain products?

Starting with our cold chain activities, we have multiple warehouses equipped with temperature-controlled chambers, 25° to -25°C, and humidity control between 40-60 per cent. We have incorporated value added services such as fresh produce processing, repacking, relabelling to ensure we become a one-stop for all services required by our clients. Our CFSs’ JWR and JWC are located on the NH and host a combined warehouse space of over 21 lakh square feet.

These facilities are C-PAT, AEO and IMS-certified to ensure that the processes we follow are in tune with international and domestic quality standards. We have opted to utilize domestic-owned containers and turn them into a flexi warehousing system allowing us to capitalise on the space that we have. For our clients in the automobile industry, we have constructed a dedicated warehouse and garage for them.

Do you lay emphasis on enhancing safety and security of cargo at your facilities?

Yes, we do that. Our clients trust us enough to ensure their cargo is stored, handled and transport safely and securely. On our part, we ensure entry into any of our premises is only through prior appointment. Notice before entry must be given to the security department. We track everyone who enters and exits the facility. Every vehicle, which goes in and out of the facilities, is checked and logged into a register. We have 24×7 CCTV surveillance of the cold chain facilities and also power back-up. For the storage of cargo, we ensure there is one entry and one exit point so that access is limited. Before giving access into a particular facility, the security guards check the ID cards or some form of authorisation of the entrants. For fire safety, we have an emergency response team at each site to ensure that the first responders can act and that we do not have to wait for any third party.

With govt focus on MMLPs, would PMGS, NLP, Make in India, benefit the sector?

These government initiatives bring all our systems and procedures under one umbrella. This will bring forward a new phase thereby allowing for more organizations in the public and private sectors. More visibility between ministries and departments will allow for quicker actions. Make in India will boost India’s ability to manufacture and be able handle to the growth and sustain it. Therefore, these three initiatives, if implemented correctly and consistently, will play a significant role in the India’s growth story. Take the financial capital of India for example, several huge projects are in various stages of progress throughout the city. It goes to show that the future of these initiatives is for the longer run. Currently, the discomfort we all face is due to a paradigm shift throughout the country because we are trying to raise ourselves and compete head-to-head with the international industry.

As an MMLP operator, what do you expect from the government?

The government incentives do help in creation of MMLPs in tier II and III cities. For example, tax breaks for setting up a project in rural areas, so that more jobs are created.  These incentives would help drive investments towards these long-term projects. It is commonplace that the transportation aspect of our industry is governed by truckers, who own a fleet or operate them. Without them, we would find it expensive to transport the cargo. We expect the government to come up with a programme, which  allows the truckers to be upskilled and procure/operate these vehicles at a lower cost. This can be done by incentivizing long-distance driving or reducing interest rates on the loans. Regulation in labour and union issues is a challenge in most states, especially Maharashtra and West Bengal. The government should have control measures in place to help industries uplift the country.

What are the pain points of this sector?

The pain points include lack of organized infrastructure and delay in clearance of permission under one department. Low visibility throughout local municipality procedures/rules to the bigger governmental bodies with programmes  such asd PMGS, we should be able to have all our ministries and departments under one umbrella and create a more efficient and standardised system. Allowing easier and higher visibility throughout the ministries and departments is absent.

Will linkage issues be sorted out by developing multimodal warehouses in India?

It is not certain it will help resolve linkage issues, but it will lessen the load on manufactures for they will be able to securely store cargo in different locations. Connectivity issues will be resolved only when access to tier II and III cities becomes easier by road or rail and that seems to be the end result of programmes such as PM Gati Shakti and other government initiatives. The point of a multimodal warehouse is to be able to take advantage of multiple modes of transport.

How do you ensure efficient supply chain, LMD operations, and value creation?

We believe that data and correct procedures rule the supply chain. The goal is to create an efficient machine for step-by-step daily operations. That is what we have tried to create at JW Ventures. Everyone who is involved at our facilities is given a particular task, which they should complete. Following these procedures and tasks allow us to track the steps that the cargo has gone through and help us understand where things have gone wrong and can be improved. We fix benchmarks for these procedures to ensure we are improving. For example, import and export turnaround times in our facilities; these steps may seem simple, but they are hard to adhere to 24×7 365 days in a year.

For our LMD operations, we use a transport management system to ensure live tracking and track fuel. We have metrics set every month for fuel consumption and aim to beat it every 10 months.  For our cold chain facilities, we create value by providing a one-stop location for packaging, labelling among others. We ensure our clients have full visibility of their products.