Logistics the backbone of businesses.

Aakansha Bhargava, CEO of PM Relocations, discusses the logistics industry, the obstacles they had during the Covid-19 outbreak, and how their company is assisting the SMB and MSME sector in reviving.

Q. Could you give us an overview of the logistics industry?

The logistics industry has been working in the frontline ever since COVID-19 hit the country. Due to COVID, the logistics and supply chain industry has been directly affected after the travel and hospitality industry.  The current scenario has left downturn effect in the industry. An industry which works as the backbone to various businesses and foreign trades underwent various transitional changes. Being a labour-intensive segment, which is heavily dependent on technology, manpower, government support and international business functioning and a lot more; the logistic industry came to the forefront to support inter-functioning between businesses.

Despite the rough changes, the logistics industry took control and were able to bounce back with a slow yet steady growth. The instant positive response further helped the industry to recover at a fast pace.

And If I specifically talk about the mobility and relocation industry, we almost levelled to Zero as home shifting was not happening, international assignments were put on hold and all plans pushed further. To stay relevant, many businesses have had to change and adapt to situations. But the opportunity that came out of it was that we could find ways and customise offerings for clients.  In fact, there was a point when logistics and vehicle movement was not part of essential services leading to many vehicles being halted at borders and it was a nightmare to have the drivers reach there and have it resolved.

Q. What are the most pressing issues confronting the industry right now?

Key challenges faced by the logistics segment in India.

  • Lack of unified rules and regulation which differ between stages, nationalities, regional and local authorities.
  • Diverse and non-integrated logistics network of transportation, warehousing and use of IT.
  • Lack of skilled manpower and training institution to streamline industry learning. Also, the bringing skilled manpower back to work. 
  • Poor support from government for proper management and storage facilities. Lack of entry barriers to quality service selling.
  • Growing concern and need for hygienic service offering.
  • Proper support for business continuity services.
  • Non-agile logistics firms.
  • Highly unorganised market and lack of awareness .

In a nutshell, technology-led infrastructure and proper utilisation of resources will guarantee quality service offering as well as a joyous customer base. Improving on agility and efficiency of firms will help witness a dynamic and aggressive change in the industry.

Q. How is the logistics industry doing during the pandemic? (during the last 15 months, its effect in the first and second pandemic and the road ahead or the opportunities post-pandemic)

The last 15 months have been a rollercoaster ride for the logistics industry with everything coming to a compete standstill after the first lockdown was announced to the world opening up and the logistics industry resurrecting amidst the second wave of the pandemic. The industry took a transitional turn and became instrumental in supporting the entire supply-chain ecosystem. The pandemic exposed the supply chain’s vulnerabilities. The variety of factors and sub-factors affected the industry largely.

Resilience holds the key to a successfully industry uplift. After the second wave of COVID the logistics industry definitely has a lot of scope and opportunities. Remodelling the way global supply chain functions along with the upgradations to reach out to customers is the key. Along with technological advancements and integrations, optimizations and automation are essential for an efficient movement of goods.

Q. How does the company assist small and medium-sized businesses? (with some examples?

PMR has always been known to offer customisation and personalised services. Once the household and office moves were not happening, we had to find ways to support our clients and ongoing business. PMR as an organisation, embarked on a journey to accelerate business continuity and support the work from home culture. This majorly meant reaching out to SME’s and SMB businesses which were struggling to get the business functioning after being hit by the sudden lockdown after the first wave. There were organisations which reached out to us to help them store their belongings in our warehouse amidst the lockdown due to the indefinite scenario. We also got together with various SME & SMB’s to help them transition to better spaces in order to tackle the COVID aftereffects apart from helping them with laptop and desktop movements to ensure business continuity. This further gave a new direction and approach to expand the service line-up while staying agile and relevant in the critically changing environment.

We also reached out to many smaller organisations and help their workforce to work from home by moving their systems home at door delivery. Then we also reached out to many NGO‘s in helping them move oxygen concentrators across the country.