Kintetsu World Express: providing logistics solutions with an innovative approach and due diligence
The ancient history of logistics located to the times when the human race came out of caveman mode and entered into a collection of groups/Society and took an organised form when the concept of state came into existence. Logistic needs increased during Imperial expeditions. In modern times the need for logistics spread to other parts of society as well. KWE became such a logistic solutions provider multinational Japanese firm located in 46 countries, 351 cities and 848 sites across the world. KWE India, an Indian subsidiary of the global conglomerate came into existence in 1997 with headquarter in Bangalore and regional offices in different cities. KWE pioneered in total Supply Chain Management with its high quality and advanced logistics services and the most preferable ‘Logistics Partner’ to both domestic and multinational companies in India. The firm’s innovative strategies, ability to integrate air and sea-freight forwarding, flexible global operation, and total logistics services help Indian companies reduce their distribution costs and streamline operations. To consolidate its position in India, KWE established a joint venture with Gati Ltd, India’s leading distribution company. In India, the high-quality standards of the firm with various investments through joint ventures help in meeting the customer expectation and on-time performance on the door to door basis. With the Indian economy on a growth path and businesses going global, KWE India remains the ideal partner that helps in responding to the changing global business environment.
And it’s just the tip of the iceberg for a brand which has been growing with an average growth rate of 50% YOY for the past nine years in terms of top line, recognition from industry and customers as best suppliers. To dish the dirt, our spokesperson interacted with the captain of the ship- Karthi Baskar, Deputy Managing Director- KWE India. A multilingual speaker and an engineering graduate from Doctor Babasaheb Ambedkar Marathwada University in production engineering and management post-graduate in International Business from NIBM, Karthi is KWE India’s board member and logistics industry veteran with 25 years of experience. Karthi’s expertise lies in Global Supply Chain, Operations, Distribution, Logistics, Transportation –road and rail and Manufacturing systems strategically tailored to integrate across diverse industries, cultures & market conditions. His proven success in complex global, multi-site, high-volume, inbound & outbound networks, distribution settings, reputation for blending strong strategic thinking and leadership to drive change & execution is unparalleled.
“We rapidly expanded to new product lines such as pharmaceuticals, aerospace logistics and digitization of entire supply chain. We enabled the firm to get Quality, Safety and Good Distribution Practices certification.” Karthi joyfully elucidates KWE India’s journey.
Let’s hear from the leader
What makes KWE stand ahead of the pack?
We work with our customers as partners integrating with their needs, challenges and provide customized solutions. We render end to end supply chain solution catering through Air & Sea freight, Logistics & Distribution (3PL) services. Other services we provide are Customs Brokerage, Project Logistics, Onsite management, Multi-model Air-Sea, Compliance Services, Beverage Logistics, Fair Exhibition, Cargo Insurance, and Consultancy services. We deliver cargo to any market around the world. Our reach extends to every nook and corner of the country. The firm’s wide outreach and commitment of quality products and services to the global world make us stand apart from others.
What are the challenges that KWE currently faces?
The major challenge any logistics firm faces is visibility, and high operations cost. We had worked with our clients to resolve with a single window solution in visibility terms and cost reduction by process change, inventory lead time and transparent costing structure. Other major hurdles that we are facing would be infrastructure issues, delays at port and airport, lead time in road transportation due to congestions, shortage of skilled workforce and Non-regulated tariff.
Throw some light over the clientele.
We have clients from a wide range of different domains. Such as Automotive, aerospace, engineering, pharmaceuticals, electronic and IT customers. Our revenue model consists of End to End supply chain model integrated with Information technology through a single window.
With such a fast-growing team, how do you make sure everybody stays motivated and how do you support the corporate culture?
I believe that integrated leadership can empower and encourage managers in making their own decisions with long-term vision. The organizational roadmap at regular intervals shared with teams for assigning each role for specific goals. I play a mentor’s role while driving the pool of management staff who acts frontline in terms of sales, operations, HR, and finance using wall strategy.
What are the big achievements?
We are growing with an average growth rate of 50% YOY for the past nine years in terms of top line, recognition from industry and customers as best suppliers. We rapidly expanded to new product lines such as pharmaceuticals, aerospace logistics and digitization of entire supply chain. We enabled the firm to get Quality, Safety and Good Distribution Practices certification.
How do you learn in your life and what is your biggest dream?
Being on your toes and blending with the expectations of the customer helps a lot in learning and reaching objectives quickly. My biggest dream is contributing to India’s logistics ecosystem’s digitization, cost-effectiveness, and efforts to reach global standards.
Tell us about when you failed. How did you overcome?
In terms of the statutory and financial model, the logistics industry remains non-regulated. Various challenges and legal obstacles hurled at us. We overcame these hurdles using the right resources to find a solution in each stage and regulate them to avoid repetitions.
What was your journey like to get where you are?
The hitherto journey was full of ups and downs, challenging and competitive. Amenability, my willingness to listen and learn from each stage of career was the biggest asset to me. Credit to my success goes to My Team, Teamwork, Delegation, and effective communication.
Tell me how you’ve approached change.
I believe change is a constant factor and to some extent mandatory. Change is the best teacher. It taught me new things in life, and ways to find solutions. Open-mindedness, and tendency to embrace change made my journey good.
The Road Ahead?
KWE plans to join forces with the fourth Industrial revolution and currently focused on integrated end to end solution by creating a sustainable model. The industry is going through major upheavals in terms of digitization to incorporate integrated ecosystem and plans to become fully transparent to all players involved. Without growth, there is no sustenance. So, KWE intends to obtain AEO (Authorized Economic Operator) license, which enables growth in all-in-one solution. The expected increase is 40% in the top line this year, and efforts employed to achieve a market share of 2% by 2020. Arrangements are underway for heavy investments on state-of-the-art warehouses for furthering up our 3PL business to the next level. As the logistics industry evolves, we would like to contribute to the upcoming logistics policy and legal framework in terms of ease of doing business.
What advice can you give entrepreneurs who want to venture into the same domain in the future?
In Industry 4.0, to gain one’s end, you should always be focused on Technology-based solutions and sustainable business models to thrive in this industry.