Globe Forwarding, Going Beyond Logistics With Dynamic And Performance Driven Solutions
“You will not find it difficult to prove that battles, campaigns, and even wars have been won or lost because of logistics”
Dwight D. Eisenhower, World War II General-American President.
Industries that have been historically dominated by men today are witnessing an autocratic flip side with authoritarian women dominating the scene. And logistics being one such sector has improvingly ‘de-genderized’ overtime making way for multifaceted perspectives.
Leading by example and paving a path of her and many others looking forward to outshining in the logistics and supply chain management industry, Dr. Sharmila H. Amin -Chairman and Member Board, Globe Forwarding Agencies India Pvt. Ltd. As a professional who has an exemplary record and a twenty-five year history of timely execution and delivery in this industry, she dominates as an industry leader and as a woman heading a global multinational corporation uniquely qualifying as a lone voice for women playing this role in India.
Dr. Sharmila, while bucking the trend, has under her wise leadership built Globe Forwarding to be a dynamic performance-driven company that provides skilled services in the fields of shipping, logistics, project / oil & gas freight management, transportation, and customs clearance and other allied services related with logistics management. Its reputation has been assembled on performance with its core business being at the extreme limits of industry capabilities where zeroing on solutions takes determination, open-mindedness, and constructive tenacity.
In an enlightening conversation with the power woman, The CEO Magazine grabbed a chance to know more about Dr. Sharmila’s journey, the evolution of the company, plans, corporate ethos, useful insights of the logistics industry, and more;
TCM: What purpose are you serving and how have you evolved from day one?
Dr. Sharmila: Starting my career early after graduation alongwith some professional courses, I got into the business of logistics and supply chain management, I have served in different Co.’s both Local as well as Global and in all of them with a single purpose, to ensure all my clients and customers have benefited from my service, along with increased productivity and efficiency. Having worn many hats in this line of business, I have experience at every level, and due to that fact evolved into a complete professional in logistics and supply chain management. As the old axiom says one never stops learning, evolution and learning continue even today.
TCM: When did the idea of being in a logistic and supply chain industry come to you?
The idea of supporting the Engineering and Construction business through logistics and supply chain management comes to me naturally, since it was pioneered in the construction business by my father. The route I took was one where women were not represented traditionally and when the opportunity to be a pioneer in Logistics for Project Logistics / Oil and Gas industry came up early in my career, I took on the challenge and proceeded to win accolades for the work done. The thrill of executing a large project and the satisfaction of the clients concerned continued to motivate me to take on bigger and more complex projects.
TCM: Where is the demand for your services going in India and how do you decide the nature of the right target audience?
It is estimated that Transportation and Logistics costs account for around 14% of Total Costs of goods in India; this puts the industry at around $75 Billion at current estimated GDP. Similarly based on some estimates, there are pending projects to the tune of Rs.7 lakh Crore, conservatively the project logistics requirements would be around Rs. 50,000Crore. With increasing urbanization and growing demand for warehousing and distribution of goods nationwide, the future is bright for the logistics and supply chain management industry. The initiatives are taken by the government in large scale infrastructure investments in roads, inland waterways, ports, airports, and rail connectivity the demand is bound to pick up. This accompanied with more efficiency and productivity means the opportunity is enormous for our line of business.
TCM: What kind of marketing strategies do you deploy to spread your name?
Our best advertisement is the quality and responsiveness of our services, along with my twenty-five years of executing some of the most complex logistics operations in the country serves the company well. As we continue to grow and tap into more opportunities Globe Forwarding is at the table competing for every major job in the country. This and all the awards and accolades we receive have spread our name to almost all the major clients in need of project logistics and supply chain management.
TCM: Do you feel the influence of technology association has amplified over the years in logistics?
Technological advances have made the logistics business easier to access and provided an opportunity for companies like us to be more efficient and productive. We take advantage of the new and existing technologies and try to integrate them into our operations for increased efficiency and productivity, our software division is using new AI and Machine Learning to augment our efforts. The process is ongoing and the benefits will accrue to our clients and customers.
TCM: What do you feel about the transformation of the industry?
Facing fierce competition from a host of newcomers, logistics organizations trail behind the digital transformation curve compared to other industries. What’s needed is a prudent plan to weave in digital best practices and change the fabric ofbeleaguered logistics infrastructures.The productivity and efficiency gains are a huge boon for clients as well as the industry. It is an uphill task but the transformation is positive for the industry as well as for our clients and customers, the increased ease of access and efficiency benefits all.
TCM: In a competitive market, what hurdles did you have to battle?
Newcomers with technological advances are giving the traditional companies fierce competition, apart from this we battle the hurdle of perception all the time, but in the end, our quality and demonstrable work make us jump over all hurdles. We continue to adopt and integrate new technologies and other advances in the business to stay ahead of the competition.
TCM: How do you chalk out a business model for a successful name?
Every new job handled is an addition to the capabilities of our organization. We are able to integrate the lessons learned and best practices into future projects. This model of incremental capability and efficiency enhancement has worked for us. We continue to fine-tune it annually to stay ahead and ensure a successful name for Globe Forwarding.
TCM: What nature of clients are you associated with currently?
Our clients and customers are from a specialized group of industries, these include Oil and Gas, Global & Local EPC’s Co.’s – from Power Generation which include Solar Power, Thermal Power, and Hydroelectric Power Generating Companies. Apart from that Refinery, Fertilizer Plants, Major Manufacturers in multiple sectors and Infrastructure companies complete the list of the nature of our clientele.
TCM: Though the statistics of women entrepreneurs in India are rising, yet a woman’s ambitions are often doubted in our society. Is it difficult for women to start or lead a business in India?
It is extremely difficult for women to start or lead a business in India especially in my field unless it is family owned and operated. I hope by breaking that glass ceiling that existed I have been able to create more opportunities for women in this field. As awareness and education levels increase, I am sure more opportunities will be available for women in every aspect of life in our country.
TCM: As a businesswoman, how do you feel in the male-dominated industry? Have you experienced a different attitude because of gender?
Gender parity and inclusive behaviour have been sadly lacking in our industry and other sectors globally, I have not encountered major problems being a woman in the field, in fact, due to the rarity of the situation and my struggle to succeed, and I have earned the respect of the industry and my colleagues.
TCM: Please take us to the routine of your day, from the time you wake up to the time you go off to sleep. Also, share your hobbies.
The job of logistics and supply chain management for our clients is on my mind 24x7x365; I am on call at all times of the day and night due to the global nature of the business.I still follow a disciplined daily routine of rising early with prayer and yoga, and after a long day in the office and some walking exercises in the evening, I spend quality time with my family. Eating healthy and exercise keeps me going to tackle the work-related issues that crop up. My favourite hobby is to travel to different places and experience different cultures, cuisines, and nature. My work allows me to on occasion combine my hobby while executing interesting projects in unexplored locations.
TCM: Who is your inspiration?
My late father continues to be my inspiration and a role model for me. It is rare to see someone like him who supported, helped, and took care of so many, with so little for himself. His experiences which he shared with me from an early age and his guidance during difficult times provided an enlightened path for me in developing my life and leadership skills.
TCM: What is the corporate ethos for the clients in your company?
I have streamlined processes that we have followed and perfected over 25 years to deliver on strategic plans and projects. We enhance these incrementally every year and stay on top of the latest developments in the logistics and supply chain management industry. The key aspects of which involve, discipline, persistence, ability to innovate, transform, with constant monitoring and evaluation.
TCM: What are the achievements and awards earned?
I am grateful to Organizations, Associations, and Companies for bestowing me with recognition and awards over a long period of time and throughout my career. I am proud of my achievements and particularly because of being among the few women leaders in the logistics and supply chain management business. To list a few among many;
- Samudra Manthan – Woman Empowerment of the year 2019
- MALA Supply Chain Management Professionals 2016 – Woman in Logistics of the Year
- Times of India Group 2016 – Women Entrepreneur in the Logistics Industries of the Year
- Institute of Chartered Accountants – Women of the Year 2017
- Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam International Women’s Excellence Award 2018
- BTVI Stars of the Industry Awards – Women Leadership – Logistics Sector
- CIAC Global – Voice of Business Award 2019
- Asia’s Business Leader of the Year – Women Leadership Logistics Sector
- ABP News – Brand Excellence Awards – CEO of the Year Logistics Services
And the list goes on….
TCM: What gives you an edge over your peers?
The support and encouragement of my family and industry colleagues gives me an edge over my peers. I have earned their respect and admiration through hard work and persistence in the field and will continue to do so. The ability and capabilities that I have perfected over the past twenty-five years are the obvious professional reason, but the personal touch and relationships built over that period gives me an additional edge over my peers.
TCM: What core values and compliances are followed by you to maintain the name-value across the market?
Our core value is one of enabling our clients to demonstrably benefit by our timely and efficient execution of all our projects; we maintain this due to our values of integrity, honesty, trust, and our capabilities.
TCM: If given a chance how would you like to describe yourself from a third-eye perspective?
Being determined and strong-willed, and despite barriers and hurdles, I have always set higher standards for myself and my team. The hurdles only served as an additional motivation to overcome all challenges that came my way. My ability to connect with and lead people from the front won me the respect and affection of colleagues and competitors.
TCM: What advice would you give to aspiring women, who want to start their careers in entrepreneurship?
Having opened the doors of opportunity for women in this field, I wholeheartedly encourage them to take up careers in this industry. The work is hard but fruitful and rewarding. Being your own boss comes with responsibilities and the ability to take chances, but the satisfaction is greater at the end of the day.
SAFETY STANDARDS AT GLOBE FORWARDING
Globe Forwarding vigorously follows health, safety, security and environmental policies that have been framed by in-house, experienced, qualified specialists to ensure that the movement of clients’ goods is managed without damageto the environment; without hazard to personnel and risk to the cargo.
- We try involving in zero major incidents
- We try to fulfil all relevant national and international legislative requirements
- We try not to damage and, where possible, to improve the environment
- We try to encourage the development of a safety culture amongst the personnel and contractors
- We ensure providing training to our personnel and, where appropriate, our contractors
- We have established common standards by using smart e-learning tools
- We utilize established examination bodies with internationally recognized certification
- We are progressive and related to seniority and role
- We are constantly reviewed and updated to follow industry best practice
- We combine ‘in-house’ tuition with external e-learning and ‘taught’ courses
- We offer global training methods to Globe’s contractors.
Dr. Sharmila H. Amin wraps the conversation adding, “We make sure that all our clients and customers always win because of the logistical support that we provide selflessly.”