Is The Logistics Market Set To Change?

"Today we are present in North operating In Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Punjab & Haryana with a Warehousing Space of 2.5 Lakhs+ sqft. & provide a complete 3pl solution. We are one of the company today that are 100% legally compliant"- Puneet Wadhwa, Wadhwa Group

In this insightful discussion, Puneet Wadhwa, Director, Wadhwa Group, speaks to Urvi, Editorial, BW Businessworld about the logistics sector, products he is working on, the lockdown, and expansion plans he has for the company.

How has the logistics industry changed from 2000 when Wadhwa group was founded to the road map of 2021?

Wadhwa Group was founded in the year 1988 by Late Shri Kamal Wadhwa & Praveen Wadhwa. Wadhwa Group started its operations from distribution and entered into the logistics business in the year 2000 when Uttarakhand was formed. Our first Company was Philips Electronics India Limited with warehousing space of 1000 Sqft. During that time there was a Traditional Model called the CFA (Carrying and Forwarding Agents). Since then we kept on Growing and added Multiple Brands in different verticals from FMCG, Electronics, Tobacco & Liquor. Today we operate for various multinationals with all modern & up to date systems. A few of our clients are Asian Paints, Pernod, VST Industries, Eveready, Madhu Jayanti. Signify (Previously Known as Philips), Hector Beverages, Hindalco, Dabur, Everest, Johnson & Johnson’s, etc. Today we are present in North operating In Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Punjab & Haryana with a Warehousing Space of 2.5 Lakhs+ Sqft & provide a complete 3pl solution. We are one of the companies today that are 100% legally compliant companies.

Presently, you specialize in the 3P logistics model. Will there be any expansion to 4P?

We are in India where the 3Pl model is the most successful model as compared to 4PL. In India, Logistics Business is a very complex and tough business, where we are sitting in a very unorganized market where you have to cater to small retailers, distributors, etc.

Secondly, 4Pl has always been an expensive model for Companies as compared to 3PL. In order to meet the competitive market, we have to be present directly in the market rather than letting out the Business to some other player. Generally in 4PL they let the business out further to local players. If you are adding one more person it always increases the cost.

The business is mainly in North India, are we going to see expansion in the Southern region?

North India is our main market and we have established a mark here and it will always be our key focus. We had plans for expansions in other states as well but considering the ongoing scenario of Covid, it was delayed a bit.

New players are emerging in the logistics vertical. What new products and services are you working on to stay relevant?

Yes it’s true that lots of new players are entering the market but we have been in this business for more than 20 years now as we know the in-depth market dynamics. As per the market demands we keep updating our products and services. Till 2017 we used to operate only in Uttarakhand, post GST we saw an opportunity and expanded our foot in different states. Today big multinationals want a single vendor or very minimum vendors to operate their operations with a cost-effective model so that they have a single window in a particular region or area. We have upgraded our software and our fleet as per the client’s requirement. The major advantage with our group is that it’s a family-owned business whereby everyone has a hold of day-to-day activities not like those companies where owners are not involved. As we are involved in day-to-day activities we have been able to provide cost-effective models to different multinationals.

Given that logistics involves freight movement and warehousing, how were you able to cope with the lockdown? How was business impacted? & How long will it take to recuperate from the situation?

In order to cope up with both the lockdowns, we had taken some immediate decisions like we started transporting essential items which had permission from the Government. Our team worked very closely with Local Government Departments in order to take approvals and operated in limited timelines.

We are proud to say that there have not been any salary cuts for any employee nor any firing has been done. Our staff has supported us in hour of need, in the same manner, it’s our duty to support them during these tough times. Losses have been there across industry and the business was slow but as per the current situation, we shall be able to recover losses by this financial year.

With the current scenario and digital expansion mostly adopted by all businesses & entrepreneurs. How is the Wadhwa group gearing to involve tech innovation into consideration?

We are very much up to date with the current digital growth such as implementing of GPS tracking systems, Warehouse Management systems (WMS), Bar Coding and many more We keep expanding with new technologies from time to time.

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