The logistics industry in India is estimated between 11.8% and 13% of GDP, which is higher than in most developed economies, presenting opportunities to create solutions that can help make customers more successful. Today a career in logistics involves bridging the gap between the market place and the operating activities of business world over, and as such, offers tremendous opportunities in terms of job prospects.
Logistics is a part of the service industry, where people are the key differentiators. Hence, while great significance is given to keeping the workforce highly motivated, there is also a constant emphasis laid on not just meeting but also exceeding customer expectations.
Logistics as an industry is extremely versatile, and the skill sets required for a particular field depends on the function. In fact, it would not be wrong to say that the industry offers something for everyone, gratifying various aptitudes and matching diverse attitudes.
Logistics provides a global career. The importance attached to this area by the global players can be gauged from the fact that almost all global companies like DHL, FedEx, UPS, TNT etc., have their presence in India.
Logistics is now a specialized area of knowledge and therefore necessitates training to achieve specialized skill sets. Introduction of specialized courses at various business schools, including the IIMs stand testimony to this.
A Diploma in automobile engineering qualifies one for a Fleet Manager, while Logistics Managers, Warehouse Managers and Inventory Managers are generally management graduates with a specialization in operations or transportation management.
“Reliability” is among the most desired personality trait owing to the highly time sensitive nature of the logistics industry. Time lost in this industry literally translates to lost business.
Integrity, team spirit, and a ‘first-time-right’ concept to achieve 100 % quality and customer satisfaction are other traits required for success. Customer expectations require greater ability to manage complexity and provide complete solutions – a more strategic partnership to meet common goals, rather than a fleeting transactional relationship.
Customer demands have been in the areas of reliability and speed to help them cut down the cost of inventory and get them first to market from the points of production to the points of consumption. Increasingly, there is a need for greater customer orientation for the softer aspects of responsiveness, empathy and relationship which go beyond reliability to an understanding of needs.
To achieve the kind of growth predicted, the industry is in need of a strong manpower resource that will support and fulfill the expectations laid down by the millions of Indians who foresee their nation emerging as one of the superpowers of the 21st century. It is an exciting area to be in, knowing that one is contributing actually to make this growth happen and help the country to forge ahead.