Chain of convenience

Career opportunities are multiplying in the domain of logistics and supply chain management.

If you ever spotted a newspaper advertisement rushed to the store and purchased your favorite product, then you can tank supply chain mangers for a job well done. Supply chain management includes all the activities that involve getting a product into a customer’s hands from raw materials extraction to purchase of the product.

Supply chain and its management never stops. It is happening around the globe, 24 hours day, seven days a week. Moreover it has a vast scope and cannot be confined to any particular operation or industry. One can pursue focused career growth in sales, marketing, administration, customer service, documentation human resources, operations accounts, finance, information technology to name but a few functions in this domain. Some of the key industry verticals that have a strong need for supply chain management include retail, pharma and consumer goods.

As logistics is the backbone in terms of meeting human demands worldwide career opportunities are spread across the globe. Varied skill requirements in the Indian logistics industry can be primarily attributed to two factors. First, we have an expansive transportation network comprising different modes like road, rail, sea and air. Secondly we have a diverse range of service providers operating in this industry and performing a plethora of activities.

The Indian industry is anticipated to grow at a healthy rate of 15-20 per cent per annum (way above the average growth arte of 7-10 per cent that the sector has had between 2002 and 2007) to reach whopping $385 billion by 2015. India’s logistics sector attracted investments worth Rs 23,200 crore in the first half of 2008, according to a study by ASSOCHAM.

The movement of the Indian transportation, logistics, warehousing and packaging sector from in house staff (who simply manage inventory) to complex third party supply chain management has intensified today. As is the case with other industries, the employment is distributed across worker or supervisor or management levels in all segments with some features particular to segments such as third party logistics providers

Logistics and supply chain management courses in India are primarily offered in the form of certificate and diploma courses both at the graduation and post graduation level. The courses are structured comprehensively and prepare individuals to handle all aspects of the supply chain.

Supply chain management graduates are prepared for entry level positions in purchasing, inventory control, warehousing transportation and distribution, ocean freight and air freight departments. They also work with carriers shipping lines, airports sea ports and export import companies. Logistic firms across the country and in all sectors of the economy public and private recruit supply chain management graduates. Some prime employment sectors are manufacturing service healthcare and retail.

Specialized managerial interpersonal and analytical skills are a must for the logistics industry along with relevant knowledge of supply chain processes .This knowledge is particularly important as the industry is currently in a nascent stage wherein it is continuously contending against critical infrastructure and organizational challenges

There is no standard career path in logistics and supply chain management. One is largely in control of his /her own destiny and has the opportunity to pursue hundreds of potential career paths. In other words, the career path will be largely influenced by one’s own skills interests and personal decisions. It will also be impacted by the size, type, geographical scope and organizational structure of the firm that one
chooses to work for.

Companies are increasingly looking at a candidate’s attitude aptitude communication skills, presence of mind, common sense, sales skills and job knowledge. Flexibility is imperative for success in this industry. An employee is required to work with people throughout the company. Also, depending on the size of the organization in which one is employed, one’s initial responsibilities may deal with one or more logistics functions. In addition, some positions require one to specialize in a specific area of logistics and supply chain management.