In conversation with Mr Pankaj Joshi, CEO, Kelvin Cold Chain where he talks about changing client expectations, handling new challenges in a volatile environment, his experiences with reefer technology in India and more.
Tell us what sets Kelvin Cold Chain apart as India’s leading cold chain logistics solutions provider? You have been part of Indian logistics sector for 23 years now. How different do you think we are today, if you look back?
Kelvin Cold Chain Logistics (earlier known as Mehta Frozen Foods Carriers) has been one of the pioneers in establishing the cold chain industry in India. With 17 years of experience in dealing with a multitude of industries such as processed food, dairy, meat, poultry, FMCG, QSR, Pharma etc. we understand each product’s requirement in depth including their storage and distribution. This ensures that we devise end to end, customized, efficient and optimal cold chain solutions for our customers.
Multiple factors set us apart from the competition –
- The sense of assurance and trust which we provide to our customers by ensuring their product safety at all times through stringent processes and SLA management.
- Focus on innovation and the use of technology for enabling real time visibility, transparency and control, adding value to the customer’s entire supply chain.
- Capability to provide complete, end to end cold chain solutions including transportation, storage and distribution.
- Highly dedicated team of experienced and trained resources in Kelvin extends service excellence.
- Drivers are integral to our business and we take great pride in having drivers who are associated with us for a decade and more. Our driver training and engagement programs ensure that they have the appropriate skills and knowledge to handle the product requirements while in transit.
- Our capability for managing the retail distribution through transhipment hubs within the city and a large fleet of specialized trucks to manage state / regional distribution.
As far as the overall logistics sector is concerned, a multitude of changes have occurred over the 23 years that I have been a part of it. Some key changes witnessed are:
- The emergence and acceptance of 3PL in Indian market
- Transformation of 3 PLs to an integrated logistics service provider
- Increase in government recognition and support for Cold Chain Logistics Industry
- Customer Focus / awareness of Quality Services, Infrastructure & application of technology
- Demand for Solutions, Focus on Logistics Models & Change Management
- Skill / Talent Developments through increased focus on supply chain management / Operations management by the Indian universities, resulting in a significantly higher availability of resources
How different are your clients today? Do you think their expectations have changed over time? Have you experienced any changes in their priorities?
More and more clients are moving towards a LSP driven model. They understand and want to focus on their core business objectives.
On time delivery with required temperature has become given. In terms of expectations, customers are now looking for and willing to evaluate logistics models and solutions sets from the service provider. They are keen to check application of technology and service benefits that can accrue to their business. Quality infrastructure, hygiene & value added services such as pre-cooling, promo bundling, kitting, milk runs, optimisation (route / capacity) etc. have emerged as major expectations with change of time. Kelvin Cold Chain has delivered on each of above changed expectations and works closely with it’s customers to deliver quality through constant innovation and value added services.
Operating in a volatile environment leads to newer situations in day to day operations? How do you handle such new challenges? What counts most – theoretical knowledge or real life experience?
Logistics means volatility (unpredictability / Changed expectations / exceptions on various counts). It would be difficult to identify theory or practical experience to be the most critical parameter for handling new challenges. While theoretical knowledge prepares you for many challenges and ensures that you take utmost precautions for ensuring product safety, it can never eliminate the need for real life experiences to ensure appropriate handling.
However, we believe in assimilate valuable learning’s from these experiences (over 17 years), learning from them and implementing detailed processes that would significantly eliminate the volatility arising out of different scenarios. Frequent training programs ensure that the entire team is up-to-date with our internal knowledge bank, ensuring optimal operations and meeting customer expectations.
Do you think that Indian market is growing up for Reefer technology? What are your experiences with reefer technology on Indian roads?
Cold Chain Industry in India is witnessing growth and is projected to nearly triple in size by 2015 from USD 3 Billion in 2012 to approximately USD 9 Billion in 2015. This change is primarily driven through rapid change in consumption patterns, fuelled by expansion of the modern trade, QSR, processed food, dairy and pharma industries in India. Thus, In terms of demand for reefer technology, I foresee a lot of innovation in technology shall emerge to manage growth in both reefer storage as well as transportation.
With respect to existing reefer technology available in India, though it meets current requirements however there is a lot that can be improved upon on various fronts viz. Efficiency, cost effectiveness, service support & innovation.
Kelvin is extremely bullish on the cold chain logistics space which is reflected through it’s growing investments in fleet, temperature controlled warehouses, distribution centres and technology
How do you think forums like India Cold Chain Show and India Cold Chain Summit, playing a key role in preparing industry for the changing times ahead?
Forums such as India Cold Chain Show and India Cold Chain Summit are great platforms for logistics equipment manufacturers, suppliers, service providers and customers to interact. The platform not only helps in growing the industry awareness, but also highlights challenges faced by each spoke of the wheel that forms the logistics industry.
Further, such platforms promote thought leadership and innovation in the cold chain industry, which helps it reach new standards of efficiency through constant evolution, leading towards a more robust and sustainable future.
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