It is annoying if everything is going smoothly and suddenly our parcel gets stuck for some reason. As noises disturb the flow of a melody, disturbances in the facilities of moving packages and goods from suppliers to consumers hinder experiences and performance. A strong supply chain and logistics shape these processes and enhance consumer experiences. The logistics sector in India has a great future, and various companies are contributing towards the country’s economic growth. Among the crowd of such companies, a French company that spread its business in India successfully is FM Logistic India.
FM Logistic India was founded in 1967 in France. This family-owned company is known as one of Europe’s leading supply chain services companies. Catering to its tagline ‘Supply Change’, the company is persistently supporting the development of sustainable omnichannel supply chains. Keeping this approach at its core, the company operates in more than 14 countries across Europe, Asia, and Latin America. It has annual revenue of about €1.5 billion and 28,600 FTE employees.
In an exclusive interview with CIOLOOK INDIA, Ajit Jangle, the Managing Director of FM Logistic India, spoke in detail about their journey, achievements, and plans. The highlights of the discussion are given ahead.
Sir, please tell us about your inception in India.
In 2016, FM Logistic acquired a majority stake in Spear Logistics, one of India’s key contract logistics companies. We have spread our business over 100+ locations in India and manage 7.0+ million square feet of warehousing space. Currently, the company has 5000+ employees, and they provide warehousing, omnichannel fulfilment, co-packing, domestic transport, urban logistics operations, and supply chain control tower services.
We serve customers in various sectors such as FMCG, retail, beauty-cosmetics, industrial manufacturing and healthcare industries. Teaming up with customers and consumer partners, we aim to build responsible supply chains. We have a strong clientele in India, including several blue-chip Indian and multinational corporations.
How did the company evolve? What are its areas of providing services?
Every giant company is known for its quality products and good services that consistently make an impression on clients. From its inception in India, FM Logistic started operating and managed around 2.5 million sq. ft. of warehousing space. With such relentless work, we have set up four state-of-the-art Grade A Multi-Client Facilities (MCF) in Farrukh Nagar (Gurugram), Bhiwandi and Bengaluru over the years. These MFCs have multi-client, multi-activity facilities and are in proximity to the biggest consumption centres of the clients.
Each of these facilities has a dedicated area for co-parking and value-added services. Currently, we offer services for solar panels for energy generation, rainwater harvesting, sewage treatment plant, fully insulated for energy efficiency, drivers’ relaxations quarters, creche, training centres and medical room.
Tell us briefly about the story of establishing your first branch in a foreign country.
Establishing your company’s presence in a foreign country requires tenacious effort and a geographical understanding of that country. Moreover, analysing the right audience is a crucial task. Despite challenges, companies get successful, and FM Logistic is one of them. We commenced operations at the first MCF in India in Farrukh Nagar in 2022.
This facility is built with international standards and is the first in India to combine FM Global and LEED Gold Certifications. The company is strategically located near the Kundli-Manesar-Palwal Expressway (Delhi), and it provides faster access to major consumption centres in the North. Not just this, the warehousing facility of that centre allows for good working conditions and sustainable execution of warehousing and distribution activities.
What are your prominent services and solutions?
A company’s reputation depends on the quality of its products and how it offers its services to customers. Understanding the need for transportation and distribution services, FM Logistic entered the sector intending to add value to customer experiences. The company offers a wide range of value-added distribution services to facilitate the further growth of customers’ businesses.
The multimodal transportation solutions are backed by AI that enhances end-to-end omnichannel supply chains. It also transforms them into a more agile, resilient and sustainable customer asset. It provides complete distribution solutions, covering the entire supply chain, including inbound and outbound logistics.
We also offer an array of exclusive solutions, which does not stop there. To excel in the industry, we have invested in transportation and warehousing activities and tried to carry out the digitalization of various functions. We have attempted to digitalize its primary systems, such as WMS (Warehouse Management System) and TMS (Transport Management System). These systems offer high-quality service and real-time visibility to customers.
What makes your company stand out in the fast-paced competition?
When incepted in 1967, Mars Chocolates was our first customer, and today, after a journey of 56 years, we have maintained the quality of its services and retained the customer. The association remains strong, and together, they have expanded the services to various locations where the chocolate manufacturer has operations.
Moreover, when started in India, Atlas Copco was the first customer on-boarded by Spear Logistics. Today, even after seven years, the company is our esteemed client. We have an extremely strong clientele, and 70% of our customers are world leaders in their industries and markets. It is the recipient of several Logistics and Supply Chain Management awards that testify to its quality and focus.
We make continuous efforts and carry out deliberate customer-centric measures like:
- Extreme focus and action orientation: This addresses customer concerns on an urgent basis.
- Resolutions of concerns: We tap into possible customer concerns before and as they come up and present solutions to clients.
- Strong Team: A centralized audit team simplifies the task and looks into auditing inventory and processes.
- Timely meetings: Structured MIS and monthly review meetings with customers.
- Efficient and Customized Processes: We have appointed a specialised team of industrial engineers to make processes leaner and more efficient for reducing cycle time. It has also focused on creating customized systems and workflow customization.
- Utilizing the Staff: It facilitates workforce planning and training for smooth and fast processes.
Considering the current industry scenario, what challenges do you face, and how do you drive your firm to overcome them?
Despite persistent efforts, well-planned strategies, and growing customer demands, logistics in India is plagued by numerous challenges, including cost pressures, high returns and poor infrastructure. Moreover, the fickle and discerning nature of Indian customers, it gets difficult to manage returns and collection of payments. We consistently try to solve some of the challenges we have faced since its inception in India.
- Insufficient integration of transport networks, information technology and warehousing and distribution facilities.
- Regulations imposed by national, regional and local authorities hinder the creation of national networks.
- The disorganized nature of the logistics sector, less-trained workforce, andlack of adequate training institutions lead to a shortfall in skilled management and client service personnel.
- Poor facilities and management causehigh levels of loss, damage and deterioration of stock.
Yet, we strive to maintain our service excellence and invest in resolving the issues. We have established an efficient and well-connected distribution network for disorganized distribution issues. Moreover, we have a widespread transportation network with 20+ branches across India and 100+ dedicated vehicles. Additionally, well-equipped WMS and TMS track all material movement activities and provide stage-wise information to customers.
According to you, what changes must be carried out to uplift the industry in India?
Change is hard; however, it is part and parcel of life, which also applies to the supply chain and logistics sector. As the change factor in the industry, FM Logistics boasts itself as one of the few logistics companies to be associated with the United Nations Global Compact Network.
We introduced our new tagline called ‘Supply Change,’ which emphasizes our commitment to helping clients build and maintain sustainable supply chains. The tagline acknowledges the transformation that fosters a more responsible consumption and sustainable economy.
What measures have you taken to offer sustainable solutions?
With sustainable development at our core, FM Logistic’s sustainability strategy revolves around three priorities: Employee Well-Being, The Environment and Eco-Efficient Services.
For sustainable development, we have started the change itself. Our multi-client facilities use solar energy for power generation. It has resulted in the reduction of CO2 emissions at our MFCs by approximately 50%. Apart from this, water treatment plants and rainwater harvesting contribute to our way of achieving sustainable development.
A guarded working space is always important in any business, and we are committed to providing a safe and secure working environment. Additionally, we ensure good working conditions in terms of a hygienic working environment, welfare facilities, enough ventilation, adequate lighting, etc.
What initiatives have you taken to ensure diversity and inclusion in your company?
Indian culture is diverse, and people from different areas and cultures work together to grow with the organization. Along with a welcoming environment and good working conditions, there should be a feeling of inclusion among employees.
Catering to this, we take the initiative; thus, diversity and inclusion in the organization foster a more creative and innovative workforce. Moreover, we focus on women empowerment, and the number of Women co-workers is steadily increasing.