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Road map to improve working - SCI global agents’ meets

Posted to Road map to improve working - SCI global agents’ meets (by on March 5, 2012

Strategy for SCI to market cargo aggressively

Embarking on a strategic maneuver, India’s biggest ocean carrier, Shipping Corporation of India (SCI) convened a two-day meeting of their worldwide agents last week with the hope of steering the company back on to a cost-effective course. Around 200 agents from various quarters of the globe who gathered at Taj President in Mumbai hammered out a congenial and customer savvy system of operation putting in place a robust plan to market cargo aggressively.

Participating in the meet were representatives from the Far East, Indian Subcontinent, West Asia, Western Europe, Mediterranean, Black Sea, East and South Africa, Red Sea, USA etc. In their discussion they focused on improving the state-owned SCI’s market share, developing existing business portfolios and evaluation of agency performance. In particular, they deliberated on various strategies to enhance business, cut down cost, increase revenue and operate services efficiently towards making the business viable.

The worldwide agents’ meet is seen by the company as an important event, as it impact the business operation. According to a spokesman of SCI most other shipping companies in India have taken the cue from SCI and have started to arrange their agents’ meet too. “It is the marketing we have to do,” said one of the directors. “The meet is a better strategy we have for marketing the cargo at the same time we see that the agents’ requirements are met too.”

In his opening remarks the Chairman and Managing Director (CMD), S Hajara explained the adverse impact on SCI’s performance caused by the global economic downturn and expressed that 2011 had been the worst year in several decades. But there was a silver lining.

He pointed out that 95 per cent of India’s international cargo by volume moves by sea and the cargo handled at all the major and non-major ports crossed the one billion tonne mark three months back. He informed that the projected cargo that will be handled at all the ports by 2020 will be in excess of 2.5 billion tonnes indicating the immense opportunities for shipping. The government is going all out to raise capacity at the ports and is depending heavily on private investment under the public-private partnership model to meet the rising demand.  

Director (P&A), Shri Kailash Gupta addressed the gathering and talked about the tough phase the shipping industry was passing through. He indicated that not only in-house efficiencies were to be improved but agents were also expected to increase their efforts for better performance of the SCI. He stressed on the importance of the positive cash flows in the business through operations

Director (L&PS), J N Das stressed upon the operational performance of the company and devise sustainable strategies to grow. “Deployment of bigger ships for SCI meant requirement for bigger market share to fill up the slots to make it viable hence he stressed that agents needed to reorganize and should meet the market dynamics of our business. Liner business was, of cyclical nature and it was essential to have flexible strategies to adapt to various situations. Even though the year 2011 experienced depressed freight market, it had been largely stable.”