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Making Logistics Employees Skillworthy

By 2022, the logistics sector is expected to employ more than 28.4 million employees from the current figures of 16.74 million. With logistics being a service oriented sector, skill development is emerging as a key capability. this makes it absolutely necessary for the government, training institutions, the logistics companies and the sector skill council to step up their efforts in building training capacity and offer industry-relevant skills to the candidates.

Surya Kannoth

The Indian logistics sector is valued at $150 billion, contributing 14.4 percent to the country’s GDP. The sector is touted to cross the $200 billion mark by 2020 thanks to the easing of foreign direct investment norms, implementation of the Goods and Services Tax, increasing globalisation, growth of e-commerce, positive changes in regulatory policies, and government initiatives like ‘Make in India.’

According to a report by National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC), India will need around 28.4 million strong supply chain workforce in India’s booming transportation, logistics, warehousing and packaging sector. The sector, which currently employs over 16.74 million employees, is slated to employ more than 28.4 million employees by 2022.

While this sector is touted to have one of the highest incremental requirement of human resources to the tune of around 11.7 million during the period 2013-2022, the level of inefficiency in logistics activities in the country has been very high. The required pace of efficiency and quality improvement will demand rapid development of capabilities of logistics service providers. And with logistics being a service oriented sector, skill development is emerging as a key capability.

This makes it imperative for the government, the training institutions, the logistics companies and the sector skill council to build training capacity and offer industry-relevant skills to the candidates.

Recently speaking at the first National Conference on Logistics Policy at FICCI House in New Delhi, Samir Shah, immediate past chairman, Federation of Freight Forwarders’ Associations in India (FFFAI) and Partner, JBS Group, observed that this sector is predominantly human resources-based industry. However, biggest challenge is to get people to come and join this industry. “Ensure good mobility and make this industry an attractive career option. People should be the prime pillars of logistics industry. Training should be mandatory and monitoring the training institution should be of prior importance. Pay for the trainees rather than training institutes. There should be multiple Centres for Excellence across the country. Women should be encouraged more to join this industry,” he opined. According to him, objectives and functions of Logistics Sector Council should also be incorporated in the Logistics Policy. Shah also urged for massive media campaign by the government to promote logistics industry, for creating good image of this sunrise sector.

A whole new game for corporates The evolving business environment is creating a strong demand pull for quality and efficient logistics services. The core issues around enabling infrastructure, regulatory environment and the fragmented nature of the industry are being overcome gradually.

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March - April 2019

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