The change of its name from TVS Logistics Services to TVS Supply Chain Solutions (TVS SCS) was an important one. TVS SCS has become an integrated service provider, offering the entire realm of supply chain solutions. In an interaction with Reji John and Blessy Chettiar, R Shankar, CEO (India), TVS SCS, articulates about the evolutionary process in the 3PL freight space, need to reduce cost of logistics, consolidation in the supply chain and the role of automation in business.
What was the rationale behind changing the branding from TVS Logistics to TVS Supply Chain Solutions?
There are two to three reasons why we changed the name. One, we were globally anyway known as TVS Supply Chain Solutions (TVS SCS). Only in India, we were still holding on to the name that we had earlier. We moved to more than just providing logistics services. Initially, there were transporters, warehousing companies, clearing and forwarding (C&F) agents and godowns. Then 3PLs like us came into the picture. We started providing logistics services under what we call as key performance indicators (KPIs) or service level agreements (SLAs); going by what outcomes we had to do versus what the customer wanted. It was not transactional outsourcing but meant to deliver a certain value to the customer. We had to find solutions in all dimensions like cost, quality, and delivery. We had to be better off than what the customer would have done by themselves.
As we moved up in this ability to deliver things, we also went about globally acquiring companies with a certain unique, niche capabilities which we wanted to bring into India. Also, they had certain customer relationships that were operating in India. Then we said that besides just delivering logistics services, can we move up the value chain and look into the entire realm of the supply chain and try and deliver other services as well. So now our host of services would start from procurement planning, demand management, procurement sourcing and the traditional logistics services of warehousing, transportation, etc. If we look at our brand essence, we talk about two things — evolving solutions and enduring relationships.
What are the key sectors you’re looking at besides automotive?
Auto, engineering and industrial is one of the key divisions that we have. Earlier, it used to be 95 percent of our business. Now it’s about 60 percent, the balance 25 percent would be consumer products and 15 percent would be the last-mile solutions, technology, and telecom solutions. We always keep evaluating newer and newer areas, be it from the capability of a department or from a sector standpoint.
Over a period of time, you made a series of acquisitions which gave TVS SCS the image that it’s a multinational company. has that attributed to the transformation?
We call it the Cube strategy. On one dimension we have the customer, second, we have the capability, and on the third dimension, we have a geography. Whenever we acquire something, it’s either a customer relationship or a capability. Being an Indian company, having great relationships with Indian companies and MNCs originating here, we have to follow the customer principle, when the customer goes overseas we also go with the customer. When Tata Motors went to Spain, we went to Spain; when Ashok Leyland bought Optare in London, we partnered with them.
What do you think is the evolutionary process taking place in the 3PL freight space?
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July - August 2019