Guest Lecture Session by Mr. Sunil Naik, Talent Head, DHL Logistics

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On July 4, 2015 Tapmi got the privilege to have a one-to-one interaction with Mr. Sunil Naik, Talent Head, DHL Logistics. Mr. Naik’s relationship with Tapmi dates back to more than a decade.

A person of very high academics, he is an MBA from Cochin University, a PG diploma holder in Sales and Marketing from IIM-K and a PG Diploma holder in HR from XLRI, Jamshedpur. He has a vast industry experience in various corporate domains and has worked in the past with Exxon Mobil, More and Fortis Healthcare.

Mr. Naik, who began his talk by thanking the placement committee at Tapmi, whose warmhearted hospitality had made him feel delighted, talked in detail about DHL Logistics, and about the nitty-gritties of this industry.

DHL Logistics is a part of the DP DHL group, which started off in US in the year 1969 and is currently owned by the Deutsche Post group based out of Bonn, Germany. It’s a €56 billion company with an EBIT of €2.97 billion. The two major divisions of the company are: DP, which handles the post and DHL, which handles the logistics.

The occupation of transportation of goods & services was existent even in the ancient era. However, in the modern world, it began to emerge as an industry during the period of the two World Wars. At that time, sea was the prominent mode of transportation. The number of ports were limited and the cargos were assigned a stipulated time, exceeding which, they were penalized in the form of demurrage. It was then, that some sound minds of the industry thought of sending some of their workers by air, who would take care of the lengthy documentation procedures regarding the goods well on time and the ship owners would avoid penalty.

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Over the years, the logistic business has undergone numerous changes and it has become essential for every player in the industry to develop a USP for his services. In case of DHL, the USP is reliability. When people send their important and/or confidential documents, they trust DHL. When students send their admission papers to universities abroad, they use DHL.

“There is a similarity between us and the Soccer team of Germany. We as Germans are highly process driven; be it soccer or handling the logistics”, Mr. Naik remarked. Annually, DHL ships around 2.9 million TEU of containers and 4.4 million tons of air freight. With an employee base of 4.80 thousand, DHL is present in 220 countries. “From ‘cornea’ to Formula 1 cars, we deliver everything”.

DHL handles warehousing and/or supply chain for companies like Flipkart and Snapdeal. Every mobile phone that we buy in India is shipped, majorly from China by DHL. Soon, it’s going to be the only company to handle the distribution for Coke. By and large, DHL ships over 119 million shipments every year- unbelievable! It also has a 24×7 customer logistic center and two major gateways at Delhi and Bangalore.

When it comes to innovation & technology, DHL is the front runner. Like drones, it has something called ‘Packet-copters’, which are used for delivery purposes abroad. This technology though is yet to make its mark in India. DHL also has RFIDs installed, to locate and place containers near the ports.

Talking about the major concerns of the logistics industry, Mr. Naik felt that data security is a critical issue. He added that innovations like Google’s Dropboxes (in Europe) and 3-D printing technology, have become appeared as rivals to this industry in some form or the other.

Towards the end of his session, Mr. Naik discussed some key things, which as a growing management professional, every person should keep in mind. He asked students to choose to be a ‘specialist’ in one domain, rather than being the jack of all trades. He also suggested them to be agile and ready to quickly learn and unlearn things. But the most interesting point that he made was to ‘be creative’. “Once you enter the industry, the application of the left side of your brain becomes minimal. It is your ‘right brain’ that takes you to your success curve. So, don’t be hesitant to be creative- develop a hobby and hone it, and be prepared to take calculated risks in life (don’t be suicidal though).

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