Global logistics major UPS is looking at China and India, as the major healthcare opportunity markets in Asia, the company stated in a release. China and India are the fastest growing healthcare markets in the region and several healthcare companies have their regional headquarters in Singapore, where UPS opened its first dedicated healthcare facility for Asia in 2011, it added based on a healthcare survey titled Pain in the (Supply) Chain. For global healthcare executives, China was the top expansion destination over the next three to five years, followed by the US, Brazil and India.

The survey reflects the views of senior-level healthcare supply chain decision makers in the pharmaceutical, biotech and medical device and supply industries. Decision makers in Asia are heavily focused on global expansion in the next three to five years, while other top investment strategies include increasing usage of new distribution channels and new technologies, UPS stated.

The release added, “There is a significant jump in planned technology investments in Asia, with many companies planning to invest in web ordering systems, and serialisation technologies in three to five years.”

Skilled people in short supply

Having identified skill gaps and human resource shortage as a key challenge for the Indian logistics sector, Frost & Sullivan recently stated that contract employees and fresh talent hired from educational institutes have high attrition rate.

Srinath Manda, Program Manager, Transportation and Logistics Practice, Frost & Sullivan, pointed out, “The immediate need of the hour for the logistics sector with regard to skill gaps and other human resource issues is to create well-defined job roles and career paths for the existing and prospective workforce.”

Taking up promotional efforts in association with professional institutes to build a sustainable pool of appropriately qualified workforce to meet the industry’s manpower needs is also the next step.

One of the proposal discussed to overcome this challenge was forming a knowledge consortium comprising logistics service providers, consultants, end users and educational institutes to help develop standards for logistics education, as also a suitable curriculum to address industry needs. It was also suggested that gaining work experience should be encouraged in order to expose fresh talent to on-ground work environment.

(This article was published on November 18, 2012)
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