DHL Group to invest Rs 2,100 cr in India

R. Y. Narayanan Coimbatore | Updated on March 12, 2018

Mr Malcolm Monteiro, CEO-South Asia, DHL Express

Global logistics major DHL group plans to invest close to €300 million (nearly Rs 2,100 crore) in the coming years in India, according to Mr Malcolm Monteiro, CEO-South Asia, DHL Express.

DHL Express that holds a majority stake in Blue Dart Express has no plans to merge both entities and the latter would remain a separate brand, he said.

Mr Monteiro was in Coimbatore for the opening of the company’s service centre in the city.

Declining to give a break-up of the investment planned, Mr Monteiro quoted Mr Frank Appel, Global Chairman of Deutsche Post AG, as saying (during his recent visit to the country) the parent company will pump in up to €300 million into India in the coming years.

Focus areas

The company will focus on developing free trade houses, create specialised industry verticals, reach out to the SMEs with tailor-made products, cross-sell DHL brands and to attract talent.

In an interview to Business Line, he said: “DHL is committed to India and will continue to invest in infrastructure, network and people to augment growth.”

Explaining the importance of Indian operations to DHL Express, Mr Monteiro said the country is a top market for the company and would “continue to be a key growth segment”.

He said the focus areas for the company in India would be investment in air capacity, distribution and “industry-specific product innovation” such as aviation and life sciences.

Euro Zone impact

Asked how much the on-going turmoil in Euro Zone will impact business from India to Europe, he said: “Europe and the euro are challenges that can be solved” and did not feel this was a cause for worry as emerging markets “will produce growth rates in the high single digits this year”. While conceding that there was a “bit of a slowdown in the Europe lane”, he was “optimistic of the opportunity” and DHL was “still well positioned”.

Mr Monteiro, responding to a question as to whether DHL Express would merge with itself Blue Dart Express Ltd, said India was a key focus area for the group and “one of our key plans is to cross-sell the various DHL brands in India”. (DHL Express (Singapore) Pte Ltd) holds 81 per cent stake in Blue Dart Express.)

While DHL would be the umbrella brand under which all services would be bundled to derive synergies, he said, “We will keep Blue Dart Express Ltd as a separate brand”.

Both have a combined retail footprint of over 475 service points for domestic and international express services. They were also developing offerings like Temp Controlled Logistics products, Go-green carbon neutral product and a pilot product Smart Truck and the `win-win partnership' gave the combination an edge over competition.

(Blue Dart Express, in the 12 months ended December 31, 2011, earned an income of Rs 1,489.60 crore and a net profit of Rs 122.24 crore. The Rs 10 face value shares of Blue Dart Express were trading at Rs 2,000 on the BSE in the morning trade today).

Coimbatore region

On the opening of the new service centre, he said apart from bringing in better operating efficiency, this would cut transit time and help focus on safe delivery.

The company was recording a double-digit growth in business from the region. He said South India contributed to 30 per cent of its revenue and Coimbatore was a key market in the South. The SME sector as a whole contributed about 40 per cent of its revenue and DHL Express offered “customised logistics solutions to SMEs”.

On whether the company contemplated providing a direct airfreight service from Coimbatore, Mr Monteiro said with airports being modernised, there were great opportunities and a “huge potential waiting to be explored in the direct air freight service to Coimbatore”. He said if the volumes permitted and “an opportunity does come up”, the company would definitely look at it.

Published on July 04, 2012

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