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Manpower Crunch Cramps Logistics Industry

The domestic logistics industry, which is estimated to generate business worth $110 billion in the next two years, is facing serious manpower crunch that could stifle its growth potential. It is estimated, in the next four to five years the industry would need over 400,000 additional pair of hands.
Speaking to Business Standard, Atul kulkarni, senior manager, Deloitte Touch Tohmatsu,said though the industry was growing at a rapid pace, it was yet to overcome skilled manpower crunch, in the next 4-5 years, the industry would need 420,000 skilled people in the senior management category.
Courses in supply chain management and logistics management are not yet the preferred ones for students. Also, there are only a handful of institutes offering specialized courses in these areas. Most courses offered are generally very theoretical and elusive. It is important to design a course structure which is an ideal mix of theory and practice, he added.
Students also think that logistics industry is not a good paymaster as compared to other industries, especially the IT industry. However, he noted, the industry pays Rs.15lakh to Rs. 20lakh every year to an entry -level candidate in the middle- range segment of finance, marketing and human resources.
There has been a sudden transformation in the scale and scope of activities provided by the logistics sector. This growth rate needs to be supported with a parallel growth of skilled and trained manpower. Attracting and retaining talent has been a major problem faced in the logistics business. There is a need to incorporate a high degree of professionalism in the functioning and approach in this business, said Kulkarni.
The other basic problem is awareness. The Industry has not exposed itself properly. Moreover, the industry was traditionally dominated by individuals and seen as family business. It has only been in the recent years that MNCs have entered the industry.
A senior official representing a US-based shipping line said, when a logistics company enters India, it prefers the acquisition route. This is not because of the cost advantage but due to readily available human resources, which is under qualified. It is experience and the network that matters more.
However, this will not help in the long run. Since the industry is becoming global, it is important to have the right talent, with more knowledge to meet the demand.
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