Suresh Bansal, Director, Head - Supply Chain Solutions & International Business, DTDC Courier & Cargo Ltd
Enjoying the first mover advantage in terms of reach in the express industry with largest network of franchisees spread across India and overseas is DTDC. In an interview, Suresh Bansal, Director, Head - Supply Chain Solutions & International Business, DTDC Courier & Cargo Ltd, shares its expansion plans.
Namita Bhagat (NB): Share the origin and concept of DTDC?
Suresh Bansal (SB): During 1990 the company’s Founder Director, Subhasish Chakraborty realised that there was a major gap in express distribution services to the consumers in India and latent need for providing express services. Very soon he availed this opportunity to create an express courier company and thus DTDC Courier & Cargo Ltd was born on July 26, 1990. Today DTDC has the largest network in the private sector with over 5,345 franchisees spread across the country. This innovative concept has been effectively carried overseas, with DTDC franchisees appointed at USA, UK, UAE and Singapore. This model has been so successful, that now it has crossed the Indian shores and - the model has also been the case study at various business schools in India and abroad.
NB: DTDC has been a front runner in taking franchise route for the courier industry in India. How and when did the company start franchising?
SB: Being short of seed capital (since he came from the middle class family), our founder conceived a unique business model of appointing franchisees, who would not only provide the strength of network at minimal capital investment, but also generate business for themselves as well as for DTDC. This was a win-win arrangement and became the cornerstone for DTDC’s success story. We pioneered the ‘Franchisee Business Model’ in the express industry in India that gave the first mover advantage in terms of reach which is a key requirement and also the USP for DTDC.
NB: The company has witnessed rapid international growth? Could you share the reasons for its success?
SB: Our original and biggest USP till few years back was the largest network and brand building made us biggest domestic Indian brand in Express Courier Industry. The reasons for our success include: State of the art, Best IT infrastructure in Indian Courier Industry,
largest product range (Air / Rail / Road mode), special premium products like Time Bound Delivery / Sunday/Holiday Delivery & Money Back guarantee products, information in real time basis for all national and international deliveries. Also, factors such as largest Infrastructure by any Indian courier company, 22000 people handling over ten million parcels a month, Zero Debt company, only Indian courier company having implemented SAP ERP, full range service from Documents to Truck Loads, Domestic and International, separate dedicated Supply Chain Solutions Divisions dealing in Warehousing, Logistics and Transportation have also contributed to our immense growth.
NB: DTDC has its service network in international locations. What kind of operational model do you have at international locations and especially in Middle East?
SB: DTDC has strong international presence. We have our own subsidiaries, joint ventures (JV), representative offices and franchisees abroad. We have 100 per cent subsidiary in US with four offices and 100 per cent subsidiary in UK with four offices. We have 76 per cent subsidiary in UAE with three offices and 76 per cent subsidiary in Canada. Also, we have an equal JV in Singapore. We have appointed Super Franchisees in Qatar and Oman. For Saudi Arabia, we have tied-up with Saudi Post – EMS.
NB: Would you be considering further expansion in UAE and Mid-East via franchising in coming years? What would be the locations you will be aiming to extend your franchise operations in the region?
SB: Yes, we are planning large expansion in Middle East in the next few years. Apart from our current three offices in UAE, we plan to add three more offices within UAE, expand our network to Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Doha (Qatar).
NB: What would be the eligibility criteria for selecting franchisees in the Middle East region?
SB: Multiple Franchises system does not work in UAE. Hence we will be expanding our network outside UAE by appointing Master or Super Franchises.
NB: Share your outlook for ‘Express Industry’ in UAE/Mid East in coming years?
SB: Express Industry in UAE. Mid East is quite matured and operated by all the big companies in the world. Operators like DHL, FexEx, Aramex, TNT. Apart from these companies several local operators are working in Middle East. However, only one or two national companies from India are operational. Middle East is full of Indian populations and there is huge scope for Indian companies like DTDC to consolidate and build their positions.
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