Finding Opportunity in Challenge

The story of APML's will to survive and grow, as told by Ramesh Agarwal, Mentor - Agarwal Packers & Movers Ltd, also known in the industry as the 'Man with the Cap'

BRAND CONNECT
Published: Nov 2, 2020 12:42:25 PM IST
Updated: Nov 2, 2020 05:33:13 PM IST

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COVID-19 has changed the game for the businesses around the world. A change that has redefined how corporates operate internally and have impacted the overall business model. It has also transformed the landscape for the businesses across industries with impact varying as per category of product or service. While some industries saw an unprecedented growth and others faced a major setback and one such category was Logistics.

We spoke to Shri Ramesh Agarwal, a well-knownface of one of the biggest firm in the consumer logistics sector of India– Agarwal Packers & Movers Ltd. (APML) and how the pandemic has reshaped their business & Logistics industry.

Sharing his views, Mr. Agarwal said that this challenge of COVID-19 has brought about a new perspective as how we conduct our business. Though impacting lives and businesses negatively, it has brought about an opportunity to re-look, re-think and re-structure business model. This ‘emergency’ has compelled individuals & organisation to lay more stress on financial & operational sustenance than chasing growth on paper. This pandemic has been an eye opener, a reality check, for most of the families and corporates –for changing focus from ‘wishes’ to ‘needs’. This, he said, is evident in organisation’s outlook to downsize to leaner team structure and families selling goods that they have amassed over the years but seldom used or moved to smaller and more economical accommodations to save cost.

Shri Ramesh Agarwal also expressed his views on how every adversity also brings in with itself an opportunity to bring about a new solution that leads to reshaping & remodelling. And the ongoing pandemic has only strengthened his belief. He pointed out how this situation has necessitated every individual & organisation to think “out of the box” and “INNOVATE”.

Sharing how his team has shown faith in his idea and belief, Shri Ramesh Agarwal expressed joy over how APML has stuck to its leader’s vision and brought about innovative solutions in their line of work. He stresses that the brand APML stands as more of a solution provider than a mere logistics company. A brand that catches the pulse of the nation and works towards bringing innovating solutions that the new-age, ever growing businesses (B2B) & households (B2C) demand. Throwing light on a few, he mentioned:

Home Storage Solutions– Home Storage Solutions– Offers a market of around Rs. 3000 Cr. The advantage of this solution is that you need to pay just 10% of the rent you are paying today and save 90% till you need your goods back. Home storage solution is found to be of great value for those, who are advised to “work from home” post COVID pandemic or those, who go on an overseas deputation or to carry on major renovations and needto store their goods furthermore, it is the apt solution for those, who face financial crux and wish to move storing their valuable goods for some time.

Home storage solution also offers an opportunity to store artefacts safely and take them when required. APML offers a holistic solution with its storage service, where you can store your goods for a desired period at a nominal rental cost. This service

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is gaining huge popularity with people seeking interim goods storage arrangement and is also seeing interest by organisations that look to avail flexible storage facility while relocating or restructuring. With the equal contribution from both B2C &B2B currently, the APML sees this as an opportunity to gain a major market share in coming times putting altogether.

Trucking Cube Solutions – A concept pioneered by APML, Trucking Cube features differently sized containers (4,6,8,12,16 to 20 Feet) that can be chosen according

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to the volume of the consignment to be transported. Providing ease of channelizing, security (your cube – your key/seal), flexibility (exclusive cube even for part shipment) and reducing handling during transit, the concept is fast emerging as a viable solution to the growing needs of big & small businesses. Looking at the growing demand, the brand is looking at expanding their fleet size to facilitate more & more customers.

Custom Warehousing Solutions – Furthering their pursuit of providing innovative and

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dynamic storage solutions, APML also provides custom warehousing solutions. With this initiative, the brand seeks to minimize the lowest warehousing cost for businesses of all sizes. Providing consolidated warehousing facility where partners are charged for space occupied by them for exactly the number of days they use the service/space, APML is looking to revolutionize the warehousing business and bringing about better cost efficiencies with reduced costs & manpower requirement.

Sharing with us the secret to APML’s sustained growth over the years, Mr. Agarwal stated that their footing has been made firm by their zeal to learn & innovate to bring about efficiency in operations & processes, backed by expertise in packing solutions & the trust built with consumers over several decades.

Talking of trust, he quickly pointed out how their business faced a huge setback when the nation went into lockdown around during March. APML took 4 months to reach 50% of month-on-month revenue versus last year. And thereon, the brand has grown to 111% m-o-m v/s LY by beginning of 3rd quarter; projecting to grow to 130% of LY by January 21. With social distancing norms & growing need of minimizing human interface/physical interaction for their consumer good transport function, the brand designed the process of Virtual Surveys instead of Physical Surveys. This offered flexibility of survey time & reducing cost. Also, to further assure safety of their employees and customers, every representative of the company visiting a customer wears masks & carries personal sanitizers. This, he says, adds more credibility to the brand and has strengthened their relationship with their customers.

Sh. Agarwal, who is also the elected as the National President as well as Chairman of All India Transport Welfare Association (AITWA), also shared his grief of how he, in his 33 years of experience in the industry, has witnessed a lot of consumers falling prey to fake businesses and also shared how APML has worked hard over the decades to create a brand that stands as a name one can rely on and is very well recognised as “a man with a cap”. Concluding the interaction, Shri Ramesh Agarwal shared some words of wisdom,“Only those who innovate adapt and establish trust with their customers shall survive, emerge victorious and move to the next phase – post this pandemic, while others shall suffer and perish.”

Disclaimer: The views, suggestions and opinions expressed here are the sole responsibility of the experts. No Forbes India journalist was involved in the writing and production of this article.

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