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Excellence in Delivery Capabilities

Blue Dart Express Ltd., South Asia’s premier express air and integrated transportation & distribution company, offers secure and reliable delivery of consignments to over 34,973 locations in India.

As part of the DP DHL Group’s (DHL Express, DHL Global Forwarding & DHL Supply Chain) Post - eCommerce - Parcel (PeP) division, Blue Dart accesses the largest and most comprehensive express and logistics network worldwide, covering over 220 countries and territories and offers an entire spectrum of distribution services including air express, freight forwarding, supply chain solutions and customs clearance.

When undertaking a new project, what steps does your firm take to ensure the clients receive the best possible outcome?

Blue Dart has always been a insanely customer centric brand and our customers will always be our priority; we fulfil their expectations with simplified services, industry-focused technologies and solutions, loyalty programs and by always listening and acknowledging them. We have always been prompt in identifying new opportunities in the market place through constant research on customers, industry verticals and macro-economic trends, makes it an intelligent organisation, resulting in new product initiatives & solutions that are customer-oriented.

Blue Dart has also invested heavily in technology infrastructure to create differentiated delivery capabilities, quality services and customised solutions for clients. This has enabled us to offer web-based solutions mentioned above to customers that can be integrated with their core products. Apart from providing customised technological solutions, Blue Dart’s reach in Tier II & III towns, timely remittance and periodic cash reconciliation are also some of the factors that offer us an edge over other logistics solutions providers. All the major e-tailing organisations work with us and with them, we have co-created solutions to offer value to our end customers.

Blue Dart is the only domestic express company to have a fleet of 6 Boeing 757 freighters and a flotilla of 11,091 vehicles which meet delivery schedules and speed shipments to their destinations.
Blue Dart has a strong First Choice Culture and drives a quality program named First Choice that has a five step DMAIC (Define, Measure, Analyse, Improve and Control) methodology to long-term solutions. The brand also deploys the Net Promoter Approach that helps identify the Net Promoter Score and highlight areas of improvement.

Customer Service is a nodal point between the customer and the organisation. To strengthen
this relationship, we introduced Key Accounts Management. The mission of Key Accounts Management is “Retain and grow business and customer loyalty, providing uniform customer experience and innovative solutions delivered by our competent people” and Customer Loyalty program: Blue Points – Amazing Returns to engage the customer, build their loyalty; improve our Share of Wallet and retention. These initiatives have ensured high scores for Blue Dart in the latest Customer Satisfaction Survey (CSS) & Brand Equity studies.

What is your firm’s overall mission and what steps do you take to achieve this?

Blue Dart’s vision is “To be the best and set the pace in the express air and integrated transportation and distribution industry, with a business and human conscience.

We commit to develop, reward and recognise our people who, through high quality and professional service, and use of sophisticated technology, will meet and exceed customer and stakeholder expectations profitably.”

Blue Dart has been alert, flexible and intelligent organisation across the express logistics supply chain in the country. From pickup and delivery services to reverse logistics to e-commerce
customers, Blue Dart’s service portfolio is built on establishing continuing excellence in delivery capabilities.

We have been servicing the e-tailing industry ever since its emergence in India in 20092010. Over the years, we have serviced all leading e-tailing players through its best-in-class, highly differentiated, last-mile delivery offering and value-added services.

In 2014, Blue Dart successfully became a part of Deutsche Post DHL (DPDHL) Group’s Post - eCommerce - Parcel (PeP) division which has further enabled the company to tap on the strong growth momentum seen in the dynamic e-tailing market in India.

What differentiates your firm from your competitors and marks you out as the best possible option for your clients?

Blue Dart is the Preferred Express Logistics Service Provider in India. Over the years, through its highly-customised product and service offerings, Blue Dart has partnered with leading companies across various industry verticals. Most of the customers that we partnered with since inception are still with us even today.

Blue Dart throughout its 34 years of existence has grown from delivering a few dozen packages outside Mumbai airport on its first night of operations, to being one of the strongest company’s handling thousands of shipments each day.

We continue to deliver unparalleled value proposition to our stakeholders. Our extensive pan-India air and ground network provide a significant competitive advantage. We are India’s only Dedicated Freighter operation facilitating late pick-ups and early deliveries through our fleet of 6 Boeing 757 aircraft (the only express logistics provider to have its own freighters in India). Our 3 R’s - Reach, Reliability and Responsiveness achieved through superior control over entire logistics supply-chain with dedicated manpower will remain a key focus area of continuous improvement. We offer the widest range of differentiated services Air: Critical Express, TDD, Dart Apex, TCL; Ground: Dart Surfaceline; Dart Surfaceline Plus, Dart Plus etc.

Blue Dart has always pioneered solutions for the industry which has become benchmarks for the rest. Our key differentiators continue to be extensive reach, late pick-up/early delivery, transit time, reliability, security, tracking visibility across the complete delivery chain with APIs, SMS pre-alerts, Parcel Lockers. Mobile Service Centres and a service completely centred on the customer. Blue Dart was also the first to introduce Cash-onDelivery (COD) as a payment option for its e-tail customers. Today, in addition to COD, Blue Dart also offers customers the convenience to pay by credit or debit card through Mobile Point of Sale (MPOS) and through 15 mobile wallet options.

Blue Dart, in line with its focus on innovation, has also introduced several customised products designed to meet specific needs of key industry verticals. For example: Blue Dart’s Temperature Controlled Logistics (TCL) was introduced to support the pharmaceutical industry and the boom in biotechnology and CRO (Clinical Research Organisation) activities as well as  enabled time definite deliveries (TDD) for the Banking and Financial Services industry.

We see ourselves as a responsible corporate entity focused on delivering our promise and concerned about the deteriorating environment and keen to fulfil its social responsibilities.

How does it feel to be part of Ones to Watch in Air Transportation, Scheduled – India? What does this mean for you and your firm?

We are extremely humbled and honoured to receive this recognition.

Blue Dart is one of the most admired and awarded companies in India, being recognised as a Business Superbrand for the 10th consecutive year, Reader’s Digest Trusted Brand for the 11th consecutive year and ranked 17th amongst top 50 ‘Best companies to Work for in India 2016’ by Great Place to Work Institute, India.

Please give me a brief overview of your industry in your region currently. Are there any outside influences affecting it?

• While the e-commerce space has rapidly evolved, several challenges have surfaced primarily in areas of taxation, logistics, and payments. Poor last mile connectivity, especially in remote areas with a larger population, is another problem faced by Indian e-tailers.

• Last mile delivery has proved to be a challenge; especially since only a third of people in India have a bank account. That means lots of customers want to pay cash on delivery

• There is a lack of trust in payment methods (PwC, 2015) • India continues to be a cash-based society due to limited banking and credit card penetration. • Tax and regulatory environment still evolving (PwC, 2015)

• Laws regulating e-commerce in India are still evolving and lack clarity. The taxation policies for the e-businesses are not well-defined depending on different business models and transaction types. GST will ease this.

• Poor logistics and supply chains • India currently lacks robust logistics and supply chains, resulting in courier companies to have limited reach.

• An increasing number of online orders are coming from new parts of India that are further and further remote – a sign of progress, but expansion creates the need for new logistics solutions.

• The last mile delivery is still a concern for most e-commerce players especially given the high percentage of Cash-onDelivery deliveries in India. (Deloitte, 2016)

• At present, there are only a few airports equipped to handle large volumes of express delivery parcels. As e-commerce gathers momentum and moves to the Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities, there will be increasing demand of expanding air cargo connectivity to smaller towns. (Assocham India, 2016) 

Working within your industry, what techniques do you employ to stay ahead of emerging developments?

Vast and unparalleled Domestic Network Blue Dart is linked by some of the most advanced communication systems and is positioned to offer a consistent, premium, standardised quality of service. Blue Dart has an extensive reach across the country, catering to 35,027 locations.

Blue Dart continues to be the lone-ranger in the Indian skies with a fleet of six Boeing 757-200 freighters with capacities up to 504 tonnes per night. The only one of its kind in the country
today, that focuses on carriage of packages as its prime business, rather than a by-product of a passenger airline. With a dedicated aviation system, Blue Dart is a self-sustaining organisation, with its own bonded warehouses, ground handling and maintenance capabilities.

A spectrum of services to provide customised solutions.

Blue Dart is the only express player in the country today which offers an entire range of services that extend from a document to a charter-load of shipments. The company’s services are relentlessly monitored to deliver a net service level of 99.96%.

Some of the products and services offered by Blue Dart are as follows:

• Express Service Offerings • Domestic Priority (Dox)

• Dart Apex (WPX)

• Dart Surfaceline (Ground)

• Smart Box (Air / Ground)

• Express Pallet (Air / Ground)

• International Services

• Etailing specific services

• Dart Apex (etailing) B2C

• Dart Surfaceline (etailing) B2C

• eFulfillment • X-Border

• Value Added Services

• GOGREEN Carbon Neutral Service [CNS]

• Time Definite Delivery Services [TDD]

• Domestic Priority 1030 & 1200

• Dart Apex 1200 • Critical Express

• Demand Draft on Delivery [DOD]

• Freight on Delivery [FOD]

• Insurance Arrangement [FOV]

• Cash on Delivery [COD]

• Temperature Controlled Logistics [TCL]

• Dart Surfaceline Plus [DSP]

• Ground Point to Point [P2P]

• Air Freight Services (GFS)

• Domestic Airport-to-Airport Services

• Interline Services

• Charters

What challenges have you had to overcome to be successful in the Asia-Pacific region?
The industry is still inundated with several uncomfortable truths; high logistics costs, inadequate infrastructure, capacity constraints, low usage of technology, complex tax laws, over regulation, policy concerns and lack of skilled manpower make the task challenging as compared to developed markets. The last quarter of fiscal 201617 has been extremely tough for the economy, the industry and Blue Dart, we continued to face insurmountable challenges every day. There has been a slowdown in economic activity due to the fall in discretionary consumption, the after effects of which could last a few months and will continue to impact us in the coming months too.

Logistics is the backbone of the Indian economy, providing efficient, cost effective flow of goods on which other sectors depend. Hence in that perspective, we see Blue Dart as the nation’s “Trade Facilitator”.

Finally, the long-awaited GST will become operational. It’s a good move by our Honourable Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The implementation of Goods and Services Tax (GST) will benefit the logistics industry greatly. Due to lack of proper execution and rise in prices, the initial 2 or 3 years will become difficult for everyone but in the long run GST will act as catalyst in the growth of Indian economy.

The proposed Goods and Service Tax (GST) bill is expected to bring in more efficiencies. GST is expected to be implemented by fiscal year 2017-18 reducing multiple taxes. The inter-state sales transactions will become tax neutral which will bring the entire country under one single common market. The  proposed GST regime will alter the entire landscape and its implementation will be a gamechanging event for businesses and particularly for organised logistics players. While the logistics requirement for e-tailing will grow as exponentially as e-tailing itself.

Logistics companies will therefore see a major change in the transportation of goods and location of warehouses, improved distances cover per day and consolidation of warehouses. We hope the Government keeps up with the pace of reforms.

Despite these challenges, Blue Dart is an extremely dynamic organisation with clear strategic vision and robust plans for growth. Our approach of trying to constantly improve and excel beyond our customer expectations is what sets us apart.

We believe in people power and completely rely on the experience gathered by its strong people force over the years. Our team is a healthy mix of old employees with industry knowledge and experience and new employees with path-breaking ideas constantly providing the new perspective.
We have over the past 3 decades transformed ourselves to offer customer complete end-to-end supply chain solutions. Not so long ago, the express industry encompassed only small packages – mainly letters and documents and urgent deliveries. Today, it has metamorphosed to provide express delivery services for packages of all kinds and sizes to any destination. Our extensive pan-India air and ground network provide a significant competitive advantage.

What is the internal culture in your firm? How do you ensure that all your staff are equipped to provide the best possible service to your clients?

Blue Dart is the leader in the air and a strong player in the ground express industry in India and has a strong Brand Equity & Saliency.

Blue Dart has a great work culture. When it comes to managing talent, Blue Dart has always taken the front seat. Almost 97% of the senior management team are home grown from the ranks – a very rare phenomenon today in most organisations. In view of the strong brand equity, market leadership position and best people practices, this the company attracts all prospective employees including the youngsters for employment. It has always remained an Employer of Choice to attract the best of the talent from the market. The people policies, work environment, learning opportunity, rewards and recognition and career growth opportunities supplements the employer brand equity in attracting and retaining the young talents. The company has an attrition rate of 13-14%, much lower than the average industry attrition rate of about 24%.
In fact, Blue Dart is one of the fewest companies that still has its Day One employees. I am proud of all our people and the contribution they make and the passion and commitment for the brand that they display every single day.
A noteworthy effort is the fact that despite of huge pressures during the recent slowdown, Blue Dart did not take the easier route of retrenching people, instead focused on high performance and involvement of the management and the front-line. Today, this approach is paying rich dividends for customers, employees and every impacted stakeholder.
The passion and dedication of the 10,000 Blue Darters is indeed commendable. They are never shy of expressing their love for the brand; that infectious spirit catches on with our customers too. Blue Dart also has an internal campaign called ‘I Love My Blue Dart: Express Yourself’. The aim of the initiative is to ensure and create strong Customer Loyalties, Motivated Employees and Strong Promoters of the Brand thereby
facilitating sustainable market growth and strengthening Blue Dart as a Provider of Choice, Investment of Choice and Employer of Choice.
The mandate of the initiative is to ensure that every single Blue Darter is empowered to display his loyalty and dedication for the organisation and that every single Blue Dart customer touchpoint in the country.
In fact, we have customers now saying ‘I Love My Blue Dart’ everywhere – through our customer service interactions as well as on our social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter etc.
With regards to your industry, what developments do you foresee and how will you adapt around these?

India’s logistics sector is poised for accelerated growth, led by GDP revival, infrastructure ramp-up (railways/roads/ports), e-tailing penetration and other initiatives like “Make in India”. The industry is a trade facilitator and enables inclusive growth beyond urban/metro areas. The industry is estimated to have grown at a healthy ~15% in the last five years. However, growth in sub-sectors varies, with the lowest being in basic trucking operations and highest in supply chain and e-tailing logistics.
The Government also announced sweeping changes in India’s economic policy for various sectors.

For example, in the Defence sector, under the new FDI policy, up to 100% will be allowed giving access to modern technology. In the road sector, the focus on highway developments, golden quadrilateral and increased traction to develop 40 kilometres a day is gaining faster momentum. The Civil Aviation Ministry has commissioned the National Civil Aviation Policy which lays down the directional guidelines for improvement of air cargo and setting up of international air cargo hubs in the country, both are welcome steps.

The Goods and Services Tax (GST) will be a game-changer for businesses in general and organised logistics players. It would provide a boost to warehousing, supply chain management and 3PL business. What does the future hold for your firm? Do you have any future plans or projects you would like to share with us?

In 2016, DHL eCommerce announced an investment of €70 million to strengthen its operations to meet the fastgrowing demand for quality e-commerce logistics services in India. Through Blue Dart, this investment will go into the expansion of its air hubs in Delhi and Mumbai which are part of its network of 13 air hubs in India. The latest investment supports the growth of B2C e-commerce in India, and is part of the company’s broader plan to aggressively expand across Asia Pacific.

Catering to the increasing shipment volumes by B2C e-commerce consumers in India, the air hubs, measuring 5,761 sqm and 4,274 sqm in Delhi and Mumbai respectively, will be equipped with automation to handle a daily volume of over 500 tonnes. The automation in both air hubs enables Blue Dart to process higher volumes of inbound and outbound shipments in a shorter span of time for distribution to consumers across India by air. With the Mumbai air hub located at an airside facility,
it will further accelerate the speed of domestic cross-border air shipments, streamlining customs processes and boosting on-time performance.

Further to this, DPDHL will invest €250 million ($268 million) in India by 2020 to expand the business and tap into new opportunities.

Blue Dart will continue rolling out sector-specific innovative products and services to address the ever changing and evolving demands and requirements of different industries. Going forward, the company will continue to focus on product innovation, reach expansion (Tier II, III and IV), transit time improvements and strengthening channels. The strategy is in place  and we are geared to increasing our market share and dominance through sector focus and new growth engines.

All our plans are driven by customer requirements but we will expand our service to strategic locations and focus on continuous upgradation, state-ofthe-art infrastructure, advanced technology and automation deployments.


Contact: Ketan Kulkarni

Contact Email: ketank@bluedart.com

Company: Blue Dart, Blue Dart Center, Sahar Airport Road, Andheri (East Mumbai) 400 099, India

Telephone: 0091 22 283 96444