Despite the pandemic-induced disruptions such as large-scale supply chain constraints, shortage of labour, capacity crunch and “Things in India have changed quite a lot in the last couple of years. With the implementation of GST, companies are consolidating their warehouses. Usually, on the outskirts of a metropolitan city, you will find dedicated warehousing zones with big boxes warehouses built there. And the increased demand and a greater need to consolidate is driving the business,” expresses Sandeep Chadha, Co-founder, Sameera Warehousing. Warehouses in this age and time acts more than just a storage house and enables the business in the overall value proposition, he says, and looking at the dynamic market situation, Sameera Warehousing is ready to expand both organically and via acquisitions and coming up with projects in Bangalore, Chennai, and Madurai. Having set a clear growth path and thinking smart into the future, Chadha says they have decided the course and is set to be the foremost industrial developer in India in the next three years. Excerpts from his interaction with Ritika Arora Bhola.
Take us through Sameera Warehousing’s business operations in the last few years. Where do you see your warehousing and value-added service solutions well-fitting amongst what other players are offering?
As a diversified business conglomerate, Sameera Group has created a credible niche for itself in a range of domains, over a time span of four decades. With continuous and consistent delivery as its hallmark, it has evolved in a range of industries including real estate, hospitality, education, transport, food processing, and insurance. Our warehousing and transport services business are tailormade, customised, and thoroughly envisioned. We are way ahead of the competition having delivered some marquee projects. It has allowed us to remain focussed and emboldened us to push the envelope. Overall, we have most of our basis covered and we are well-poised to execute several Greenfield warehousing projects within our portfolio.
Which recent innovations and developments do you consider the most ground-breaking for your company? How have you aligned them around customer-centric strategies?
We have launched warehousing parks across Bangalore, Chennai, and Madurai and these are our priority locations at the moment. These are our Greenfield projects spreading over 200 acres with a development potential of 5 million sq ft. Customer-centricity is at the heart of everything we do. We have tailor-made and customised these projects as per the investment appetite of our clients. The kind of response we have garnered so far is encouraging.
How are you reorienting your relationships with clients to further grow the business with a full-cycle approach?
We believe in the era of business we are in; there needs to be a balanced approach and a broader vision needs to be aligned with regular missions on a daily basis. The companies that are effective and efficient at the same time will continue to outperform the competition. The customer is at the centre of all our offerings and we take pride in devising all our processes and policies around them. We have ingrained groundbreaking initiatives and adopted an approach where transparency and better execution are at the base of it all.
Any efficient and innovative marketing strategy and value propsotion approach Sameera Warehousing has adopted to move forward in the current recovery period?
Client interest is our topmost priority. Our cutting-edge value proposition revolves around a better client experience with superior returns. All our offerings are state-of-the-art and well-aligned with the market’s expectations. We have created a realm with transparency and superior execution wherein customer-centricity holds the centre stage. Our clients grow with us and we gain momentum likewise.
Going forward, how will emerging trends, structural changes, and new markets redefine your business and company as a whole?
We are in an age and time where ‘change is not only constant but frequent’. Businesses will keep getting impacted on the back of a technology onslaught. The companies that are agile and quick with regards to the environment they operate in will have an edge over the rest. While the execution of business will be redefined as per the emerging trends, basic fundamentals will still guide the larger vision. We, at Sameera, are always on alert in terms of adopting cutting-edge technology and value time-test business practices. Newer markets and a bit of uncertainty intrigue us and we pursue the same with zeal and with prudence. In the face of emerging trends and newer markets; we are open, we are patient and we are prompt as well.
Could you provide us an overview on the new-age warehouses in India and the investments done by both private and public sectors in this regard?
Today, the increased demand and a greater need to consolidate is driving the business. Also, consolidating the warehousing segment is cost-effective and it enables efficiency. So keeping all that in mind, a warehouse in this age and time acts more than just a storage house and enables the business in the overall value proposition.
The new-age warehouses, globally are Grade A and cutting-edge. The incumbents in this domain are aware of the changing customer expectations and they devise the deliverables accordingly. Optimum inventory and enhanced throughput keep guiding the construction and delivery of present proof and future-ready warehouses. The positive fall out here is that investments keeps getting poured in the wake of increased demand. The twin paradigm of efficient and effective boxes serves as a guiding principle for warehouse developers. Both the private and the public sectors are mindful of the warehousing requirement in the new-age and the deliverables are being constantly enhanced.
The distribution and logistics sector is up for a dramatic transformation as the government and stakeholders seek to develop a host of storage and warehousing hubs to complement the sector’s ongoing mega projects. How do you see those nurturing across the plans and strategies?
The plans and strategies at Sameera are guided by the particular demand and stakeholder’s return expectations. We continue to invest in the promising warehousing clusters on a pan-India basis. Our focus, presently, is to develop logistics parks across Bangalore, Chennai, and Madurai.
What changes do you anticipate will remain permanent and will lead to greater standardisation in the industry?
I foresee the consolidation as a measure tailwind driving the growth of Industrial and Warehousing in India. The implementation of GST has allowed the incumbents to have a larger big box in a particular region. It eases them to plan not just for inventory but also for breaking up of cargo, packaging, labeling, barcoding, reverse logistics, kitting, etc. So, yes consolidation will be a key change and around it, we will see a gamut of services being offered.
How will stakeholders and the industries alike leverage the emerging opportunities to soar higher?
I would say an increased demand realm will continue to drive growth. It’s now up to the various stakeholders and industry players to leverage it and structure products accordingly. Things are poised at the macro level and it’s only going to go up from there in the medium to long-term. The unique scenario is that demand is robust and from a range of sectors. E-commerce is leading the pack, at the same time, retail, pharmaceuticals, FMCG/FMCD are not far behind either. The key in leveraging the opportunities to soar higher lies in devising the products and services that are in sync with the market and compatible with the ever-changing technological paradigm.
With organised warehousing still nascent compared to the unorganised, it offers a sea of opportunities for the incumbents. With a structured approach and holistic vision, the incumbents need to devise the propositions more suitable to a particular industry, region, or market. The key megatrends, I foresee, are the proliferation of Big Box Grade A warehouses on the outskirts of major metros. Retailers are adapting omnichannel retail experience that should help medium-sized warehouses to grow within the city. Overnight delivery will create the need for warehouses within the city limit. Relay trucking will bring down the logistics lost with increased efficiency.
So, which are the new areas you are looking at and why?
As far as geographies are concerned we are evaluating the pan-India opportunities being offered to us. We are constantly on the lookout for newer and emerging destinations that have a potential for growth. A particular region/location brings with it unique touchpoints and may support a specific industry. Our goal is to synergise it with our long-term vision. Also, within our range of services, we are constantly on the prowl to imbibe and include state-of-the-art and cutting-edge solutions.
Lastly, would you want to reveal on your expansion plans or projects in the pipeline?
Yes, we are ready to expand. Having said that, our current pipeline is robust and keeping us busy for now. Within Southern India, we are coming up with projects in Bangalore, Chennai, and Madurai. A total land parcel of 200 acres with the development potential of 5 million sq ft is currently being executed at our end. Again, we are open to expanding both organically and via acquisitions wherever see the potential. We have plans to be the foremost industrial developer in India in the next three years. We are evaluating various proposals for now and will soon announce expansion plans.