Drawing from its legacy, V-Trans is looking at new avenues of growth.

Story by Deepti Thore

 

Entering the transport business with a second-hand Chevrolet truck in 1958, K K Shah laid the foundation for V-Trans. Starting life as Kunverji K. Shah & Co. at Mumbai, V-Trans grew at the hands of K.K. Shah as an organisation that did not shy away from exploring new opportunities. Doing so to this day, it continues to be a family owned business that is run in a professional manner, according to Mahendra Shah, the managing director of the company. Stressing upon K. K. Shah driving a heavily-laden Dodge truck to his hometown Bhuj in 1956, Mahendra Shah expressed that V-Trans is continuing to grow steadily despite the challenging environment. With the headquarter at Mumbai, the company, specialising in partial load carriage, is expanding its reach in warehousing. Looking at specialising in chemical warehousing, according to Aditya Shah, Executive Director, V-Trans is continuing to integrate its supply chain management services even as it operates a fleet of 1100 trucks, owned and attached. A good number of its trucks in its fleet consisting of Mahindra and BharatBenz make, the company has already invested in warehouses at multiple locations like Bommasandra, Dapoda, Chandigarh and Chennai.


Offering 3PL services under one roof, V-Trans has built a two lakh sq.ft. warehouse at Bhiwandi called the ‘Chem Store’ for its chemical sector clients. NBC 2016 and NFPA compliant, the warehouse at Bhiwandi is designed for storage of hazardous chemicals and expected to be commissioned in the second half of the current fiscal. Taking pride in offering end-to-end solutions to its chemical sector clients in the area of primary and secondary distribution, V-Trans is charting a growth path by adding many value-added services to its kitty. Addressing the needs of its clients as they consolidate their manufacturing and warehousing needs, V-Trans has expanded its infrastructure to 750 branches and 50 major and minor transshipments with close to 0.9 million sq. ft. warehousing space.
With a clear objective to provide superior service standards, the company is increasing its reach by charting new routes and special services. These are based on the acquisition and analysis of data to ensure utmost efficiency, agility and less costs. Starting a vendor management cell, V-Trans has conceptualized a new vertical for Full-Truck Load (FTL). It is dedicated to offering supply chain solutions. Maintaining a healthy cash flow, the company has been laying much emphasis on quality, geography and sales. With Part-Truck Load (PTL) an essential part of transportation, V-Trans continues to enjoy the patronage of its many SME clients even as it explores new avenues for growth. Drawing from its legacy thus, the company has drawn out an in-depth strategy to strengthen its branches, hubs, connecting route services, feeder and last mile. It is also overhauling management areas concerning misrouting, shortage, breakages and return deliveries to ensure higher efficiency and agility.


Driving a single-window service strategy to ensure high quality service for its clients, V-trans, after carrying out a brand overhauling activity in 2018, is moulding itself with an intention to address the growing requirements of its clients. It is, in the process, taking to address their legal needs even as it takes to handling bigger accounts; takes to handling new norms and credit cases. Putting in place a legal department that works relentlessly to abide by the law and comply with the statutory requirements, V-Trans, operating through three verticals, V-Trans, V-Xpress and V-Logis, is keen to be looked at as an ideal logistics partner. Bringing qualitative differences in the integrated supply chain management services, the company is leveraging its understanding of the domain to differentiate from the competition. Stressing upon seamless flow of information between different parts of the supply chain and faster availability of resources, V-Trans, according to Aditya, is successfully tackling the changes — major, macro and minor in nature, to ensure continued growth. As an organised player, the company has found the implementation of GST and e-Way bill beneficial.
Of the opinion that GST and e-way bill have paved way for consolidation of infrastructure and faster movement of goods with lesser paperwork and lesser difficulties at check posts, Aditya Shah averred that his company is keeping an eye on the developments in the e-commerce space. E-commerce, he said, has taught the logistics industry to be more proactive in dealing with the consumer’s demand. It has pushed logistics companies to get to a new level of services and efficiency, he added. With technology intervention at its peak, and many startups coming on the scene with innovative ideas and superior solutions, V-Trans has picked some of the best practices from the e-commerce space to up its operational efficiency. It has done so especially on its b2b side of the business. Stating that there’s more clarity after the implementation of GST, Mahendra K. Shah mentioned that his company has expanded its infrastructure in-line with the client’s requirements, which have undergone a change in terms of its supply chains post GST.


If the introduction of FasTag is expected to prove beneficial over time, V-Trans is successfully adopting new technologies as they arrive, given their capability to enhance efficiency and earning-ability. Expecting FasTag to save 12000 crores annually for fuel and man-hours post its successful implementation and the ironing out of anomalies, the company is keeping a close eye on the consolidation activities in its space. With 10 major mergers and acquisitions taking place in the current financial year with the total value estimated to be above USD 603 million, V-Trans is cautious about any collaboration on the technical or financial front. Working towards an asset light business model, the company is investing in technology and people. It is investing in and fleet. Expecting better service and support from truck makers as BSVI emission regulations roll out, V-Trans is looking at some distinct benefits from the government policy changes.
Of the opinion that the capacity to carry more has only increased by four to five per cent against the claim that it has increased by 15 per cent, Mahendra K, Shah expressed that the new axle norms have offered customers with more options to ship their cargo. “They are now able to avail desired vehicles as per the load,” he said. Stating that there was a need to reduce the ‘cooling time’, Shah averred, “Today our industry is facing a big issue of cooling time due to delays caused by mismatched loads and delays in loading and unloading of vehicles. If this can be reduced, the profitability could be enhanced.” Tackling the pressure caused by liquidity crunch in the market by enhancing its operational efficiency, V-Trans has for the last one decade grown at a healthy CAGR of 20 per cent.
Maintaining a good net profit for the last four to five years, the company has allocated Rs.10 crore as capex for the next year. Looking at a strong growth in PTL as well as FTL, V-Trans is planning to offer better cost and service efficiency. It is thus working closely with a few big 3PL clients. Banking on data and technology, it is also gauging new ways to continuously improve its operational efficiency and market reach. Looking at new emerging technologies like Blockchain for example, V-Trans, by capturing as well as analyzing data to sharpen its ability to make decisions and to anticipate the future developments, is looking at new growth avenues in the domestic market as well as the international markets. It is confident that its legacy and knowledge will see it through the challenges that lie ahead, aided by the ability to implement new practices and processes.

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