A Director’s Perspective: Shaping the Future of FTWZs in India – An Exclusive Interview with Mr. Harsh Takkar

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In a candid conversation with Mr Harsh Takkar, CEO of OSV, we explore the dynamic world of Free Trade Warehousing Zones (FTWZs) in India. These zones, which create a unique nexus of business, trade, and employment, have become integral to the country’s economic landscape. We delve into the genesis of FTWZs, their rapid growth, and their immense potential in Tier II & III cities.

Mr. Takkar takes us on a journey of how FTWZs have evolved beyond Tier I & port cities and how OSV has played a significant role in their development. We discuss not only the economic impact but also the human aspect – how FTWZs contribute to the job market, skill enhancement, and professional development in India.

Join us in this illuminating conversation to gain insights into the transformative world of FTWZs and their opportunities for India’s workforce and economy.

Q: Mr Takkar, could you please share the genesis of Free Trade Warehousing Zones (FTWZs) in India and how OSV has contributed to their growth?

Mr. Takkar: Certainly. FTWZs, a subset of Special Economic Zones (SEZs), are a game-changer for importers and exporters not just in India but even foreign suppliers/companies. These zones act as virtual foreign territories, geographically located within the country, allowing goods to be handled, processed, and re-exported without customs intervention until they, if at all, are decided to be sold to consumers within India.

OSV recognized the immense potential of FTWZs in streamlining logistics and transforming the supply chain landscape. We have four fully operational FTWZs in Delhi-NCR, Mumbai, Mundra and Chennai with three more in the pipeline in Bangalore, Hyderabad and Kolkata.

We seized this opportunity to provide services to our 300+ customers and internationally renowned brands,  by helping them in fulfilling fullfilling such as – Just-in-time, Duty-Free Storage, Repackaging, Re-labelling, kitting, combining,  speedy cargo delivery, one-stop customs clearance, and integrated solutions for packing, sorting, and inspection. Our commitment to Customer First ideology, and excellence in specialised storage and warehousing infrastructure turned OSV into a key player in FTWZs.

Q: Mr Takkar, could you shed light on the dynamics that are shaping the Indian logistics industry and why India is becoming the new focal point for business growth in the sub-continent?

Mr. Takkar: Certainly. The Indian logistics industry is on the cusp of transformation, with infrastructure development and initiatives like ‘Make in India’ and smart cities unfolding rapidly. As a result, we’re witnessing a shift in focus towards India than other countries, which are brimming with untapped potential for logistics and ancillary services, including Free Trade Warehousing Zones (FTWZs). 

India is poised to become the next hub for business expansion, and OSV is aligning its strategies to cater to this emerging landscape. Currently, we have more than 25 offices across the globe with over 150 channel partners in emerging towns and cities.

Our goal is to provide comprehensive support to businesses, whether operating on a macro scale or addressing grassroots-level challenges.

  1. Can you describe how OSV has grown over the years to reflect this deliberate move towards tier II opportunities?  

OSV had long anticipated this, which is why we are among the first to explore and stamp our presence with having a maximum number of facilities under operation in India including Delhi NCR, Mumbai, Chennai and Mundra and targeting to cater to all prominent ports and cities like Pune, Kerela, Vizag, etc. such that India supersedes the traditionally renowned FTWZ nations like Dubai and Singapore and develops as a HUB of international warehousing and Exports Each of these locations is carefully chosen to leverage their potential for business expansion and serviceability for our customers and their products to not just Tier II and Tier II cities of India but other Asian countries too

This physical presence empowers OSV to be at the forefront of the changing landscape in the Indian logistics industry, ensuring that we can seamlessly meet the growing demands and evolving requirements of the businesses we serve across the globe

Q: Mr Takkar, could you shed some light on the employment opportunities associated with Free Trade Warehousing Zones (FTWZs) in India?

Mr. Takkar: Absolutely. FTWZs play a pivotal role in generating employment in India. These zones typically create job opportunities for around 15,000 to 30,000 people, both directly and indirectly. The ripple effect extends beyond the zones themselves.

As FTWZs flourish, there’s a surge in demand for ancillary services such as transportation, security, and logistics support. This results in increased employment opportunities across various sectors, impacting the skilled workforce and those who provide support services.

Q: How do FTWZs contribute to skill enhancement and professional development in India?

Mr Takkar: FTWZs are not just about warehousing; they demand a skilled workforce well-versed in logistics, international trade regulations, and modern technologies. The operation of these zones offers a unique opportunity for skill enhancement and professional development.

OSV as a company specializes in handling sensitive cargo including like – temperature- sensitive, Tilt- sensitive, shock-sensitive, Humidity controlled cold storage (upto -80ºC) and Project Oversized Overdimensional cargoes and thus invests heavily ininto extensive training of our people and of those who work with us

Employees within FTWZs gain exposure to international trade practices and logistics management, which are invaluable skills in today’s global economy. This aligns the workforce with the evolving needs of the global market, making them more competitive and adaptable in their careers. 

FTWZs serve as hubs for skill development, benefitting both the workforce and the country’s economic growth. At OSV, we periodically host workshops and conduct training sessions with Industry experts and in-house veterans and even occasionally hire industry specialists to mentor and train our young workforce and give them the platform they need to grow as professionals and leaders.

Mr Takkar, thank you for sharing your insights on FTWZs and the future of logistics in India. OSV’s contribution to the growth of FTWZs is undoubtedly a testament to your commitment to excellence in this field.

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