The Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam Centre for Policy Research & Analysis under the aegis of IIM Shillong today hosted an e-symposium on Logistics Management under the e-Symposia Series on Emergent North East India: Strategic and Developmental Imperatives.
Chairman of the Board of Governors, IIM Shllong Shri. Shishir Bajoria while welcoming the participants said “Logistics is the key for success of anything. This could be very sophisticated with computers running dedicated programs or something as rudimentary as the Mumbai Dabbawalas who provide a great service to the entire working population of Mumbai. Be it in countries or companies, logistics is vital and strategic,” while also touching on examples such as the US network of highways which have helped build the success story of the country’s industrial positioning. “As it stands today, NER with its abundance has a major problem though lack of logistical support for it to harness the bounty that it has.” He also expressed hope in projects such as Bharatmala Pariyojana and the Kaladan Multi-Modal Transit Transport which he felt will go a long way in creating a real value chain for NER.
Congratulating IIM Shillong on its delivery of business, management, and innovation leadership Chief Guest of the event Shri. Nitin Gadkari, Minister of Road Transport & Highways, and Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises, Govt. of India said, “I strongly believe that innovation, entrepreneurship, science, technology, research skills and successful practices and conversion of knowledge into wealth is the future for our country. I believe that you have a relatable responsibility to oversee the socio-economic growth of the region. This can only be achieved through cooperation, coordination and communication with stakeholders of the region.” Also ruing on the country’s extensive import requirement despite the presence of minerals setting copper, aluminium, gold, and coal as examples, Shri Gadkari felt that impetus is on management institutes to contribute management strategies and solutions by comprehensively assessing the strengths and weaknesses related to industrial upliftment. Speaking specifically on logistics management, Shri Gadkari opined the need to augment water transport while citing its cost-effectiveness as compared to road or railway mode of transportation while sharing his insights on the possibility of boosting Ro-Ro and Ropax water travel mode for easy connectivity, and cutting short distance coverage using the mighty Brahmaputra. He also said that unless innovative transportation models are executed, high logistic management cost will remain.
Moving on to a technical session on opening up of opportunities for NER, Prof Keya Sengupta, Centre Coordinator, said, “Though logistics management forms the backbone for the development of the region, very few serious, and concerted studies have been achieved in the logistics sector. We would, therefore, be working to fill in this gap, to bring about a paradigm change in making the NER a viable logistics corridor.”
Member of the Board of Governors, Shri Atul Kulkarni while moderating the session opined, “We are not only looking at NER but also emerging economies of East Asia and Southeast Asia. It is important and interesting for us to look at the logistics sector and helping out in laying a roadmap for the future. I think northeast India is at the crossroads between the three economies, wherein the existing transport corridors will automatically migrate into becoming the logistics corridors and ultimately into economic corridors which are expected to change the per capita income and the entire economy for the region.”
Presenting the valedictory address, Chief Minister of Assam, Shri Sarbananda Sonowal said, “The e-symposium is definitely an important opportunity, which I think would be helpful for us to draw a broad roadmap for realizing the growth visions of Northeast.” Commenting on government initiatives Shri Sonowal also said that under the leadership of Prime Minister Modi, the centre is unleashing undivided policy attention towards the NER across various dimensions of development while looking at the region as an upcoming engine of growth. “With his policy of transformation through transportation, the Prime Minister has given a special thrust on boosting the connectivity infrastructure of the Northeast,” he further said.
Other speakers at the e-symposium include Shri Tushar Jani, Chairman SCA Group of Companies, a special address by Dr. Amita Prasad, IAS and Chairperson of Inland Waterways Authority of India (Ministry of Shipping), Ms. Sanjukta Dutta, Etash Enterprise, Prof. Sanjeeb Kakoty, Associate Professor, IIM Shillong, Shri. Navin Kumar, Adviser (Transport and Communication), North Eastern Council, Shillong, Shri. Shantanu Bhadkamkar, President, Association of Multimodal Transport Operators of India and Shri. V. Kalyana Rama, Chairman and Managing Director, CONCOR.
It may be mentioned that the entire conduct of the e-symposium was streamed live through facebook and twitter handles of the Institute.