Travelling far with tenacity

Date:   Sunday , September 30, 2007

Shashi Kiran Shetty began his career in logistics in 1978, when he was just 21 and armed with a degree in commerce. He learned the ups and downs and curves of the logistics business during his four years stint in Intermodal Transport and Trading Systems, a logistics company.

Subsequently he switched to Forbes Gokak, a Tata Group company. In the years he served in these two companies Shetty accumulated a wealth of knowledge in the field of cargo and logistics and started his own company, Transindia Freight Services, when he was just 25 to cater to the merchant shipping companies. The company that began with handling cargo in the port of Mumbai soon expanded to extend its services to the public sector majors in the oil and gas and power segments.

At this juncture Shetty started All Cargo Global Logistics, a clearing and forwarding agency. Today, Shetty has a nationwide presence in India and operates offices in over fifty countries. His steady journey in the logistics world saw the emerging entrepreneur Shetty entering India’s billionaires’ club this year.

Acquisition and further expansions

It is his unshakable determination that has seen Shetty through the ups and downs of business and helped him successfully withstand the skids along the way. It requires a lot of resolve to stay firm in one’s business withstanding the fluctuating market trends.
Shetty just loved what he was doing and ended up becoming a billionaire without actually wanting to be one. It was not his target. He had started off with his hard-earned money of just 25,000 rupees when he started his first company in Mumbai in the early eighties. Now the company is listed in both the Bombay Stock Exchange and the National Stock Exchange.

Shetty is justly proud of his accomplishment when he says, “The group’s business spans from consolidation of projects to container freight stations, and from Antwerp to Tokyo and Johannesburg to Mumbai, while maintaining our neutrality in the marketplace.”

He got into an alliance with the Belgian company Ecu Line NV in the mid nineties and eventually acquired it in 2006, after about ten years of collaboration. It must be noted that Ecu Line was five times bigger than All Cargo when Shetty acquired it. Shetty states that the acquisition fuelled the high growth of his company and expanded its operations tremendously.

All Cargo’s disconnect with the airfreight segment was removed when Shetty acquired Hindustan Cargo that had a significant presence in the segment. He is synergizing the operations of the two companies to economize expand the airfreight and seaf reight ares.

Future moves

The main growth potential is in the container freight stations and the project transportation business. Going by the current rate of growth, All Cargo will safely reach the Rs. 1,800 crore mark at the end of this year.

All Cargo has had a remarkable growth in the container freight division in the last fiscal. The 40,000 containers a year capacity has grown to 120,000 within two years. Shetty is now focused on setting up container freight stations across the country. Once the container freight projects in Chennai and Mundra are fully operational the expanded capacity of container handling will go up to 200,000 TUs. He has also acquired land in Delhi for the Inland Container Depot (ICD).

Shetty envisions the company as a one stop solution in the logistics industry in the country by providing value to customers in all segments of logistics. He has the support of a highly motivated team.

The young and suave Shetty hails from Mangalore. He proudly says, “Mangaloreans are extremely hard-working people. But I advise youngsters to venture into various industries. Many Mangaloreans are known to continue only the business of their ancestors. But I feel people should diversify into much bigger projects.”

It is Shetty’s tenacity that has seen him through at times of hardships in this complex business that requires intricate planning abilities and foresight. He has literally reached a great destination in his long and arduous journey in the logistics business.