Blue Dart optimistic about economic recovery as shipments growth returns to normalcy
Nirbhay Kumar August 25, 2020
Counting on the comeback of demand in sectors like e-commerce and consumer electronics, leading express logistics player Blue Dart remains optimistic about economic recovery. While it views the recent GST collection numbers, e-way bills generated and Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) as signs of recovery, the DHL group firm has recorded higher growth in shipments of essential items like pharma, medical equipment and computer accessories.
Ketan Kulkarni, Head of Business Development and CMO at Blue Dart said that the automotive sector has also seen stronger recovery compared to the April-June period. "Like most companies or rather every company, there has been stress in revenue and profit as reflected in Q1 results. But we are very optimistic about the future. And we are seeing a lot of green shoots in the economy. If you see the GST collections, they are improving. The e-way bill numbers are improving. The PMI Index is coming back slowly," Kulkarni noted.
Hit hard by coronavirus-induced lockdown, Blue Dart Express Ltd had reported a net loss of Rs 127.94 crore in the April-June quarter against the profit of Rs 4.59 crore in the same period last year. Its total revenue from operations during the first quarter stood at Rs 414 crore. After seeing dislocations of its ground infrastructure during the lockdown with trucks halted mid-way or stuck at docking stations, the company is seeing complete returning of normalcy. Parcel delivery time and cargo movement time have now reached pre-lockdown level. "That has now eased to a great extent. We are back to the transit time we always had," the Blue Dart executive said.
The logistics major has come up with attractive pricing offers to attract new businesses especially in the micro, small and medium enterprise (MSME) sector. It is also tweaking its business to align it with the government's Vocal for Local and Make in India initiatives. "We are working very closely with the MSME sector. We understand they are greatly stressed. So, we recently introduced Fight Covid-19 pricing, especially for the MSME sector. We are very enthused about government's campaigns of Make in India, Vocal about Local, and we are rejigging our business to support those initiatives," said Kulkarni.
The company seems unfazed by the competition coming from start-up logistics players and hopes to maintain its client base with better product and service offerings. "We were the first to introduce B757 freighters in the market. We were the first to introduce aircraft for cargo in India. After that, there have been 3-4 attempts to bring freighter aircraft over the years but even after that we are the only people standing," noted the Blue Dart marketing chief.