Chandigarh,21.05.20-Confederation of Indian Industry organised North India Virtual Conference on ‘Reconnecting Supply Chain Links : Safe and Efficient Logistics Empowered Digitally’ with an objective to bring together all eminent personalities relevant to the context, on to a common platform and try understanding from them, their views - on various aspects - current scenario and the way forward, how to make India’s supply chain network more structured and effective.

While speaking at the Inaugural Session of the Conference, Chief Guest, Shri Rao Inderjit Singh, Hon’ble Minister of State (I/C), Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation; and Ministry of Planning, NITI Aayog, Government of India, said, “We are facing the most challenging crisis since World War II, confronting a pandemic threatening people in every country. We need a much stronger and more effective response to the pandemic and to the social and economic devastation that COVID-19 is causing. He stressed that this will only be possible if the private industry and government comes together to fight for humankind that is at stake. The last 2-3 months have been tough and has caused fear psychosis factor among people.”

The Government is working on developing digital platforms to help the public, industry, workforce and all stakeholders. Supply chain management solutions such as using drones for delivery of products are getting major attention as companies make strides to test and improve the technology. Not only this, 3D printing is making its way to play a part in combating the outbreak since the requirements for 3D printing are quite meager, he added.

“In the years to come, the automobile sector is expected to be the growth driver of the Indian economy. The current disruption in China will essentially mean reshaping of global supply chains, providing a window of opportunity to countries like India. As India well equipped with technological know-how, it is the time to explore the opportunities while ensuring qualitative, sustainable and enterprising aspects. The pandemic has provided an opportunity to look at the localized solutions in a different way and leverage this threat into an opportunity, he added. The government is fully ready to support the sector in every possible way.”

Nikhil Sawhney, Chairman, CII Northern Region, said, “The reshaping and de-risking of global supply chains can help position India as a sourcing destination, subject to the government taking courageous and quick steps to focus on exports. Land availability, cost of capital, technology, absence of global scale manufacturing, poor logistic infrastructure are some of the pain points restricting the growth of Indian industry. The government should create an empowered joint industry government task force to help in building awareness of India as a sourcing destination. He added that CII would be happy to actively support and work towards making this Task Force action-oriented. CII are closely working with the both with Central and State Governments on the key areas that have disrupted supply chains, halted the production cycle and impacted inventories.”

Deep Kapuria, Past Chairman, CII Northern Region and Chairman, The Hi-Tech Group, said, “The Covid-19 pandemic brought forth a number of challenges; but there are underlying opportunities as well. Even though we are amidst a global health emergency, new business models are emerging; companies are re-purposing their services and re-assessing their business strategies. While it is difficult to predict the pandemic’s long-term impact as yet, it is anticipated to inspire new innovations in the supply chain. We are likely to see more supply chain localizations and a complete digital overhaul of the country’s existing supply chain network as the potential is huge. The need of the hour is to reinvent not only the role of the logistics but also its stakeholders.”

Vikram Kasbekar Conference Chairman, and Executive Director – Operations (Plants) Hero MotoCorp Ltd, said, “SME (small and medium enterprises) and large companies will have to be looked at from a different perspective in relevance to Supply and Demand mainly. SMEs have been impacted more because the demand suddenly crashed and survival challenges settled with not enough cash to weather the storm. It is time that Traditional planning models and technology tools gets replaced with more concrete real-time models - collaboration and communication with all the stakeholders. Emerging technologies, such as artificial intelligence, cloud-based inventory optimization and block chain will play a crucial role. It is also important for organizations to learn to operate in volatile and complex environment rather than being risk aversive quite often.”