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Lighthouse - January, 2009.

Chairman’s Message


VISION” is a wonderfully exciting word as it has so many stimulating meanings including – the faculty of sight, intelligent foresight, the manner of seeing or conceiving something, a mental imagination, a mystical experience or something of great beauty. “Share The Vision”, the theme for this year’s strategy meet held in Middle East aboard Costa Victoria cruise liner from 14th December, was designed to utilise all aspects of “vision”.  In these global turbulent times, we all need to be focused and visualise provocative ideas so that our creative business skills are aroused. Our C.S.S. strategy team was encouraged to visualise, produce and absorb ideas so they may be put to practical use. Such a process is vital to ensure we surmount the current challenges forced upon all within our industry. To emulate the ethos of our strategy meeting we must remain open to others’ thoughts and ideas. We should be prepared to listen more than we talk and be happy to change our opinion when new information demands it. New ideas often arise by listening to what others have overlooked so we may benefit from their unrecognised opportunities. We should be encouraged to ask questions, even when they may expose our weaknesses, so that team players may willingly guide and inspire us. If we avoid acting defensively when faced with constructive criticism then such situations will provide a beneficial opportunity to respond and interact.
Imagine breath-taking panoramic views across a sparkling pool where avant-garde design sets new standards of excellence. You may ask, “What has this to do with C.S.S. and our visions?” “Everything!” is my answer. This is a description of The Costa Victoria cruise ship that reflects the warmth and spirit of Italy, which is destined to be feted as one of the most exciting and stunningly beautiful ships of our time. A new vision within the C.S.S. Group, The Costa Victoria emphasises our enhanced strategies which will enable us to rise above this period of global recession. I am confident and enthused by our resilience, perception and visions, which I know will achieve greater rewards for all of us throughout 2009.
Wish you an exciting and promising year ahead !!!
                                                                                                                       T S Kaladharan


Cruising Italian Style aboard Costa Victoria


It was one of the most exciting strategy meets, CSS Group had over the years. Yes, it was truly overwhelming, breathtaking and grand aboard The Costa Victoria. CSS group’s sales strategy meet was held from 14th to 17th December onboard this stunningly beautiful floating luxury to which the CSS Group boarded from Dubai and travelled through Oman & Fujaira to disembark at Abu Dhabi. It carries 1928 passengers and has 12 decks for you to explore, out of the 14 decks in total, while you are at sea. The 790 member crew will pamper you and see to your every need. The massive vessel takes you to the ports of your dreams as you sail away into the sunset. It is becoming too poetic when you describe about this floating extravaganza.
CSS strategy meet had seen an increase in the number of participants from 50 the last year in Goa to 61 this year. The team comprised of CSS group members from Middle East, India & USA. Associates of CSS group, from Doha and Kuwait also attended on an invitation for this meet. The meet was formally inaugurated with a welcome note from the Group Chairman T. S. Kaladharan, as he invited all to “Share the vision” of the group for the future, the motto being the theme this year. Amith Surya Horra, Asst. Marketing Manager, who was also the team head for the organising committee explained about the four days programme for the event, and the details about the Cruise Vessel.
From the breathtaking panoramic Concorde Plaza to the sparkling indoor pool, ultramodern Pompei Spa and incredible Planetarium Atrium spanning seven decks, the Costa Victoria cruise ship combines the elegance of European style with the sophistication of American comforts.
Day one saw the CSS Volume being presented by Paul D’ Souza, Senior VP for Sales & Marketing, followed by, the team from Projects Oil & Gas presenting their status with the current economic scenario and the figures they had calculated. There after presentations and figures from the sales team of Dubai was presented. The Captain’s night was the attraction for the evening where in the Crew heads introduced themselves to the passengers, which was followed by the Gala dinner organised by the Costa crew. The appetizers are good but sometimes unusual, along with desserts and salads. The Casino opened till early morning attracting many, to part with some good amount of bills, on the Black jack table.
Day two started with the Airfreight presentation from Sanal Haridas, Commercial Manager. Presentations and budget figures were later on presented from the Land Transport department, CSLC-1, Abudhabi, Bahrain, CSS Logistics, and Business development in USA. A scavenger hunt organised by the crew animators, was the team building activity for the day. CSS India presentations were started by Mumbai by Rampal and later on moved on to Kolkata and Delhi. The bar-be-que night organised by CSS Group topped up the day’s events.
Day three saw the presentations being continued from the Indian offices and then the group’s corporate communications department had its presentation. Marketing department had their presentation on Day four which was followed by the open discussion initiated by the Management
It was then time to pack back with lots of memories aboard this mighty liner. The team CSS disembarked at the Abu Dhabi port after the long four days of sail away parties and much more to remember. The CSS sales strategy meet 2009, can be remembered as one of the most exciting and stimulating of all the strategies meets we had over the years past.


Shipco Transport – Global Agents Meeting


Shipco Transport hosted a Global Agents Meeting in October 2008 in Weehawken, New Jersey.

With representatives from 58 countries, the meeting was truly ‘global’ and was the first time that all Shipco offices and agents had assembled since April 2000.

The guests had the opportunity to get together in the world-famous Shipco Bar in Hoboken on Thursday October 23rd.  This was the first social occasion of the event but was followed by more serious business on the Friday.

Klaus Jepsen, Group CEO for Shipco, opened the proceedings with a welcome and key note address.   This was then followed by presentations from other senior Shipco personnel. 

With the formalities out of the way, everyone got down to the real business of the day – one-on-one meetings.  This allowed Shipco offices and agents to meet individually, to further develop their relationship and, in some cases, start new working partnerships.  It is rare, with such a diverse crowd, that people have the opportunity to sit down, face-to-face and with the buzz in the meeting room, it was obvious that much business was done that day. 

Following a busy but beneficial day, the group left Weehawken for Liberty State House – a beautiful restaurant located on the banks of the Hudson River, overlooking the dramatic New York City skyline.  The ‘global’ nature of the event then took a very American twist with the theme of the evening being ‘Country & Western’.  As well as listening to some good old country music, the participants were given lessons in ‘line dancing’.  Everyone had great fun with this but whether their dancing skills improved remains to be seen.

On the Saturday, guests had a choice of leisure activities – golf, shopping or a New York City tour.  Unfortunately, the New Jersey weather was somewhat uncooperative although the golfers swear it was dry on the course.

However, the weather really did take a turn for the worse in the evening with hurricane-like winds and torrential rain – all the more unfortunate since the night’s entertainment was a dinner cruise around Manhattan.  With that plan ‘sunk’, the group had to make their own entertainment in the hotel.  This didn’t
seem to be too much of a problem and, although it was not quite as planned, the evening was still a success.

Sunday marked the end of the two day extravaganza and while many participants were tired, all agreed that it was a fruitful – and fun – event.  Let’s just hope it’s not 9 years until the next one!


30 years young- Shinyei Shipping Co. Ltd.



Shinyei Shipping Co.,Ltd. based in Tokyo prosperously commemorated
the 30th anniversary at The Ritz-Carlton Tokyo, in Roppongi, Tokyo, Japan on October 8th, 2008 then invited approximately 400 guests from home and abroad, i.e. the customers, the shipping companies, the customs brokers and the overseas agents. 

Established in 1978, they started LCL cargo business for Singapore and Hong Kong as a
specialist of the consoli-cargo transporter in Asia. They are now acknowledged widely
obtaining the legal basis as a pioneer of expanding the basis in this field having built
the network that covers all over Asia including the Middle East even from the time when the NVOCC was not yet common.

‘We’ve got all kinds of inquiries at the beginning, but NVO’s been established legally and acknowledged ever since. Nowadays the market is even seriously competitive.
Even though we’ve been through a lot, we wouldn’t be here without all your supports and would like to thank you for it. Keeping ourselves motivated, we’ll keep striving for the improvements.’ the general manager of the company, Mr. Nagashima greeted.

Representing the overseas agents, Mr. Iskandar Zulkarnain, the chairman of FPS Group congratulated and presented gifts. Representing, CSS Group, Mr. T.S Kaladharan Chairman and Mr. Paul James D’Souza, Senior VP- Sales & Marketing attended the function.


FPS AGM


This year FPS Annual General Meeting was held between 27th- 29th of October, 2008 at the Melia Galgos Hotel in Madrid, Spain.The meet was attended by FPS network agents and general agents. There were 113 delegates from 60 offices who represented 41 countries. “Your vision is our mission” is stated to be the motto /theme of the meet.

Iskandar Zulkarnain, Chairman was pleased to introduce 6 new companies to all the delegates. During his presentation, specially mentioned the spirit of togetherness during the time of economic crisis. Invitation to CSS proved to be an ideal opportunity for the team to cement the existing relationship with FPS. It was such a great honour for CSS Group to be part of this meet. It was always a strategic business relationship from the inception for both the groups.

CSS Group delegates headed by Paul D’Souza and the team consisted of Siby C Kurian from CSS UAE, Narayan R.T from CSS Bahrain, Dean Landers from CSS Kuwait, Jairam K R, Arup Ray, Rampal Tandon, Hemant Bhanushali from Console Shipping Services India and Asim Saeed Khan from Console Shipping Services Pakistan Private Ltd.

There were presentations given by FPS members on various functional activities of the Group such as Oliver Ward GED, Marina Rollan–SC Header of IT Development, Kettivit Sittisoontornwong, Ian Matheson–Impress Communication. The meet truly witnessed a great networking opportunity for all the delegates.


Professional Talk



NGL is a leading transportation and logistic solutions provider in Germany with an enviable international network of partners and agents. As a European company, NGL offers a comprehensive service portfolio to the customers through their extraordinary and sophisticated logistic solutions.
Face to face with Mr. Mathias Brosowsky, Managing Director, NGL Logistics Company. The Company is 2 years old in the market.
Mr. Mathias is a pioneer in the logistics industry with an experience of more than 2 decades


What would you consider as the USP of NGL in the cut throat market conditions of today?
Ans: More Performance equals More Success. This is the philosophy that we would like to carry on towards servicing our customers and maintaining the relationship with our business partners. We are in the logistics service industry, so service means  to us more than the routine handling of logistics and transportation jobs , we believe in personalizing our services by tailoring our products to suit the customers .
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Can we please talk about the NGL team?
Ans:   Every NGL team member is empowered to be the decision maker on-the-spot who believes in understanding the customers’ needs and giving a new dimension to the service with our personalized logistics solutions. We are available 24 hrs for our customers needs.
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What are the core products/industries that NGL has focused primarily?
Ans:  Our core products are Air & Ocean freight, as well as Logistics. Our understanding of Logistics ranges from classical consulting up to the realization of complex outsourcing solutions.
Our customer portfolio ranges from small and medium sized companies, as well as stock exchange listed global acting companies.

Brief about NGL network (countries)?
Ans: It is our goal to cover the major industrial states with network partners that share our philosophy and business understanding. A major benefit for us is working with Partners that are able to offer services in different countries under one brand. For example, our exclusive Network Partner for US and Asia is Phoenix Intl. For Dubai and other GCC Countries we are associated with the CSS Group.

Has the recent economic crisis had any effect on your business?
Ans: We are associated with a group of networking partners whose reputation and experience has taken them beyond small size business. Of course worldwide economy crises will also affect the forwarding industry, but such crises can also be a chance for forwarders that offer personalized and sophisticated logistic solutions.

Can we please discuss about NGL’s association with CSS?
Ans: Mr.T. S Kaladharan, Chairman CSS Group and I go long back together in this industry. His foresight has helped to place CSS Group as one of the leading freight forwarders in the region.
Apart from our excellent personal rapport, we have zeroed down on CSS Group as our Middle East networking partner because of the Group’s enviable world wide network and professional team service.
We have always received excellent support and service from the team and will look forward to enjoying a mutually beneficial and supportive working relationship.


Corporate Backchat


Would you like to hear some “Corporate Backchat?” How about a little light teasing, some slightly audacious or perhaps adroit and clever replies?  Backchat makes the world a livelier place and also more challenging. What though does backchat mean for management and staff, especially in the context of a company’s internal communications??

Well if you were asked, “What do you think about the painting – Backchat” what would you say? “It’s nice”, “I do not like it”, “It is bright and colourful” or “Why should I care?” maybe some of your short responses but if we consider these replies they do not really tell us anything constructive. An art critic would examine the emotional thoughts of Kerala artist, Rajesh Ragendran and interpret the composition design. Is it two ladies who have fallen out or are they defending themselves, united together, “back to back”, fighting off a verbal attack? For someone who is trying to be investigative and look for the meaning, all sorts of ideas spring to mind. It is these same qualities of constructive investigative comments that a company seeks in responses and feed-back from their staff. Whereas backchat might be seen as sometimes cheeky or impulsive it often provides, for those who are alert, an insight into what is uppermost in the speaker’s mind. Remember many a true word is said in jest.
Recent findings
A recent study by The Work Foundation, a London based non profit making independent research consultancy, recognised the importance and potential of corporate internal communications.  Based on a study of over 500 organisations, many of which were multi-site, it found that departments who developed good internal communications were able to enhance closer contacts and responses between executives, management and staff. This resulted in improved organizational cohesion and performance. To be effective it is important that internal communications move both upwards as well as downwards within the corporate structure. This is why staff feedback, throughout all levels of management, is so important for the development and well being of a company.  So why is it in many companies that the staff seem reluctant and shy to give meaningful feedback? Why, when asked for “feedback”, are the few comments which are received usually so general and vague?.
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Barriers to be breached
Feedback responses, to be helpful, need to explain or give suggestions for discussion otherwise they are not much use. Probably the main difficulty for staff is that they wish to be seen as “team-players” so making individual comment is tantamount to “sticking one’s head above the parapet”. This may not only cause jealousy or problems but also there is no obvious possibility of a reward. If this is so, why bother to respond? This is the barrier that needs to be breached and broken down so that a company may achieve greater things. That’s why backchat within internal communications is an innovative concept. “Backchat” requires that all involved within a company need to be proactive as well as reactive. Those who ask for responses and comments should never primarily look to apportion credit and certainly never blame. Their “backchat” motivation should be an endeavour in discovering information on which to develop opportunities.  The upside of getting involved, by sending in comments or feedback, is that it stimulates staff to focus their own thoughts which has a beneficial effect amongst team members.

The current global economic challenges demand that every opportunity to rise above them should be seized upon. “Backchat” provides an advantage.  Remember, “Great oak trees from little acorns grow”. One small seemingly insignificant piece of “backchat”, if spotted and acted upon, may well increase a company’s good fortune…….and “Good Fortune” is, without doubt, something everyone wishes for in 2009. Thank you for the great support from our readers..
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Good Luck and happy reading !!!.
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Unnikrishnan G
Head- Corporate Communications


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