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Lighthouse - November, 2010.

Chairman’s Message


Confusing ideas often prevail when one discusses the merits of being a team leader and his/her leadership qualities. Unlike a generalized overview of a leadership role, a team leader requires specific qualities because, within a company they have a well defined role. Energy, enthusiasm, willingness to shoulder responsibility, supporting the team and lead from the front ensures a strong team. To be more succinct a good team leader should have an ability to make the team come together to achieve more than a group of individuals. Sometimes team leaders lose their focus when there are changes happening due to the newly implemented strategies. This is because they forget the fact that changes are inevitable in the progress of an organization where the team leader also have the responsibility to contribute. According to Peter Drucker, the most popular management consultant “Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things”.

At CSS we have succeeded in creating an effective pool of team leaders who critically follow the strategies and lead their teams to success. By keeping this achievement uppermost in our minds we will ensure our future plans attain their full potential.


Seeking Success ? Then Understand The Importance Of Sales


With over 8 years in the organization, Siby C. Kurian has been a key player of CSS Group’s aggressive sales strategy.

Sales is a vital component to the success of an industry, regardless of the type of industry (i.e. service, manufacturing etc.) or location. In economics, sales are the activities involved in selling products or services in return for money or other compensation. However as economies have grown and become far more competitive this definition is not as simple as it was a few years ago. Sales in the shipping industry, like any other competitive global industry, relies on specific personality traits and complete business know how to be successful. Nowadays it is not enough to be knowledgeable about the business, to a prospective client one must be honest, must hold a deep regard for the needs of the client and most importantly must deliver the service at the end of the transaction in the most efficient and effective way as possible.

Having been in the company for over 8 years, Siby has set the bar for sales achievement within the CSS Group. Talking about the importance of sales within the CSS Group “Sales is one of the most intergral part of any business. However there are many components to sales that are often ignored; for example the importance of sales forecasting in any business, which allows a business to identify future areas of profit for the company.”

Business sales skills are a little bit more advanced, as you will be dealing with large corporations where sales pitches are delivered in meetings to a group of potential investors or clients. In this instance, sales skills are not just important, but they are vital. Imagine walking into a board room full of people who are all there just to listen to you. How do you command the room? How do you initiate conversation and begin your presentation? What do you wear? How do you walk? Do you look people in the eye?

Siby recounts his first sales pitch in CSS Group, almost 8 years ago and gives newcomers a few helpful tips. “Its only natural to be worried before meeting your first client, everyone is! The trick is to act out the situation the prior day, and most importantly know the business, as you don’t want to seem surprised when asked a difficult question by the client. Once you gain the trust of the client it is also vital that you nurture and grow that trust as client recommendations are an important factor in meeting sales targets.”

Achieving sales in today’s harsh economic climate is not easy, but many people are selling. To help you out we listed out what some experts feel are the four most important tips to selling better.

Buyer-Seller relationship

The problem with many sellers are that they really don’t care about their clients and they are more concerned in making a sale. Good sellers understand the value of walking through the entire sale with their clients from start to finish. They don’t just push these people to make a purchase instead; they work together with these people to find solutions to their problems. As a result, they are able to earn the trust of these prospects and they easily convert them to buying customers.

Sales call planning

It is very important that you have specific action plans or an effective selling process. You need to know what to do when and what to do next. An effective sales process looks like this; initial contact, meeting with decision-makers, proposal meeting, sales presentation, and delivery.

Questioning skills

As a seller, it is very important that you know the right questions to ask to discover the needs and demands of potential client. This is very important when your prospects are unable to properly communicate what they are looking for. Keep in mind that poor questioning will not help you properly identify the needs of your potential client, therefore when you return with a proposal it will most probably not be converted to a sale.

Presentation skills

You need to have great presentation skills to influence the buying decision of your prospects. Don’t forget to communicate all the benefits that your products can offer. Also, make sure that your presentation is interesting and engaging so you will not bore your audience.
So on behalf of CSS Group. Happy Selling!


A Smooth Take Off CSS Join Hands With Spatial Group


It has been widely recognised that 10.10.10 was a lucky date in the calendar, but it also became a significant date for The Spatial Group and CSS as the start of their partnership for the movement of cargo between the UAE and the UK.  CSS Air freight division Senior V P,  Ahmed Al Rais and its General Manager, Jacob Isaac  strongly believe that the association of both aggressive agents and focused drive of Airfreight consolidation ex UK with the Spatial Group would bring in long term mutual benefits to the companies and clients.

Wendy Hain, Managing Director of The Spatial Group and T.S. Kaladharan, Chairman of CSS signed the agreement in the CSS Dubai office.The Spatial Group who are celebrating their 30th year in business is owned by John Harvey CBE and Chairman of Keswick Enterprise Ltd. are delighted to be associated with CSS who have just celebrated their 15th year in business.

Wendy Hain commented that Spatial has been associated with the Middle East for 25 years and  looked forward to working with Kala and his team to develop the trade lane between the Gulf and the UK.


Technology – Thinking Beyond


Technology holds the world in its palm, the more it grows the more it spreads.

Nowadays one of the major pillars of any growing organization is its technology wing. The growth, horizontal as well as vertical, entirely depends on its careful establishment. The question is ‘Are you thinking beyond?’ if your answer is ‘yes’ then you’re in a safe position.

There can be three approaches to technology thinking, ‘beyond’, ‘inline’ and ‘behind’. The first one is what the world demands rather require, the second one is also acceptable but the last one is dangerous and compromising. Technology in the 60’s cannot be compared with that of 2010, the same way forward it should be. The Mainframes and personal computers are replaced with palm tops and mobile phones or mobile computing. It never demands you to stop and request but it gives you information on the move through self service.

There are several factors which makes an organization’s IT wing powerful and the first being its effective planning. The infrastructure has to go “in-line” with business processes and serve its customers with rich information as much as possible. The effective execution of the planned technology must happen in a properly controlled and monitored environment.

In order for optimal utilization of technology, people need to properly understand the usage and constraints. For this reason, they need training and they should have the wisdom to think beyond. The potency reaches its maximum automatically when we bind all these together towards a common objective. Technology always requires iteration; Iteration is fundamental as well as inevitable aspect of technology which keeps you in a cyclic process for continuous improvement and enhancement. It does mean that you have to run with technology otherwise you will have to chase technology, the choice is yours.

A company like CSS has never compromised in technology improvement and enhancement. CSS from the initial stage itself recognized the importance of technology and walked alongside. Specific budgeting and investments happened over the years for fulfilling the dream of independence in IT management within the organization. Today we use world class IT management process ISO 9000-2001. The credit goes to its bright management team, who always think beyond.


When music showered…


Stars came down to earth to bestow a feast of music!!

It was truly momentous when the world renowned musicians gathered on one stage for a rare combination of musical fusion, the recent past had ever witnessed in Kerala.

The musical evening was part of a private function organized by the CSS Group Chairman T. S. Kaladharan at his residence, Devas Farm house in Thrikkunnappuzha. The fusion team which consisted of percussion maestro Sivamani enthralled a crowd of around 250 invitees, who came to attend the function. U. Rajesh on Mandolin, Stefan Devassy on Key board, Mattannor Sankarankutty Marar on Chenda, Karunamurthy on Thavil, and Balabhaskar on Violin created a mesmerizing ambiance.

The programme started with renowned singer Naresh Aiyer, singing his favorites from Tamil and Hindi films. Naresh set the stage on fire with his famous Tamil songs, as there were groups in motion with rhythmic steps to accompany his music.  Then the instrumentalists took over the stage for solo performances. The mood reached its zenith when combinations started unfolding. The brisk passages of notes from Stefan supported the combinations with ease and dexterity. U. Rajesh created ripples with his mandolin on a jugalbandhi with Balabhaskar. It was a memorable evening for each and everyone who were present for the function.


ADIPEC 2010 CSS Group Joins GPLN at ADIPEC 2010


ADIPEC 2010, the Abu Dhabi International Petroleum Exhibition & Conference, is set to be the largest show to date with all exhibition space now sold out in a record time.  With 17 percent more space on offer this year, the number of exhibitors has grown to over 1,600.

A number of key industry players have signed up to participate in ADIPEC 2010, from NOCs and IOCs to oilfield service companies offering a variety of innovative technology and services across all sectors of the industry.  Exhibitors will showcase the very latest in exploration & production, processing, refining, storage and transportation. The exhibition and conference will be falling from the 01st to the 04th of November 2010.

This marks the debut participation of CSS Group in ADIPEC with The Global Project Logistics Network (GPLN) at booth #110.  CSS is associated with GPLN, the premier non-exclusive professional projects logistics network of independent companies specializing in international projects movement by air, sea and land as well as specialized lifts and the special handling of oversized, out-of-gauge and heavy lift cargo.

Now in its fourteenth year, ADIPEC 2010 will encompass the whole space of the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC) with over 31,000sqm of exhibiting space indoors and an extensive new outdoor area for equipment and machinery.

ADIPEC is now the second largest event for the oil and gas industry in the world, the largest outside of America, and the Middle East.

Come Join CSS and GPLN at ADIPEC 2010. For further information, please log on to:

www.cssgroupsite.com
www.gpln.net


Cargo Ball


CSS Group and NAFL(National Association of Freight and Logistics) in association with Arabian Reach to participate in the Cargo Ball charity gala dinner to raise funds for Al Noor Training Centre for children with special needs.

NAFL, founded in 1992 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, is born to bring together in one body all major players in the UAE’s Freight Forwarding and Shipping Industry. NAFL strives to ensure UAE’s leading position and Dubai’s pre-eminence in the international freight and transportation fields.

This gesture by NAFL and Arabian Reach which is to be held on October 28th, 2010 in Dubai, UAE is aimed at reaching out something for the disadvantaged and this explains why Al Noor Training Center will be privileged to receive 20% of the profits from this gathering.

Al Noor Training Center for children with special needs has been in existence since 1981 and provides quality and effective training to the special needs community of Dubai. The center supports children with challenges such as Downs Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy and Autism. These are addressed through special education methods, physiotherapy, speech therapy and occupational therapy. Al Noor also has its own work placement unit, which trains children with an aptitude for open employment.

CSS Group since its inception has continually worked closely with the Al Noor Training Center to raise awareness about children with special needs not only through gala dinners, but also by way of souvenir magazines, directories and advertisements.

Ahmed Al Rais, Sr. VP-Air Freight, CSS Group adds, “The Al Noor Center is one of the oldest special needs facilities in the United Arab Emirates. The dedication of the staff and the management towards its students and their families serve as an endearing example of hard work and determination for each and everyone of us in today’s world. We at CSS admire and thank the members of Al Noor Center and congratulate them on their achievements.”


Onakkazhcha


On Friday September 24th, 2010, Devas Holidays & Travel Services India Pvt. Ltd. a division of CSS Group was honoured to be the associate sponsor of the AKCAF Onakkazhcha 2010 where Padmashree Dr. ONV Kurup the chief guest of the event was felicitated for winning the highest literary award in India, ‘Njaanapeedam (Jnanpith) Award’ for the year 2007 and 2008. Since its inception 11 years ago AKCAF has been one of the largest organizations engaged in various social empowerment activities. Onakkazhcha 2010 was a celebration of the harvest festival, Onam for Keralites worldwide. The day gave a number of surprises for the nonresident Indian community in UAE; the traditional procession competition was one among them. With a variety of Kerala art forms like Theyyam (Popular Hindu Ritual for Worship), Chenda Melam (Kerala Drums), Kavadiyattam (a ritualistic dance form of Kerala), Shinkari Melam, Pulikali (a dance form with Tiger’s costume) etc showcased by the 50 member college alumnus affiliated to AKCAF made up a splendid evening.

Followed by the procession a public meeting was held which was inaugurated by His Excellency Sanjay Verma, Consul General of India in Dubai with other dignitaries Padmashree Dr. ONV Kurup, Saroji, Padma Shri Mattanur Shankaran Kutty Marar and Dr. Roy C J. As a token of sincere gratitude towards the love and affection for one of the greatest Indian poet, AKACF honored him by presenting a Memento and ‘Ponnada’. As part of the AKCAF Onakkazhcha an Athapookkalam (Flower Carpet) competition held on 17th September, the prizes were given away for the winners of these competitions. The evening entertainment was followed by the musical fusion extravaganza led by the renowned percussionist Padmashree Mattanur Shankarankutty Marar, piano wizard Stephen Devassy, violin maestro Balabhaskar and Thavil (barrel shaped percussion instrument) expert Karunamurthy enthralled the audience.

CSS is proud to be a part of this celebration and auspicious occasion of the harvest festival which crossed the borders and entered the life of the Non Resident Indian Community in UAE.


A day in a life or a life in a day


Cock a doodle doo – no sorry, we live in Mumbai and the wake up call is the milkman or the newspaper vendor – with a “ting tong” bell at 6 am and there goes our sleep out of the window and enter the saga that is about to begin. Depending on your age and disease – you start the day – with the most ancient to the most modern form of exercises. Ya ok I know you are a rich man so please do not show off by telling you have a heart disease and that you do not eat sweets after your meals because you made a few millions in the last few years and developed blood sugar in the bargain. And if you are still healthy and have nothing of the above, I am sorry I do not speak to paupers – move on …

Like all good men, you hopefully bathe after your exercise and are ready to take the next step forward. For a moment you feel like you are watching Boss’s day out on NDTV, covering your days schedule but its ok please relax – we will crack jokes later. Some do and some do not – eat breakfast – but all are for sure in a morning rush – the battle to reach office has begun – the cars are out , the buses are packed , the trains overflowing and autos and taxis on full throttle

Time starts –^*( *%^%S***^&%(^&*&**^^#@$*&F^^^^*())MC8776%&( %$^&* – about 2 hours – Time ends – office arrived. Look at the mirror – ouch – who is it? Touch myself – it’s me – thank god!

Welcome to Windows XP – welcome to desktop (oh the exciting picture of the sultry actress) – start Microsoft outlook – send receive – downloading 1 of 176 – “tapak tapak” – issue 1 in inbox – tapak tapak – issue 2 in inbox – tapak tapak tapak – download completes – 37 issues in inbox – 18 spam emails making my nights longer – 111 emails (one ex cricket umpire can be seen jumping) which make some sense and rest can be ignored coz they are from your boss – like the diaper – full of shit and always on your ass.

Time starts – @$%66F**%%&*(BC%^^%^**(S**^%())*&$#@^&* – 8 – 9 – 10 hours – Time ends – pack up – no option – no energy – no reasoning – just take me back – start travel back home – F$^*&^&*()*^&$S^&(*&*(*)(0MCBC %&^*(&(*)*_)* – 2 hours –  reached home.

Parents, wife, children, chores – sleep. And then the dream – that you and me all had – the Alice in wonderland world – the oxygen in the air, the colour of the flowers, the scent of the grass , the touch of the cool wind, the sight of the rainbow, the echoing sound of the waterfall, the flow of energy in your spine – the high of life.

Good night, sweet dreams –
you have a few hours remaining before it is again 6!


The World Is Thinking… Go Green


The cell phone charger that stays plugged in, the DVD player that waits for the occasional playing, the TV that sits on standby all night and the laptop which pretends to sleep … Are these the simple things that need a little attention in your daily life?

According to ‘Chaos Theory’ the flap of a butterfly’s wings here can create a tornado half way across the world…So let us make it a commitment that we do our part.

Now poking into a broader concept: ‘Green Logistics’ ensures a natural way of doing profitable business. Corporate Social Responsibility has gained crucial significance in the business world during these years. Environmental aspects have gained importance as the global companies are now well aware of ‘greening’ their business. Greening in business will add to measurable financial business benefits like reduced cost due to lower energy consumption, green alliances and support from governments by giving rebates and subsidies.

According to recent research by Aberdeen Group more than 50% of companies indicate ‘reducing overall business cost’ as one of the main drivers in pursuing ‘green’ initiatives. The cost and environmental impact of the supply chain can be attributed to two basic areas: Warehousing and Transportation and the latter one in terms of carbon foot-print (a measure of the impact of our activities on environment) accounts for two thirds of supply chain’s overall energy consumption. The conceptual design of the warehouse has to be done with a clear understanding of the interconnections between the transportation and the warehouse. As always, warehouses are busy places where goods are constantly on move, both inbound and outbound. Businesses always focus on maximizing the returns of each dollar spent by focusing on reducing costs whilst increasing the Corporate Social Responsibility efforts. The three ‘R’s of reducing costs which is inline with the environmental focus are Reduce, Reuse and Recycle.

In warehousing there are many areas which needs attention where businesses can ‘R’educe consumption whether it is consumption of energy or resources. Packaging is a major attribute of warehousing. By reducing the packaging and also by the use of advance packing materials the weight can be reduced and also it increases efficiency. By reducing the weight we not only save shipping costs but also save energy for the movement of packed materials inside the warehouse. Biodegradable packaging is another advanced method to make sure that customers are not liable for disposing environmentally harmful packing.

‘R’eusing packaging is a traditional method which is followed in most warehouses globally. Pallets, cartons and boxes are examined and reused if appropriate. For certain products the packaging is expensive and each time the manufacturer will lose it once goods are sold out. Increasing the quality can increase the life of the packaging whereby the manufacturers can reuse and reduce the amount spent on packing material.The recent financial turmoil had opened the eyes of many businesses where we are forced to reduce the costs. This created more importance in ‘R’ecycle of many materials in warehouses.

However, despite the investment a company makes in order to improve its Corporate Social Responsibility, the employees need to change their work habits and follow new procedures that combined will help the environment and in turn help the company’s bottom line.


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