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Lighthouse - May, 2018.

Chairman’s Message


Andrew Carnegie, the American, industrialist and philanthropist, once said, “Successful teamwork is the ability to work together toward a common vision. The ability to direct individual accomplishments toward organisational objectives. It is the fuel that allows common people to attain uncommon results.”
I believe that people who are really motivated to aim for great accomplishments, for their company, will never disagree with the beliefs expressed in this quotation.
If you recall last year, in the May edition of Lighthouse, the message from my desk was about the one decade of completion of our services in India. It is true to say that CSS has been blessed with staff that has held true to Andrew Carnegie’s successful teamwork expectations. This was obvious when CSS India recently conducted their Annual Budget Meeting in Kolkata. Being a proud participant for the meeting and being fortunate to be able to share thoughts with CSS India heads, I can surely say that our company is moving in the right direction in terms of common strategies and goals.
The evidence of growth for any company is reflected in the spirits and attitude of their staff, and not just the figures that an excel chart conveys. We have to remember that challenges and opportunities may change without much notice. An ability to respond effectively is directly related to the attitude of your team. By keeping the sentiments of Andrew Carnegie’s quotation uppermost in our thoughts I am confident we will continue to move forward and achieve rewardingly uncommon results.


Business excellence award for CSS


The Best International Logistics & Freight Forwarding Firm 2018 award

CSS Group was honored with Best International Logistics &Freight Forwarding Firm 2018 award constituted by MEA Markets. MEA Markets is a quarterly publication dedicated to researching and publicizing the major moves and events as they happen across the entire Middle East and African regions.

Since its inception in 1995 CSS Group has become a renowned name in the freight forwarding industry, and today it is one of the leading integrated freight forwarding solutions provider with close to 25 years of experience.
Constantly adapting to its customers’ changing needs, the company has enriched its expertise to become a tier-one logistics and freight forwarding partner in the GCC, with integrated logistic networks in Africa, Middle East, Europe and the Americas. Headquartered in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, the CSS Group is spearheaded by its Chairman T. S. Kaladharan.

The company, through its corporate diversity and willingness to keep learning and relearning, has earned its collective experience within the industry. With a team consisting of over 750 experienced and dedicated professionals across 20 locations, the CSS Group is able to meet a client’s freight forwarding requirements: be it by sea, land or air.

In today’s market, the UAE and GCC have become a hub for companies originally based in the UAE and China, for instance. The CSS Group being the strongest in the Middle East, has had a head start in this regard. Its strong relationship with customers, as well as being a one-stop solution, has given them comfort in knowing they are in great hands.

To support clients in this fast paced corporate hub, CSS understands the need to constantly evolve and change. The team have to keep moving, study the market and ensure that they are, in terms of logistics, up to date. Thanks to this focus on constant improvement, alongside its vast industry experience, the group has a built an exceptional reputation, especially with UAE customs.

Alongside its focus on industry developments, technology is also a key focus for the group. The CSS Group has been investing in the use of technology since its commenced operations, as the Chairman and founder saw how big technology would play a part in the future of this industry. The group developed its own software, now known as FINS, more than 10 years ago that it is constantly improving on, based on new requirements.

As part of this approach, the group’s IT team constantly reads, explores, and carries out R&D with, say, CRM and budget reports. During all its international business visits, the group brings back best practices from every location that it interacts with, exploring whether any of this can implemented in the group’s current structure.
For instance, when it comes to 3PL, CSS Group tailors its in-house software around what the customer wants. Even if they say they would like to see reports or data through software of their own, the group integrates it with theirs, to ensure an easy, hassle free experience for every client.

Ultimately, CSS Group’s ongoing focus is to become the one-stop solution for its customers that not only cover B2B but also B2C. To achieve this, the group has further expansions across Asia planned. Additionally, the team are keen to support their customers through their entire cargo cycle, from production to delivery and distribution. This includes spare parts, Yacht and Marine, Hospitality and Hotel Logistics as well as Auto logistics divisions. Driving these changes and growing in these areas will offer the group many exciting opportunities to grow and flourish over the coming years.


Newer boulevards and Novel strategies


Seeking to strike a right balance between challenges and opportunities, the annual budget meeting of CSS India was held at Taj Bengal, Kolkata early in the month of April. Station heads and key decision makers from all over the Indian offices attended the meeting which was chaired by the Chairman, CSS group, T S Kaladharan.

In his welcome address, CSS North India Vice president Rajesh Arora re-iterated the need for close coordination amongst all branches for the attainment of a more focused approach so as to take the company to ever more heights. For the first time CSS team from Ludhiana and Kolkata had their presentations in the Annual Budget Meet. Ludhiana was represented by Meena Sharma, Branch Manager. CSS Kolkata being the host station was represented by Pijush Saha and Anirban Saha.

Rahat Talreja, Vice President CSS Central India during his presentation mentioned about the post GST scenario and the tactics to learn more from the challenges for enhancing growth. A session on the group software and its benefits was led by the CSS Group COO, NVOCC, Chandrakala (CK). She elaborated on the benefits of increasing the usage of ERP applications and bringing all offices under one umbrella of CRM, so as to better service the clients.

A session on “Effective ways of resource mana- gement” was taken by Ajay Krishnan, COO, Freight forwarding CSS Group, wherein he stated that the one reason why companies end up compromising their profits is due to the inefficient use of resources in hand. Throughout the presentation Ajay introduced tips on effective utilization of resources and mentioned that those tips if implemented properly will go a long way in assisting CSS in revolutionizing their resource management and utilization.

CSS South India was led by T K Vishwanath, General Manager. Budget figures and analysis of each of the CSS India offices were presented by the respective managers with a key focus on their projections and strategies. Other attendees included, Rajeev Kumar, Prasun Roy and Nishu Jain from CSS Delhi, Sandeep Anthur and Thainis Raj from CSS Chennai Sudeep and Jinu from CSS Corporate office.

CSS Group Chairman, T S Kaladharan in his closing remarks, congratulated CSS India team for successfully and profitably concluding the financial year. He also mentioned about his dreams and aspiration about the group company and while assuring support to the various suggestions put forward by the delegates, also stressed upon investing for a better tomorrow through clever delegation and planning.


Top Customer Award


The CSS Group received the Top Customer Award from CMA CGM as a token of their support in 2017, on the 3rd of April, 2018.

With ISO 9001, ISO 14001 and ISO 18001 certified standards, the CSS Group is headquartered in Dubai, United Arab Emirates with brand offices across the GCC, South Asia and more.

The CMA CGM “Top Customer Award” was handed over by Santosh Devasper (Commercial Manager) and Anshika Bhatia (Senior Sales & Marketing Analyst), to the CSS Group’s Angeli Sudheer (Manager, Pricing & Customer Service Desk), Chandra Kala (COO, NVOCC) and Ajay Krishnan (COO, Freight Forwarding) as a token of the Group’s continuous support in 2017.

COO Chandra Kala said: “The CSS Group – as a whole – takes pride in being awarded the Top Customer Award by CMA CGM – it reinforces our commitment to our customers in providing the best to match their requirements.”


GPLN- 15th AGM in Bremen


Global Project Logistics Network (GPLN) will hold their 15th Annual General Meeting from May 26-28, 2018 at the Dorint Park Hotel in Bremen where a multitude of GPLN members, sponsors and media representatives from around the world will have plenty of networking opportunities during intense meetings and social events to maintain existing and established new contacts that will benefit greatly their business. The attendance of over 200 GPLN delegates speaks itself for the quality of the GPLN network and their highly skilled project forwarders. The day after the AGM on May 29 GPLN is organizing at the same venue their renowned Heavy Lift Maritime and Transport Seminar which is also open for non GPLN members and offers a great opportunity to learn more about Heavy Lift Shipping and expand technical abilities and knowledge for project cargo business. Right after these events GPLN will also exhibit at the Breakbulk Europe Transportation Conference & Exhibition in Bremen from May 30-31, 2018. Please visit their GPLN booth #1400 in Hall 5 of Messe Bremen where also many GPLN members will be present.
GPLN brings together project cargo experts and independent project logistics specialist companies from around the world, all of whom have an expert focus on project logistics.


Networking & Dinner


CSS attends SCLG annual industry networking and dinner

CSS Group attended the SCLG annual industry Networking and dinner held at Dusit Thani, Dubai on the 28th of March. The event was a perfect platform for networking and was hugely successful marked by presence of 100 plus senior personnel from 70 plus organizations. CSS Group was represented at the event by Rosh Manoli Deputy General Manager, Sales & Marketing, Richard Varghese Asst. General Manager, Sales & Marketing.
Headquartered in Dubai (UAE), Supply Chain & Logistics Group (SCLG) is a membership driven industry business group engaged in advancing supply chain & logistics industry locally, regionally and globally. SCLG currently has a membership base of 200+ corporate organizations and is growing.


The Art and Science of Selling


The Lighthouse editorial team sat down with Hinna Hussain – Team Manager, Sales – to know more about the day in the life of a salesperson, how CSS is different than most Multinational corporations and what drives her to succeed.


How would you describe yourself in under two minutes?

Prompt, efficient, bubbly, always on the job, workaholic.

How does a salesperson go about doing things – walk us through it?

You’re open to doing [business development] in any way that you feel; everyone has their own approach. It could be through LinkedIn, you would be searching for another company on social media, you might try finding people you have common connections with. It could just be various ways of trying to secure a client.
Once things come in, you begin to understand more. If a job is overseas, your stress is mainly dealing with the overseas offices to ensure things happen in a certain way, and to keep [customers] updated. If the job is being executed [in the UAE, or elsewhere], export or import, it would need you complying with all their procedures.

How involved would you be?

We are quite invested in the job – we have the freedom to fix the job from point A to point Z. In many other companies, your sales, costing, pricing departments are separate, the guys that quote your job and the ones that do invoicing are separate. You might close the sale but you are not really sure about what is happening in the background now. You might be able to bring in clients every single day but servicing them is not really easy because you are not the one involved in other aspects of the job. Here, you are truly involved in all aspects. You are always ready for a situation where suddenly everything is an urgent situation, an emergency, sudden calls in the middle of the night to make vessels and planes go faster become normal! The CSS structure runs better because you know more, you learn more, you are more invested in your job. At any given time, the client can call you for an update and you are more than aware on how to handle the situation. You are the sole person handling it, along with your support team.

How did you first get involved in the shipping and liner industry?

I think that purely happened quite by accident. I don’t think anyone ever enters logistics with an intention of entering logistics. I started from ground zero and it has been 7 years since [I have been with CSS].

What do you think it takes an employee at the CSS Group to get ahead?

You would really have to think out of the box, walk the extra mile. It is an internal motivation, rather than external. You should want to do it for yourself. Once you imbibe that, people recognize it. We have always had supportive seniors – they are always open to guide you. One cannot be spoon fed when it comes to logistics. If you have that desire to grow and learn, you are bound to be recognized. Everyone sitting here has the potential and an equal ground of opportunity to grow; your drive and the energy you put out there is key.

What do you enjoy most about working here?

The comfort of working with the team and the freedom to make immediate, executable decisions for your customers.

What is your personal philosophy regarding freight forwarding?

Whether you look at cargo, logistics or freight forwarding, people should just break it down. Freight forwarding has never been rocket science – it is so basic and so simple, the layman would have a laugh if they actually understood the concept. I think people just unnecessarily complicate it.

With the current state of affairs in the industry, what do you think are the positive and negative predictions that you could possibly make?

Everything is always evolving and growing. A constantly changing landscape brings with it its own challenges. But as with all challenges – there are opportunities to overcome them. Instead of focusing on areas that do have problems, you should rather work on areas that have more strength.

What would you say your greatest strength is?

My positive outlook

If you were to be faced by failure, how would you handle that?

Failure is something everyone has to go through because it is only then that you learn to be appreciative and thankful for what you have, what you are doing and for more yet to come. If you do not go through that phase, it is a human tendency to take things for granted. Go through it, deal with it, move on from it.


Growing Supply Chain Management


The exponential growth of supply chain management is a promising factor towards the growth of the economy of UAE. Lighthouse spoke with Hareesh Haridas, Manager /Logistics for SCM about the Supply chain activities within the CSS Group, his service and much more.

If you were to describe yourself in under 2 minutes, how would you?

I am a team player and like to be a part of good working environment. I was moulded by my experiences and work with a mentality of sharing and delegating things for a better and positive outcome.

How did you first get involved in this industry, specifically supply chain management? Did you go through a process like working with a shipper, liner or logistics?

My experience with the service industry started much before I joined CSS. I was with another company, five to six years working within the passenger services where you deal with people and their emotions directly. It gave me ample exposure understanding various situations. My experience in the logistics industry began with CSS.

How long have you been working with the CSS Group?

Its been a long journey, close to 14 years now. We even have staff working here ever since the company commenced operations. I had joined as a coordinator when the Supply Chain department. started within the company. In a short span, I climbed up the ladder with more responsibilities.

Tell us exactly what Supply Chain Management entails.

Supply Chain Management is the oversight of materials, information, and finances as they move in a process from supplier to manufacturer to wholesaler to retailer to consumer. Supply chain management involves coordinating and integrating these flows, both within and among, companies. In simple terms, catering the end to end needs of a customer with uncompromised quality.

What is included in your portfolio?

CSS has expanded their facilities with storage spaces across the Emirates. We have warehousing facilities in Sharjah, Al Quoz, Jebel Ali and Abu Dhabi with CSS personnel and equipment. We have more than 20,000 Sq.mt. being managed in Jebel Ali itself. My responsibility is to manage it professionally and constructively, to make these entities run as profit centres and provide exceptional services to our clients.

What is the innovation side of Supply Chain Management?

An efficient supply chain is vital for businesses to deliver their products to consumers who want or need them. with Dubai being a major marketplace in the MENA region, supply chain management must think more innovatively and proactively to balance product flow and costs throughout a product’s life cycle.

How does supply chain management, not only related to the CSS Group, play a role when it comes to oil, energy, projects?

CSS is amongst the top five consolidators in Jebel Ali. SCM is undoubtedly the backbone for A to Z Logistics activities, especially in freight forwarding. The SCM is a assembly of different activities happening in the entire supply chain starting from procurement of goods from suppliers to selling the goods to the end customer. It helps in managing and controlling materials, information and finances as they move from supplier to customer.

What would you want to tell someone to put them at ease if someone is exploring SCM?

You need to have the mindset to work and carry out a variety of tasks. How much time you spend in your job is immaterial, it is the dedication and concentration which really matters. Supply Chain Management is a highly promising area. Work hard and you will be successful.

With the current state of affairs in supply chain management, what are the negative and positive observations you can make?

Current market situations are rather fragile, even though the situations can change any time.

What do the words “local knowledge, global reach” mean to you?

CSS Group is very strong in the GCC and South Asia. We enjoy one of the strongest network of partners and associates across the globe. Over two decades of experience in the Middle East make us equally strong with the local knowledge.

What motivates you?

Every day is different! It becomes more and more demanding, just be ready to take up any challenge.


Admiralty Act comes into Force


Admiralty (Jurisdiction and Settlement of Maritime Claims) Act, 2017

April 1st 2018 will be considered as the most remarkable day in the history of Shipping in India. Finally the new Admiralty Bill has received the assent of the President and the Admiralty (Jurisdiction and Settlement of Maritime Claims) Act, 2017 has come into force on the said date, after repealing an almost 150 year old Acts namely, Admiralty Court Act, 1861, the Colonial Courts of Admiralty Act, 1890, Colonial Courts of Admiralty (India) Act, 1891 and the Provisions of the Letters Patent, 1865 which were introduced by British to bring uniformity with their Admiralty Laws.

With vast growing of international trade, the Shipping Industry has changed a lot in the last many years and the new decision and effort of the law framers to modify and amend the existing Admiralty Law in India is more welcoming and boon to all those who are part of this Industry. Moreover, the provisions of the new Act are framed in such a way as to regularise many issues, including conferring the admiralty Jurisdiction to various high courts in India. The old Colonial Court of Admiralty Act, 1891 and the Admiralty Court Act, 1861 established / conferred the Admiralty Jurisdiction upon the High Court of Bombay, Madras and Calcutta. However, the new Admiralty Act, 2017, confers the Admiralty Jurisdiction not only to these above-mentioned Courts but it also extends to the High Courts of Karnataka, Gujarat, Orissa, Kerala, Hyderabad (for the state of Telangana), Andra Pradesh etc.
Further, these Courts are also given the power to arrest a vessel within its jurisdiction, under Section 5 of the Act, for the purpose of providing security against a Maritime Claim where the court has the reason to believe that –
The person who owned the Vessel at the time when the Maritime Claim arose is liable for the claim and is the owner of the Vessel when the arrest is effected;
The demise charterer of the vessel at the time when the maritime claim arose is liable for the claim and is the demise charterer or the owner of the vessel when the arrest is effected;

The claim is based on a mortgage or a charge of the similar nature on the vessel;

The claim relates to the ownership or possession of the vessel;

The claim is against the owner, demise charterer, manager or operator of the vessel and is secured by a maritime lien as provided in Section 9

However, no Vessel shall be arrested if the claim/dispute is regarding the possession or ownership of a vessel or the Ownership of any share therein. Under this Act, the term “Vessel” includes any Ship, Boat, Sailing Vessel or other description of vessel used or constructed for use in navigation by water, whether propelled or not, and includes a barge, lighter or other floating vessel, a hovercraft, an offshore industry mobile unit, a vessel that has sunk or is stranded or abandoned and the remains of such vessel. Further as per Section 11 of the Act, the Claimant who initiate a legal proceeding to arrest a vessel, is required to provide an unconditional undertaking to pay such amount/money as damaged or as a security for any loss or damage which may be incurred by the Defendant as a result of wrongful / unjustified arrest.

The list of Maritime Claims upon which the High Courts may exercise its jurisdiction to hear and decide against any vessel is narrated under Section 4, in detail and the priority of the claim is determined under Clause 10 starting from the claim on the vessel where there is a maritime lien followed by mortgages and other claims. The priority of Maritime Lien is also mentioned in Clause 9 starting with Claim for wages and other sums due to Master and other members, followed by the claims in respect of loss or life or personal injury, claims for reward for salvage, claims for Ports and Claims based on tort.

However, for the provisions that are not specified in the Act, the Court shall apply the provisions the Code of Civil Procedure Code, 1908.

Since there is a sincere effort to modify the existing Admiralty Law, after a period of more than 150 years, the various sectors of Individuals and companies in this Shipping Sector are likely to find this new Act, very useful to settle the vast area of dispute arising in this Shipping Industry every day.

Contributed by : Advocate Joy Thattil; Maritime Lawyer & Partner @ Callidus; Dubai, Singapore & India ; joy@calliduscmc.com


Asking or Telling ?



The more you know things the more you are confused. In fact, being confused is a sure sign of being on the path to know more. Do you know why I say what I say. Read on.

We all know that there are seven colours in the visible spectrum ( that portion of the electromagnetic spectrum which is visible to the human eye).

VIBGYOR as we call it. Violet Indigo Blue Green Yellow Orange Red.
Now if I ask you why is something of a certain colour, what would your answer be. Example – If I showed you a RED rose and asked you why is it red in colour, you may say because it has the colour red in it out of these 7 rainbow spectrum colours.

But am afraid, the answer is something else son. The correct answer is that the rose contains all other 6 colours except RED. A yellow table has all colours expect YELLOW. A Blue whale has all colours except BLUE. And so on. The rules of the universe are that any thing or object reflects / projects only that which it doesn’t have in it. So what you SEE is actually what is NOT PRESENT i that object.

This is not fiction. When I first heard this, I was startled and goose-bumped. But then , the mind helps you and you can decipher things beyond the information you have. So I thought of it further and a few more examples cropped up.

Like snake venom. And its antidote.How is the antidote or anti venom made. You first need the venom, inject a small portion of it in an animal and the animal produces some antibodies which are collected to make the antidote. So the antidote comes from the venom. Think more.

Have you realised that when a person undergoes a health issue, most of the times he blesses others for their good health. So what you lack is health. And so what you project is health for all.
In acts of philanthropy, it has been observed that the poor are more giving than the rich. They share a part of their small fortunes easily than someone who has amassed a lot of resources ( money as we call it ) has major issues within himself to give away. Not always the case but sum of probabilities are higher. For the relatively poor, the motivation to give is the hope to get someday.

Have you ever read stories of super rich businessmen across the world ? The one common aspect is that most of them started with very low and humble backgrounds. Well that in itself is the motivation to go up. Being down. In fact it is the only motivation to keep accumulating more. Always feeling poor. If you don’t feel poor enough, why would you want more. In fact the joke is that children born to rich and average parents never really go THAT HIGH because they don’t know poverty well and therefore have no motivation to go all out for wealth. In fact abundant families often see children spending away or giving away in charity easily. Because they are high there, they want to go a little lower.

Balancing forces within us keep playing all the time. We humans too, therefore, project what is actually the opposite of our internal overpowering state of mind. When the state within is of total wisdom, total innocence is projected. In that context, a child is actually the most wise person always.
Facebook is a very easy method of knowing a persons state of mind. Lets say someone keeps projecting his wealth through pictures and updates of cars, vacations, phones, airplanes etc chances more are that the guy feels poor within. If a couple keeps projecting bliss and happiness in their relationship , chances are that everything is on the rocks already. The largest corporations have average websites and really average corporations have large and grand websites.

So do you see that colleague who projects arrogance and hate always. Chances are that he is full of love and compassion deep within and is just balancing it out. Or do you see that holy cow who always smiles, is nice, courteous, chances are the opposite of that is manifested within him somewhere. We are all playing the balancing act. Which brings me to the metaphor of the inverted banyan tree, as told by Shri Krishna, that this imperishable tree has its roots upwards and branches down and the one who knows this tree knows it all. What we are viewing in the world is actually a reflection of the reality. Today, after writing this article, it makes it even more relevant.


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