Chairman’s Message

It is invariably uplifting being able to highlight good news. To have equally superb tidings, from both the Middle East and the Indian Sub-continent, provides me with enormous pleasure. In the Middle East, CSS has commenced its services from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia whilst from India the excellent news is that we have started working from Ludhiana in Punjab. It is hard work and determination which has paved the way for these spectacular beginnings, from two new locations. I join with others in giving full credit to our colleagues and express my personal thanks to them for sharing such great news. Personally, it gives me a real sense of pride to acknowledge the achievements of our company although, at the same time, a feeling of responsibility arises at each and every new turn CSS takes.

I am reminded of a memorable quote from Arthur Ashe Jnr., the three times Grand Slam tennis title winner, “Success is a journey, not a destination. The doing is more important than the outcome.” I wholeheartedly believe that from day one onwards, at CSS, we have engendered the habit of delivering the best of what we have from within us, enjoying the doing, without restricting or anticipating our expectations. The ‘doing’ really has been more important than the ‘outcome’. This may well be the reason for us continually remaining successful in our endeavours.

Our on-going vision for growth recognises that forward planning, coupled with strategizing our policies, enables us to seize the right opportunity at the right time. We should remain always thankful to all our stakeholders for the unconditional support they bestow on us. It is their trust that spurs us on to deliver what is best for everyone who use the services provided by CSS.

Ludhiana Becomes The 10th Office of CSS India

On its glorious one decade completion of services from India, Console Shipping Services India Pvt. Ltd rolled out red carpet from their 10th office to their clients. The doors of their tenth office were opened in Ludhiana, a widely known commercial center in Punjab, north of Delhi. Ludhiana, better known as the “Manchester of India” is an industrial hub in Northern India and one of the biggest dry ports. CSS Ludhiana commenced its services from the heart of Logistics Hub of Ludhiana in full-fledge.

Ludhiana has more small-scale industrial units, which produce industrial goods, machine parts, auto parts, household appliances, hosiery, apparel, and garments. Ludhiana is Asia’s largest hub for bicycle manufacturing and produces more than 50% of India’s bicycle consumption of more than 10 million each year. Ludhiana produces 60% of India’s tractor parts and a large portion of auto and two-wheeler parts. Many parts used in German cars like BMW and Mercedes, are exclusively produced in Ludhiana to satisfy the world requirement. It is one of the largest manufacturers of domestic sewing machines. Hand tools and industrial equipment are other specialties. The apparel industry of Ludhiana is famous all over India for its woollen sweaters and cotton T-shirts; most of the top Indian woollen apparel brands are based in Ludhiana. Ludhiana also has a growing IT sector with multiple software services and product companies having development centres in the city.

It is an extremely proud moment personally for me as we start our services from our tenth office in India. A decade back when we started our journey in India, we were not sure about the Growth graph of CSS, but in the back of my mind I was sure that the determination of my colleagues will never dishearten our aspirations, and those proved true today mentioned T S Kaladharan Chairman CSS Group.

The CSS team in Ludhiana is led by Meenu Sharma who will be working in the position of Regional Manager – North India and carries with her an impressive professional background  of 16 years in international logistics and Custom clearance.  Based at Ludhiana she will be covering states like Haryana , Punjab, Himachal Pradesh and the major business hub cities like Sonipat, Ludhiana, Amritsar, Jalandhar, Chandigarh, Baddi and Nala Garh etc.

We would like to thank all our well-wishers, stake holders and those who stood with us during good and bad times at this momentous occasion. Like any other office in India, CSS will be offering personalized & professional assistance to all segments of operations in the field of Shipping and Logistics, from Ludhiana as well. Our word is always our gurantee commented Rajesh Arora, Vice President CSS North India.

CSS Mumbai Successfully Moves Granite Cutting Machines

CSS Mumbai successfully executed a factory installation project recently wherein large granite cutting machines were exported on Flat Racks and Open tops.

Despite of the torrential rains in Mumbai, the highly capable team did the entire operation handled movement of machines to port and to board the vessel giving utmost care of the cargo and its packing all through the operation. “High professionalism has to be displayed in handling critical jobs in Projects. The proven expertise and commitment could be the major factor why people rely on CSS Mumbai Projects team when it comes to complicated assignments like these” mentioned Rahat Talreja Vice President CSS Central India.

The machines were skilfully loaded onto special equipment needed for such large dimension and heavy cargo and lashed with rubber grips, nylon belts, turn buckles, wire ropes and covered with tarpaulins and loaded on board the vessel.

All operational issues like port congestion, berthing delays by vessel etc were handled professionally by the Mumbai Projects team. The close monitoring ensured the cargo was boarded in timely manner and sailed off Mumbai.

New Look and Feel

As part of expanding its digital presence and to enhance the marketing activities, CSS Group launches their revamped website recently. The website offers a totally new look and feel and will ensure a better user experience across various devices, including desktops and mobile phones.

The revamped website offers a unique navigational experience, as the various regions of the company are separately shown and the offices of that particular region are listed in that section.  All main office addresses are readily available in the homepage map which offers more accessibility to the clients. The social media pages of the group company can be accessed by the person who visits the group site. Ten different language options is another unique feature of the CSS Group site.

Customers can track their cargo from the “Track & trace” link in the website. The revamped site also offers features like the “Sailing schedule” and the “Rate request” online. One of the major attractions of the website will be the online chat option, which offers cent percentage transparency in all operations activities of the group company. “More features are being planned to be incorporated soon. The whole aim of this new website is to give easy navigation and make it more user friendly to our customers. We are already receiving positive feedbacks from the users” commented Sasikala, Manager Marketing, CSS Group.

CSS Delhi Moves to a New Office

Aiming at providing more comfortable ambience to their customers, CSS Delhi moves to a new office space. The new office was officially inaugurated with a traditional ceremony in the last week of August. The company had announced their relocation and invited their customers and well-wishers to visit them at the new set up. The new address of CSS Delhi would be as follows:

Console Shipping Services India Pvt. Ltd.
A 35 , Upper Ground Floor
FIEE Complex, Ma Anandmayee Marg
Block A, Okhla Phase II, Okhla Industrial Area
New Delhi, Delhi 110020

We have always enjoyed doing business with you and appreciate your support. We hope you will get acquainted with our new location soon.

Team CSS Delhi

GST Impact on Shipping and Logistic Business

GST, an abbreviation of Goods and Service Tax has been finally implemented in India effective 1st July 2017.  It is very early to judge after effect of GST ON Shipping & Logistic Business but in short Terms review we find some positive & negative impact of GST.

First we will see in short which seems to be Negative Impact of GST …

  1. The worst affected are local traders now a days after GST Implementation , who from last so many years doing the business on CASH and not giving Tax to Government  as desired. The Export & Import Trading business in India is very low now a days because of this problem reducing down the volume by approx 19%
  2. The small export house are also affected as the RAW material has been priced hiked due to implementation of 18 % GST. Also due to GST implementation STAR EXPORT HOUSES and small / middle scale export house are now in same platform keeping competition a mammoth task for them
  3. The Custom is still not clear regarding the impact of GST and no proper Guidelines made available to Custom and trade persons to tackle GST , which un necessary slowing the process of Custom clearance in Indian Ports.

Now, we must see the Brighter Side of GST, Al though it is not feasible to foresee the changes within 30 days of implementation of it, because nothing will change abruptly and it is a slow process which will finally become beneficial for Country…

  1. As per Road and Transport Ministry the distance travelled by trucks per day has increased by at least 30% post the rollout of goods and services tax (GST), according to a document prepared by the road transport ministry on the impact of GST on logistics sector. Trucks are covering 300-325 km a day on an average against about 225 km a day before GST, it said.
  2. The implementation of GST helped Star Export house to reduce their price in Export commodities as they do not have to pay VAT, STATE TAX and various other tax when they purchase RAW MATERIAL.
  3. One Nation and one Tax this is the prime moto of GST and it replaces several State & Central Tax implications on everybody  on Logistic Field also.
  4. As per planned if everybody get the Reverse CENVAT TAX Credit then everybody will see the Huge impact on Export & Import business.

Let’s Hope for the best , indeed it is a very brave & great step to implement GST provided everything goes at planned.

One Decade of Glorious Presence in Mumbai

The CSS India journey, which started in 2004 from the picturesque South Indian towns of  Tirupur, Tuticorin and Coimbatore, took a long stride ahead in June 2007 with the expansion of business to the finance capital of the country Mumbai and subsequently to New Delhi, which leap frogged the CSS Group business in India to newer heights.

The CSS Mumbai team, of which the core commercial team remained steadfast in all these years, proudly celebrated the completion of 10 years in business. It was a great moment for all and the experiences that have enriched all were cherished in these celebrations.

Under the stoic leadership of Rahat Talreja, Vice President, Central India CSS Group who was also the founder member of CSS India management team in 2007, the company has witnessed a turnaround of sorts with his sharp focus on business financials and investor like business approach with profitability and efficiency ratios being the highest parameters of his methodology. “This celebration is the result of hard work and determination. I am really proud about my colleagues and have full confidence in them so as to move forward onto greater achievements” mentioned Rahat.

It was a delight that the core and prominent members in the 10 year club, who have seen the company through in its journey , were all present to grace the occasion.

The CSS Mumbai team also had their annual picnic with the entire staff frolicking in the hills of Mahabaleshwar and enjoying the magical monsoons along with bonding and team building exercises which brought in an enriched spirit to an already close knit team.”

Indian Independance Day Celebrations @ CSS Mumbai

“At the stroke of the midnight hour, when the world sleeps, India will awake to life and freedom. A moment comes, which comes but rarely in history, when we step out from the old to the new, when an age ends, and when the soul of a nation, long suppressed, finds utterance. It is fitting that at this solemn moment we take the pledge of dedication to the service of India and her people and to the still larger cause of humanity.”

Jawaharlal Nehru, Independence Day Speech (1947)

What’s Your Business Type?

Rahat Talreja
Vice President – CSS Central India

As I write this article, the news of the moment is the resignation of the Infosys CEO. A lot of analysts (which is surprisingly a big job these days, in grounded part of India we call it “Bol Vachan”) are giving their views that the per employee revenue is up, the new technology verticals under innovation& automation are shaping well etc.

But the real issue (which basically means ‘my point of view’, people add the word real to assert their own point) was that the standard of governance in the board was down and investors (including the marquee promoters) had lost trust in the working of the board.

Now I don’t want to talk much on it except the point I am making through the headline of my article, what is your business type?

Let us see what the levels on which these evaluations are done are:

a) Value based analysis
b) Financial analysis
c) Hybrid model of the a + b

Value Based analysis

Hello Old school: I think you already know this word and its meaning “Values”

Hello New school: Don’t know this word? No problem carry on..

In this, the prime importance is laid on the values on which the business is run and the clear, defined & written policies which form the benchmark for any evaluation.

Financial Analysis

This is the most important criteria in our times. But most have different understanding of financials and therefore the analysis may not be absolute, it is always relative. Let me illustrate.

We have all seen the recent emerging market rallies wherein even India and its benchmark indices are all lifetime highs. Most common reasons coming out are that it is a liquidity rally since other asset classes have lost relevance and printed money of the central banks didn’t trickle into real economies, so liquidity in the system went into equities the most besides other financial assets and instruments like bonds and debt market. The main point to note is that earnings growth has been flat to negative over the last 4 years.

In this bargain, even a lot of non performing companies have seen their valuations run up. And this is exactly what happens when businesses are liquidity driven and not profit driven.

See in our industry for example – the consolidation, forwarding and logistics industry. Even if you lose a million rupees a month, you need at least 5 years to blow up a meagre investment of example 5 crores. And the best part is you never have to pay those 5 crores. You only need to pay 5 lakhs interest on it each month.

So many in our business run it on liquidity. The moment the liquidity dies, they either raise new funds or run helter skelter looking for newer options.

This is a business where if you run it on profits, you don’t need any investment from day 1. And let me assure you that a lot of people hide behind this liquidity survival for many many years in the industry and get away with it.

Hybrid model

This is obviously the model that most are trying to follow today. At least trying.

The crux of the above segmentation is that we need to see what our real business type is. Are we emphasising focus on volume, value, profit, liquidity or nothing. You may think you are focusing on profit but your actions maybe not in line with achieving it.

Illustratively, one should always focus on rich clients. And what is the definition of rich? Not that the client has a lot of wealth, his cars, his phones, his properties etc. This is the start of wrong analysis. Rich for us is the client who has rich thinking. A thinking where he is rich to think that after he has made all that money , his long term vendors also deserve their pie under the sun. And you will see majority of them are more miserly for others once they have achieved their financial goals.

Their vendors keep visiting them in the same train, same bus, from the same house etc. but the clients keep getting richer, getting into bigger cars, bigger homes etc. These are absolutely poor clients let us first understand that. In fact most shun their own business and start focusing on what you do. So they will call for quotes from 10 different forwarders, squeeze all, delay payment and have all the fun.

Shift gears to rich clients. The ones who value you, your time, your effort, they are certainly not big themselves. They are rich for us. They are loyal, let you earn, pay you on time, give you respect when you visit them, value your relationship.

So friends, I used a few analogies so that we all realise that our analysis should be real, in line with our goals and only then our actions will help achieve those goals. This is the best way to move forward in my view and lets answer the first question in that direction today – what’s your business type?

Lighter Side of Life – Group Selfie Contest

It was a wonderful and lovely afternoon for the CSS staff at Jebel Ali, as they got an opportunity to shed down the stress with sharing some lighter moments with the Club FM RJs, thanks to the selfie competition. The staff at CSS Dubai were engaged by the members of Club FM and Spoonfed APP on account of a very interesting corporate engagement programme, they jointly launched.

Club FM had announced for an office group selfie to be posted from the workplace and CSS team were the first amongst all to respond creatively towards that demand. That selfie fetched them a wonderful entertainment time with the team Club FM and Spoonfed  APP as well as a sumptuous lunch sponsored by them. In fact that was the first lunch party organised by them related with the Selfie contest.

While 99.6 Club FM team included Pavithra Menon – RJ, Carl LaFrenais – RJ,  Justin Raj – Producer, Neena Manila – RJ and Sivaprasad ( Driver ) the Spoonfed team were represented by Najeeb Abdulla – Business Development Manager and Pulastya Vishwas

The CSS team were excited and all the more happy to be in the company of the renowned RJs of the Club FM team and enjoyed the games organized by them. After the lunch was served, prizes were distributed by Club FM to the CSS team which was immediately followed by a photo shoot. Music was also played by the Club FM team to entertain the CSS Staff. The entire programme was held at the Jebel Ali regional headquarters of the CSS Group.

We had a great time with the Club FM and Spoonfed APP team. When we took the selfie, there was no good reason for us to believe that this event will start from our office. I am happy that the pro-active team at CSS proved that they are the best bet in the corporate world of Dubai. Thanks to Club FM and Spoonfed

Aparna Renjith,
Asst. Manager, Customer Service Desk.

Money Can’T Buy Everything In Life ?

How often do you hear someone say; “If only I had the money?” No doubt, just like the Kaleidoscope team, you have even said it to yourself. Having money seems to be the answer to many, if not all, of our problems. Money plays an important role in our lives because without it we cannot buy food, clothes and other essential things. Most of us will agree that money, and the more we have of it, enables us to own many things; houses, cars, the latest gadgets as well as gaining power and fame. However, whilst such things may satisfy our desires and needs, having them will not necessarily make us happy.  A way to understand the role of money and how it affects you, for good or bad, it is consider that it is only a tool. If you do not know how to use it then it could injure or even kill you! Once you start on the money escalator, it’s said that you must never forget your roots, otherwise you will lose yourself.

Nearly sixty years ago ‘The Beatles’ wrote their worldwide hit song, ‘Can’t buy me love’. In the chorus they sing; “I don’t care too much for money, money can’t buy me love”. This statement is more revealing, when one considers its implications. Many lottery winners relate stories about how, after winning all the money, they seemed to lose their friends. Suddenly gained new friends turned-out to be ‘money’ friends who were only attracted to their new wealth. Having money and spending money buys you services, that brings with it courtesy and attention, which may be confused as friendship. The more money you have the greater the attention and service. People around you begin to say what you want to hear, rather than what you need to hear. They do so because they do not want to upset you. They need to keep either your friendship or their job!

Some years ago, one of the Kaleidoscope team visited Los Angeles for the first time. He was sneaked into a Universal studio lot where filming was taking place. It featured a movie-star who was known to be rather unpredictably emotional. Hiding at the back of the sound stage, imagine the astonishment of everyone when the star stopped the filming and shouted out; “Hey what are you doing here?” Thinking this was a sign of trouble there was a hushed anticipatory silence. This was happily broken when the star called to his manager; “Look after that guy. Give ‘em whatever they want.” It turned out that years previously, when completely unknown, the star had been a film extra, desperate for a meal. He hadn’t forgotten who had bought him one without asking for or getting any payment. It was now unexpectedly repaid in full. Maybe this was why the unpredictable emotional actor had such acclaimed acting qualities, he hadn’t forgotten his roots. The pleasure it gave everyone involved, remembering and chatting about things were when they both had very little money, gave real pleasure than money could buy.

The pleasure and joy of having a happy family is also something that money certainly cannot buy. Add to this respect and inner peace and it becomes more obvious that money really is just a tool, something which can be used to oil the wheels of life so they run more freely. Clearly a great advantage for those who have it but more dangerous for them, when they start to let the love of money drive their lives. Nowadays, as our world becomes ever more excessively concerned with material possessions and money-oriented, emotional, spiritual and mental welfare tends to take a back seat. We forget that only by using our money correctly may we achieve a happy heart and agreeable life.

Internationally acclaimed, singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran is someone else who appears to be determined to remain grounded in his roots.

He disclosed, during a BBC Radio programme that he employs, and surrounds himself, with his old school friends and family members. The reason is because they know him well enough, when he had nothing, to tell him when he is being stupid. If you stop believing your close friends, those who knew before you had money, you have probably started to create trouble for yourself. Guess how Ed summed up his attitude to enjoying what really matters to him? He said that, even with all his money, a luxury item he always makes sure he has, when touring, is a bottle of tomato ketchup.

If you think having more, and even more money, can give you the best feeling in life, maybe this true incident will convince you otherwise. When Big Bazaar opened their store in Trivandrum, Kerala; a customer noticed an elderly lady looking confused standing before an escalator. “May I help you?” he enquired. The lady replied that she had never seen ‘one of these before and didn’t know what to do’. The customer recalled later, to his friends, how much joy it had given him to see the pleasure in the lady’s face when they reached the top. The incident had made his day. I wonder what the lady would have said if she had known that her helper had been a millionaire film/record producer English tourist. The pleasure she had given him, with the look on her face, was worth something that money could not buy.

Which brings us to our punchline in response to the proposal; ‘Money can’t but everything in life’. Whilst money plays an indispensable part in our lives it is not everything because family, friends and love are the only things which may give us true happiness. Unless you feel happy, content and have a good sense of self, when you reach the top of the escalator, then clearly you will realise that money can’t buy you everything in life.

Maritime Arbitration: A Global Analysis

Maritime arbitration is being increasingly preferred as an alternative method of dispute resolution by the stakeholders in the maritime industry. Major maritime countries in the world have been upgrading their legal system with much emphasis on arbitration with the intention to project their country as an arbitration friendly forum. The contracting parties while deciding on the forum for arbitration basically seeks to resort to jurisdictions which provide for cost effective and speedier adjudicating procedure with finality of arbitration award, ensuring certainty in results.

London continues to dominate the maritime arbitration scene. It has been noticed that the London Maritime Arbitrators Association stood head and shoulders above all other dispute resolution centres. One of the advantage of the arbitration in England is that unlike other jurisdictions, the English courts usually allow you to raise questions on a point of law. This right of appeal can in a way prove advantageous to the parties.  The full implications of Brexit for arbitration in the UK are being closely monitored by the industry, but it does not appear to have had any immediate impact. For a number of reasons, London remains a very attractive venue for parties to choose as a seat for arbitration. Apart from London, Paris and Geneva are also much sought after arbitration jurisdictions.

Commercial arbitration in the United States originated in New York which has a long and rich history of supporting maritime arbitration and continues to be a leading maritime and commercial arbitration centre. Party autonomy is the hallmark of New York maritime arbitration. The parties are free to determine most procedural rules, and to select arbitrators (or the method of their selection) and the law to be applied. The arbitration awards are final and not subject to appeal save on narrow, largely procedural, grounds. A great majority of maritime arbitrations in New York are conducted under SMA (Society of Maritime Arbitrators) rules. Awards are enforceable in any country which is a signatory to the New York Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral awards and the Inter-American Convention on International Commercial Arbitration. Maritime awards in New York are usually final and binding. There are very few specific grounds under which an award can be vacated, and these are confined to the fairness of the arbitration procedure. A mistake in law or fact is generally not a ground for vacating an award. Motions to vacate, modify or correct must be made within three months of the date of the award.

Singapore is gaining global footprint in respect of maritime arbitration. Its established record of neutrality has contributed to its development. The courts in Singapore have offered maximum judicial support to arbitration and minimum intervention. The Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC) stands out above the other regional arbitration centres. The country boasts a state of the art, integrated dispute resolution centre that houses first class hearing facilities and offices of top ADR institutes and dispute resolution professionals. Furthermore, Singapore has a judiciary that supports arbitration and there is a constant re-examination of legislation to ensure arbitration-friendly laws and processes are in place to promote and support arbitration. According to the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) 2015 Report, Singapore has consistently been ranked as the number one preferred seat for arbitration in Asia and among the top five preferred seats globally. The International Arbitration Act and the Arbitration Act only set the framework governing arbitrations in Singapore. Consequently, the provisions are generally not mandatory insofar as parties are free to agree on the specific rules and procedures that bind them. This is in line with the fundamental principle of party autonomy in arbitration proceedings. However, the provisions relating to the enforcement, setting aside and/or appeal of the arbitral award are mandatory. The main arbitration organisations in Singapore are the Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC), International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) and the Singapore Chamber of Maritime Arbitration (SCMA).The Singapore government has built an impressive infrastructure to support international arbitration in Singapore and has actively been behind efforts to promote Singapore as the obvious and best choice for arbitration in the region.