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Chairman’s Message

September, 2019


Two decades ago, when CSS launched the first edition of our ‘Lighthouse’ magazine, we had a vision. Innovatively, it was to interact with the shipping logistics fraternity, by providing interesting information about events and updates from within the CSS Group. It transpired that, in a very short space of time, ‘Lighthouse’ built up a globally increasing readership throughout the shipping and logistics industry. Consequently, it started garnering more compellingly relevant news and feature items to showcase to our readers. The support and encouragement we have received over all these years has been staggering. Across the world, our print copies reached more than five thousand pairs of hands. Partnered alongside this, our digital edition started picking up the show with an exponential growth of half a million readers online.

It is true that a printed magazine gives you a more tactile experience, as it opens up an emotional channel with the content, when it’s held in a reader’s own hand. But being a responsible company, committed to preserving the environment, we have decided to reduce the usage of paper within the CSS group and go green. In line with this commitment we’ve taken a decision to completely digitize our magazine. Whilst we are sad to discontinue the print edition of ‘Lighthouse’, we are very excited about exploring how the advantages of 100% digitization will benefit our publication. We promise that this new change will not impact in any way on the quality of its content. We will happily rise to the challenge of continuing to engage our readers with more interesting topics from within the industry.

It’s said that: – ‘It ain’t what you do, it’s the way that you do it’.

We intend to ‘do it’ in a way that will carry forward, the new digital online format of ‘Lighthouse’, as an acclaimed flagship publication for CSS and our global industry

July, 2019

Chairman’s Message

No one can dispute the fact that our business sector is constantly and rapidly evolving. I am therefore particularly proud that, over the past twenty-five years, CSS has gained recognition as a global leader in international transport and logistics. We are honoured to have achieved this, even more so because it highlights our core belief of maintaining strong values of discipline dedicated to providing high-quality service.

Growing businesses face many challenges and CSS is no exception. However as different opportunities and problems demand distinct solutions, one thing is for sure, such challenges provide development outcomes which should confirm that a business is on the right path for growth. Personally, I believe that, in this context, talent management strategy is one of the dominant prerequisites. It’s a must for any growing business.

It’s well known maxim that we are all happier when we feel we are able to achieve our best. This means placing the right people in the right place so they are able to utilise their maximum talent. Obviously there are many factors that influence this process. Nowadays, whilst the skills of ‘Human Resources’ have gained significance, CSS has endeavoured to inculcate their disciplines since our inauguration. The strategy of talent management is a process that cascades from the top to the bottom line. Meticulous understanding of each person’s abilities is a must and it provides a linchpin for ‘Human Resources’. This is something we have been doing, within CSS, for years. For some ‘Human Resources’ only recently came into prominence but, ensuring that the right people are in the right roles and have the right capabilities; has always been important for CSS. It’s part of our characteristic spirit that has not only stood CSS in good stead but also will serve us well ahead for our future growth.

May, 2019


Famous quotes stand the test of time because they are proved to be true. In this context ‘Life begins where fear ends’ is an esteemed maxim by Gautama Buddha, later interpreted by many spiritual and philosophical leaders. In today’s corporate world, where progress is determined by targeted objectives, quotes like this have gained greater relevance because the burdens on one’s emotional and mental well-being are increased.

Fear is one of our primary emotions. It is something which is natural and instinctive. From an evolutionary perspective fear may save our lives but it can also stop us from living the way we desire. Reacting spontaneously, with a fear-or-flight response, when coming across a venomous snake is one thing. However, fear creeping into our psyche, almost by stealth, is another. Being fearful, when there is no obvious reason, means we become reluctant to step outside our own comfort zone. Examining our life situation and assessing our potential makes for a more focused individual. It invariably helps us gain courage to expand our horizons and look at life in a different perspective.

My greatest worry is that the new generation, who have lots of opportunities around them for professional growth; appear to be faltering owing to lack of self-motivation. Irrational fear is holding some back. Running after motivational gurus is counterproductive because meaningful motivation can only be invoked within oneself. Recognising the fear factor, that is waiting subtly in the background of our minds, enables us to rise above its influence. Putting our fear into a proper perspective means our life really does begin. We will then have the confidence to step outside our comfort zone and grasp new opportunities with enthusiasm.

March, 2019

Chairman’s Message

Companies are made-up of management and staff that are invariably a unique combination of brains and personalities. Being able to bring all their talents together, in order to achieve success, is a paramount challenge.

Consequently, it has always been a debatable issue as to which is more important, personal or company growth. However, I feel it is a topic that needs serious analysis. Nimble companies adapt to new situations and marketing conditions, whereas rigid companies eventually crack under the strain.

Growth is a word which motivates ambitious people, especially those who have already experienced the phenomena of company fortunes growing and falling. It’s unfortunate that self-centered persons never really take time to study the reasons for such ebbing and flowing events.

Correspondingly a company needs to find the time to recognise staff’s talents and promote their aspirations for personal growth. Such considerations lead to teams being assigned a manager or leader. Every holder of such positions must develop an ability to study team members’ aspirations and respond to them, both individually and collectively. In order for a company to grow successfully change is very important. Realistically meaningful changes are only possible when employees acclaim growth. This motivates them to take on new challenges, expand their capabilities, cultivate new behaviours and entertain innovation.

With these thoughts uppermost, my message for this edition of Lighthouse is specifically directed to the managers and leaders within the CSS Group. You have a responsibility to your company whilst, at the same time, ensuring that this responsibility cascades down to each of your team members. A healthy body relies on all its organs functioning properly. This makes everyone, regardless of their role, an important part of CSS. Our greatest asset is our staff and, as a responsible company focused on developing advancement; we must never forget that appreciating individual aspirations are a solid basis on which to build growth.

January, 2019

Chairman’s Message

Invariably the start of a New Year provides an opportune time to look back on events of the previous twelve months and look forward with anticipation to the year ahead. The support and encouragement we have received from our partners, customers and colleagues, over the last twelve months, were really appreciated. It gives us welcome impetus that raises us to a higher level of confidence. Our mutually beneficial relationships have developed into friendships. This, has in turn, energised us to explore larger horizons. Thank you to everyone, as I wish you a wonderful year ahead.

A speech that I heard recently, from the former President of United States of America, George Bush Jnr., during the memorial service for his father Bush Snr., was thought-provoking. In this speech he mentioned the inaugural address of his father as the 41st President of USA. Bush Snr., said, “We cannot hope only to leave our children a bigger car, a bigger bank account. We must hope to give them a sense of what it means to be a loyal friend, a loving parent, a citizen who leaves his home, his neighborhood, and town better than he found it.”

I found this statement has got many overarching meanings, not only in our personal life, but in business too. It is the responsibility of every succeeding generation to leave what they’ve inherited, in better shape and condition. If we are able to start this New Year, by taking a lead that invigorates generations to come, I believe it will help focus our minds on achieving greater success for all of us.

November, 2018

Chairman’s Message

As usual October is a vibrant month for the CSS Sales because it is when they specifically focus on their internal preparations, for the forthcoming Strategy Meet. The last 22 years have seen similar processes and preparations but, as always, our people display an enthusiastic spirit in their planning and actions. Consequently, the time of the year has arrived for all of us, at CSS, to sit together and review what we have achieved through our previous strategy and formulate new key plans to move ahead.

By carefully analysing the current business climate there is reason to be optimistic because there are some welcome upbeat indicators. The world business scenario is progressing in a way that justifies our confidence for the months ahead. To take advantage of these positive changes, we need to better equip ourselves with invigorated stratagems and programmes. It’s almost needless to say, that our annual Strategy Meet has always played a pivotal role in formulating novel and ingenious ideas for action. Once again, I encourage, and anticipate, innovative concepts and proposals being originated within our discussion at the Strategy meet.

Looking more immediately to the future, it’s indeed a pleasure to be able to announce that CSS operations will be commencing soon from Colombo in Sri Lanka. Expanding our services, and as a consequence our horizons, are events which make aspirations come true. By sailing forward, in such a manner, we are expanding our horizons in a way which will turn our corporate dreams into reality. Our future is looking bright.

September, 2018


‘Righteousness’ was a word which former India President Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam used in most of his speeches. Its frequent use made me ponder on the meaning which may be defined as, ‘a quality of being morally correct and justifiable’. It helped me recognise that in our lives, both personal and professional, there are situations where we have to take decisions that may not be so comfortable for everyone. I have personally found myself, many times, in such a dilemma. The way forward is to remember the concept of ‘righteousness’. When we are able to justify our thoughts and decisions as being right, we should not hesitate in taking the initiative. I have never delayed acting decisively about an issue which is correct and good for the larger group.
My observations indicate that a large majority are reluctant to be as quickly and effectively resolute, especially when bold decisions are needed.
Their biggest problem seems to be that they don’t have the courage to say, “No”. I have always found that if one strongly disapproves of something then there is little point in trying to appease others by saying, “Yes”. To do so will not only destroy yourself mentally but also weaken your self-esteem. Why do others find it so troublesome to say, “No”?
It is because there is a fear of rejection, not being liked by others or anxious at having to perhaps stand-alone upholding what you believe?
Whatever feeds such reluctance can be assuaged by remembering Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam’s concept and start acting with ‘righteousness’. The more you do so the more you will be prepared and confident to take meaningful decisions, for the good of others and your own well-being.
This latter sentiment is so appropriate when we realise the tragedy that has unfolded in my home state of Kerala. The relentless force of nature’s floods has brought disaster and heartbreak. “For the good of others and your own well-being”, provides a mantra spurring all to wholeheartedly join in supporting efforts to help the rescue services and provide succour for those in need.
I pledge to do all I am able to do to assist others in their time of great need. I express my sincere prayers on behalf of CSS Group and myself; knowing that ‘Righteousness’ being shared by all, amongst us all, will see Kerala recover from this terrible tragedy.

July, 2018


Whilst ‘Where have all the years gone?’ is sometimes used as a throwaway comment, it is frequently used when the passage of time takes on a delightful meaning. As it is exactly eleven years since the ‘Chairman’s Message’ was inaugurated in our Lighthouse magazine, I really do wonder where have all the years gone? I am overwhelmed that my message has proved to be a constructive platform which has resulted in timely comments and constructive suggestions from you – our readers. I am immensely grateful and express my gratitude.
The range of topics we have discussed both from within CSS and outside, interacted with major events which have flowed alongside with our development. The growth of CSS has been attributed to the healthy discussions and debates we have been able to have. The Chairman’s Message has been at the forefront highlighting issues and generating responses.
Any institution that seeks growth must have an attitude to always communicate positively. That doesn’t mean telling others what you want, it means being a good listener first. American educator, author and business man Dr Stephen Covey said; “Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply”.
Taking on board the implications of this truism results in a company environment where a positive attitude to communication is encouraged. Putting active listening first, enables realistic forward planning where success becomes characteristically assured. Such interaction engenders friendship, loyalty and support which speeds along the passage of time. So, it really is no wonder that, after eleven years of the ‘Chairman’s Message’, I am happily asking: “Where have all the years gone?”

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.

March, 2018


The saying, ‘Time and tide waits for no one’ has been in use since at least the 1200s. So when an opportunity arises to pause and reflect, on what has gone before, it is an event that should be grasped enthusiastically. It gives us a chance to recognise our successes and also to learn from our mistakes. Taking time, in this way, is one of the basic requisites for leading a rewarding life. Our world is changing so quickly almost in the ‘blink of an eye’. Gradual beginnings, with the right direction, may soon gain a momentum all of their own. This is similar to our growth within CSS.

Our progress was gradual and organic because we utilised the opportunities that came our way. We were steadfast in applying the principles of building on confidence and trust by recognising the value of our customers and, most importantly, our staff. Making headway was not always easy. It called for determination, dedication and a belief in ourselves which has enabled us to grown in size and strength, so we may stand proudly where we are today.
It was Benjamin Disraeli who said’ “Change is inevitable. Change is Constant”. I firmly believe that if you stand still and tread water, others will very quickly overtake you. So it is with some excitement that I greet the event of CSS introducing two new Chief Operating Officers to our company. I heartily congratulate them and I enthusiastically look forward to this change bringing innovative contributions and progressive interactions with us all.

Whatever has been achieved, so far, has only been possible because of the amazing spirit shown by our staff and the enormous support they have given to our management. May this spirit continue and cascade on to new initiatives as well as permeating throughout all levels of CSS.

As a company the reputation earned by CSS, over the years, was due to the hard work of our staff and the confidence of the management which were equally reciprocated. By building on this ethos we will be assured of growth and success which emulates our past history of amazing achievements.

Never forget, from little acorns big oaks grow and CSS is still destined to grow even bigger.

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