9:37pm 7th March 2019
As a young enterprise that specializes in tailoring logistic solutions for businesses and individuals, Future Logistics has in mind the objective of creating efficient, timely service packages that result in the best possible freight and warehousing fixes. Personalized service to each client, assisting them and considering as an integral part of the business and success, since 2016 implements a minimalist business model for maximizing the benefits to its clients.
Just as its CEO & Founder Azaam Ahamed states: “Consider it done; it’s that simple.”, we have no doubt Future Logistics is able to go beyond the usual logistics path. Keep on reading to learn more about Azaam's experiences in the business.
How does your working day start at Future Logistics’ office?
AA - First thing, I always call the Customs Clearance team and plan the clearance process & delivery schedules for the day.
What are the activities you find the most important to manage being the CEO?
AA - You have to understand that all your colleagues have different strengths. You have to manage them properly and guide them on the right path to meet different projects.
On the other hand, you have to keep the company’s standards to the highest level and you should be able to cover up any demands from a certain situation.
What are the periods of the year with which you struggled the most?
AA - I started this company in 2016 August and we had 4 great months until the end of December. The most difficult time we faced is from 2017 January to April. However since then we never came across such situation.
What is the biggest learning you’ve gained from your working experience with Future Logistics or from the logistics business?
AA - Naturally I have a very positive approach to business and people. I used to keep a close eye to the negative side of things whatever can happen to me as a person or in business, but now this business has taught to me to weigh both sides of the scale.
Future Logistics provides a minimalist business model of logistics. Can you explain how did you come up with this initiative in your company and how does it work?
AA - Named the company as “Future Logistics” after few reasons. I believe the company’s stake holders and every member who works here should have a bright future, therefore we should be only talking about future plans & projects, not what we were & who we were by adopting the technology & methods and not the traditional ways every Freight Forwarder uses. Our clients also will have good future in their business when they use our systems.
We have adopted certain cultures into our system such as asset light business module with - Pay as Use - concept for the services we rend and offer and eventually building partnerships with certain Blue Chip companies on special services.
Which is the toughest side of meeting deadlines when you do a project? Which challenges you encountered or special activities to execute during the process?
AA - There are certain guidelines given by Sri Lanka Customs when you go to register an importer or exporter for the first time. Even though sometimes people can see it as tough process, we have to understand things have been set for countries and people’s own benefit. We had a new client from Sweden set up a company for a manufacturing process. When they met us for clearance of goods, the company has already been arranged with foreign directors and without any local’s having a share. During this time, goods have already arrived and couldn’t clear until they appointed a local Director. In this we have gotten our resources involved and re-structured the whole company to suit their business and local regulations. We obtained import license and also Duty Free clearance scheme since the final products were made for exports. Currently their business is well established and we maintain their entire raw material inventory and total logistics process.
You have a very fresh and friendly image with your communication with customers; how you manage to create that connection with them?
AA - As I mentioned before, I am naturally positive. I always believe that things can go only right, but not wrong. Our business totally rely on relationship with the people and not on pricing. Once you develop the friendly working methods and make sure you carry their weight, things will naturally fall into place. Once I promise a price or delivery time to a client, I want to have it delivered at any cost even if some cost takes place in between.
Which are the most common goods or projects you deliver?
AA - Our expertise is serving to most of the boutique Hotel Operators and Luxury Villa owners. After the civil war ended in 2009, Sri Lanka attracted large number of Tourists and Investors to this small island nation. With the friends and connections, people referred us to the Investors (Local & Foreign) who wanted to build Luxury Holiday homes and Villas, so we assisted them in their logistics requirements. As a result of this, I went extra miles beyond to develop a team who work with us on a total business solution.
We will sort out all their logistics problems & make sure goods get into the site, so the investors only focus on their business.
How you manage to get over the tax increases in Sri Lanka that have been impacting logistics business in the recent days?
AA - Local currency has depreciated drastically since last few months resulted Central Bank to implement restrictions for controlling the currency depreciation. When Importing Electronic Items and Vehicles, the importer had to have 200% margin in the Bank to Open LC. Also they have completely stopped making advance TT payment for imports of the goods.
Due to various tax increases the import has reduced compare to previous years.
However with our business module it has not affected our day to day business as we are more of a specialized Freight Partner catering into one special segment. With the recent constructions developments, I firmly believe every entrepreneur has enough business sustain for the next 5 years without having to step into each-other’s toes.
Recently, there was a new rule implemented by the Sri Lanka Inland Revenue Department that impacted the transactions of Sri Lankan companies regarding payments with your foreign partners, can you please tell us how can this be avoided?
AA - As per the Central Bank regulation, any outward remittance which is sent from the local currency account (Not when you have Business Currency Foreign Account), other than for Imports the remitter has to obtain a tax clearance certificate from the Inland Revenue Department. Until 31st December 2018, they have issued a Blanket approval for all your payees.
Effective from 1st January 2019, all Freight Forwarders have to submit a list of Beneficiary’s along with the application. Once the list is approved, we will have a copy & same copy has to be given to Bank.
We have obtained this certificate from Inland Revenue with all G7 members name on it until 30th June 2019 so that we can avoid any late payments etc.
Which has been your biggest project in Future Logistics and which challenges did you encounter while in the process?
AA - We handled a Logistics project of delicate Aircraft Spare Parts over dimensions cargo with our National carrier (Sri Lankan Air) in moving from Colombo to Singapore of a time of necessity. Also we Handled Sri Lankan Airlines onboard duty free perfume products. In the wake of change over the Duty Free venture, many products were left behind and eventually had to be moved out with proper packaging and DG Certifications done prior moving to the respective destinations. We managed them well on time. We recently handled a project of boat movement from to Chennai and getting this cleared to destination by one of the G7N members.
Handling OOG cargo and DG shipments were the challenges we had. WE MANAGED. All these projects were done neatly stuffed, free from damage and delivered in STYLE. We care about all the moves equally the same.
The freight forwarding industry keeps on evolving; have you ever thought about wanting to improve something about this industry?
AA - Absolutely. It would be nice to have a common zone for all the forwarders with warehouses and transporters access especially in Sri Lanka. This could help massive time saving in a congested city area. In real sense not only Sri Lanka but all countries, I guess.
In the Logistics business, companies have to keep updating their technologies to ensure processes are run efficiently; are there any new technologies your company has adopted to work with in a daily basis? If yes, please specify.
AA - Of Course. Technology is the future. We at Future Logistics embrace it as we go. We operate on cloud base ERP solution for our entire office task. All the documents are system generated.
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