In conversation with Mr. Akash Agarwal, Director, Crystal logistic Cool Chain Ltd.

“As a country, we need big reforms like GST, improved connectivity across India rather than subsidies and subvention as private players can afford that too a great extent if the eco system is apt”- Akash Agarwal

Mr. Akash  Agarwal,  is a 3rd generation Entreprenuer and is a commercre gratuate from Kolkata University and have completed is Family Managed Business Management from  NMIMS , Mumbai.

He is one of the Directors of Crystal Logistic Cool Chain Ltd, and is involved in Company’s medium and long term business plan & growth and heading Marketing group for all the verticals.

Crystal is a 51 year old Logistics group.

He is spearheading cold chain development in the organization to take it to new heights. He has introduced various new Initiatives in Crystal providing various servies under one roof for  cold chain services. His Mission is to create a vibrant, customer friendly, cost effective and market oriented Organisation.

Has inducted experienced professionals to strengthen Managment pool for proper and consistent improvement of quality of service and taking the company from Good to Great. He has visited many Western and South East countries for studying the cold chain  development.

He started creating brand image of its product CRYSTAL as Industries First Choice for frozen products providing end-to-end logistics & supply chain solutions.

He dedicates the success of the Company to all the employees working tirelessly for the growth of business over a period of time and acknowledges their significant contributions.

Under his leadership the company has received several awards from various trade bodies and cold chain associations in the last several years.

For the uninitiated, When was Crystal Logistic Cool Chain as a business set up?

We trace our origin back to 1962, when Mr. MurariLal Agarwal began operating under the name M/S Haryana Transport Company. The company then primarily a transport service provider under the able leadership achieved great success and built reputation in the market. Backed by our service and quality, we catered to largest names including Philips, Siemens, BPL, LG, Cola India and ONGC. We transitioned to a cold chain operations in 2001 and has since becomes one of the most well known brands in the space.

What different client services does Crystal Logistic offer?

We as per our new strategy, focus on providing end to end service to clients across different industries primarily in the centered around around East and North East of India. End to end service offering includes, primary movement, storage – all temperature ranges including dry cargo, and secondary distribution as FTL and partload apart from our partnership with Demark based TITAN providing us ability to setup collection centres and storage facilities at customer locations. Other aspects of our offering include inventory planning, invoicing, packing, labeling, export and import coordination among others. We position ourselves as the best equipped for a customer to outsource their entire SCM activity.

How are you set up to service clients, in terms of account handling teams?

Our Account Management is probably the most unique in the industry. We bring in professionals with a sophisticated background to handle specific industries. Like our pharma clients are handled by individuals by B.Pharm + MBA (Operations) who have previously worked with other 3PL players providing single point of contacts who understand customer aspect and terminology and this makes us the best to be able to take on entire SCM activity for a client while they get to focus on their core activity.

How many Cold Storage Facility do you have in India?

Our first and only owned facility is in Kolkata, while we are expected to launch 6 other facilities centered around our focus on East & North East of India by 2018. We are coming with 5000 pallet positions each in the cities of Indore , Bhubaneswar , Siliguri, Ranchi, Raipur and Patna.

How big is Crystal Group?

We are over 150 reefer trucks, over 10000 pallet capability storage and over 100 portable storage containers fueled by a team of approx 400 passionate people some of who have stayed the course of 20 years.

What different clients is Crystal serving at the moment?

While we do not publicly comment of specific accounts, we cater to clients in various segments like FMCG, pharma, diary, seafood, etc.

How have your Cold Transport segment developed to reflect the increasing use of efficiency?

Increased of technology in tracking, route planning, fuel management and asset maintenance is some of the key elements for Crystal in the transportation segment. While we have moved on to focus more on holistic solutions, we have created more integrated solutions to bring in efficiency in customer’s supply chain and we feel that is the best way forward.

Are you looking for more Processed Food or Pharmaceutical Industry accounts?

Yes, we feel these are industries that need to more holistic solutions and our experience and capability is aligned accordingly as well.

How quickly can you take on a new contract?

It is difficult to put a time frame but as a standard it would be two weeks however we have Account teams to ensure transition is smooth and onboarding as hassle free as possible.

Do you do short term work at peak times?

Yes. Though we prefer to do this for our strategic clients only as we have created this agility to meet       their demands. However, we are more than willing to help when required and build relationships. What is important for us is not the size of the account but customer willingness to be transparent                 with their requirement so we are not a transaction based service provider, rather a partner to their SCM.

What do you think the Indian government should be doing about helping Cold Chain businesses?

Govt. Of India is doing it’s bit and expecting anything beyond is not realistic. As a country, we need big reforms like GST, improved connectivity across India rather than subsidies and subvention as private players can afford that too a great extent if the eco system is apt.

Finally, Could you share your views or estimations on Cold Chain Industry for our magazine readers?

We feel the industry is poised to grow at over 20% CAGR over the next 5 years with a lot more consolidation happening. Warehousing growth is probably expected to be more in metros or vicinity with GST in place and transportation growth will be a little lower than anticipated earlier as GST has improved efficiency.


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