Interview with Mr. Rolf Habben-Jansen

Mr. Rolf Habben-Jansen
Mr. Rolf Habben-Jansen
Damco (AP Moller-Maersk Group)
Damco (AP Moller-Maersk Group)

Regionally speaking, which zones may see remarkable boost in category? What would be the factors?

Traditionally Middle-East has been the front runner as far as petro-chemicals sector was concerned. However, over the past few years, considerable movement of chemicals is taking place from China, Africa, India and other emerging economies. Factors such as rising internal consumption of end-products such as plastic, more spend on R&D to develop environment friendly chemicals, growing demand for automobiles particularly in India and China are going to drive the growth of chemical industry in these emerging economies. Moreover, these countries possess huge potential to become future export centers as and when the quality of chemicals produced in these countries is matched by global standards. We also see lot of government investment initiatives particularly in India to strengthen the infrastructure and establish port-based chemical parks in special economic zones.

On that note, while India is all set as potential market, in your view, are there any challenges in terms of Regulatory Policies, Tax and Fiscal provisions, and most importantly -Infrastructure?

The Indian market is an important market for us and we have been present here since the past 18 years. We have seen India developing into a very attractive market with improvements in the infrastructure and regulatory environment. Now with India being an emerging economy and as is the case with any emerging country, the business ecosystem is in the developmental stage meaning that everybody right from government to industry players to consumers are working to build/create a congenial business environment. Hence during this phase there is a likelihood of facing certain challenges and in the context of the Indian market, these could be - under developed infrastructure – which contributes majorly to increased logistics costs, low adoption of IT and other forms of technology to support the entire supply chain process, largely fragmented logistics industry, multiple taxation at different check points, absence of a single logistics authority for obtaining clearances and licenses etc. But we believe that this is a passing phase and the Indian growth story is going to be something that the entire world will be closely watching. There are just so many opportunities for any business to prosper and be a partner and thus gain immensely while simultaneously contributing as well. Moreover, the Indian government is displaying a strong commitment towards providing a better infrastructure and creating a business friendly environment through favoring policies and regulations. Planned investments of around USD250 bn in Indian infrastructure development over the next four years, by Indian Govt, will have a positive impact on the logistics industry, helping it to provide integrated logistics solutions, which are cost effective. The implementation of GST is a positive step for the logistics industry and will impact the customers favorably.

It’s been more than two years that Maersk Logistics and Damco merged together to form a single Damco brand. So, what difference has this development made on your business operations in India?

Earlier, Maersk Logistics and Damco operated as two different business units under the A.P. Moller-Maersk group. Our two-brand strategy served us well when we were an integrated part of Maersk Line and needed to have a separate approach to the NVO/forwarding segment, while working with Maersk Line and their customers to deliver supply chain solutions. It did, however, come at significant cost by creating duplication across the three organizations and two brands. Since the merger of Maersk Logistics and Damco took place two years ago, we have received positive feedback from our customers regarding this decision. The new Damco brand has allowed us to become a one-stop shop for providing all logistics services and strengthen our focus on customers, and to leverage our operations and processes across products. Coupled with this, being part of the A.P.Moller-Maersk has helped Damco to energize the strong global network allowing us to deliver solutions as per the client’s specific requirements. A more streamlined organization because of the single brand strategy has infused quicker decision-making and fostered a great team spirit in the organization.
Published on: 19/09/2011

DISCLAIMER: All views and opinions expressed in this column are solely of the interviewee, and they do not reflect in any way the opinion of

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