The logistics and supply chain industry has experienced a remarkable transformation in recent years, driven by changing consumer demands and the need for increased efficiency. In the bustling landscape of the shipping industry, Ashapura Shipping Group has emerged as a true leader, setting new benchmarks and redefining excellence.
Established in 2005 by Mr.Venugopalrao Gunti, Ashapura Shipping Group, Kandla, is an esteemed organisation located in Gandhidham, Gujarat, India. Initially, the company focused on providing transportation services in the dry cargo field, operating in Kandla, Mundra, and Tuna ports of Gujarat.
Under the management of Mr Venugopalrao, possessing over 30 years of extensive expertise, the organisation, over time, expanded its services to include stevedoring, CHB (Custom House Brokerage), retail petrol pumps, and chartering.
With a strong commitment to customer satisfaction, the Ashapura Shipping Group aims to provide high-quality services to its clients, fostering long-term relationships.
By continuously striving for excellence, the company has built a solid portfolio of clients and has elevated its competence in handling a wide range of tasks to new heights.
The Ashapura Shipping Group specialises in handling various vessels, ranging from Mini Bulk Carriers to Capesize, Matching the cargo quantity in the bills of lading, and avoiding shortages. This commitment to exceeding expectations has garnered positive reviews and contentment from clients.
The organisation has solidified its position as an accomplished stevedoring, transporting, and clearing agent, catering to a wide range of vessels, including Handys and Panamax. They excel in handling diverse dry bulk cargo such as coal, gypsum, bentonite, clay, salt, aggregates, mill scale, and similar shipments.
Ashapura Shipping Group has established new benchmarks for rapid loading, achieving record-breaking turnaround times within 24 hours at prominent ports like Kandla, DPT, and WCI. They handle over 4.5 million tons of dry cargo annually, facilitating import and export operations.
With a history marked by an unwavering commitment to delivering quality services and generating positive outcomes, the company remains steadfast in their pursuit of meeting customer requirements with unwavering precision and timeliness.
Their ultimate goal is to secure customer satisfaction, which is the foundation for their Success. To achieve this, they foster an environment that encourages continual improvement and empowers employees to exceed client expectations.
With an unwavering focus on advancement and a methodical approach, they are committed to elevating the growth and development of Ashapura Shipping Group, Kandla.
The organisation upholds the principles of hard work, quality, and high efficiency. They aim to position themselves as a leading company in Gujarat while expanding their services worldwide to cater to a broader spectrum of client requirements and establish a robust presence in the global platform and market.
Valuing character, loyalty, unity, and teamwork, the company regards its employees as the pillars of the organisation, while management principles and ethics serve as their guiding rulebook.
They hold their clients in the highest esteem, recognising that their satisfaction is paramount and a critical measure of their Success.
The Ashapura Shipping Group offers a comprehensive range of core services in the logistics industry, all available under one roof. These services cater specifically to the dry bulk and break bulk sectors. Here is an overview of the key offerings:
Stevedoring: The company excels in providing stevedoring services, handling the loading and unloading of cargo from vessels with efficiency and expertise.
Custom Clearance: Ashapura Shipping Group facilitates smooth custom clearance processes, ensuring the timely and compliant movement of goods through customs.
Chartering/Operators: The company specialises in chartering services, leasing vessels and operational support for cargo transportation.
Warehousing: They provide secure and well-maintained warehousing facilities, enabling safe storage of goods before or after transportation.
Internal Shifting: The organisation offers internal shifting services, efficiently moving cargo within port premises or between various locations as required.
Rake Loading: Ashapura Shipping Group is experienced in rake loading, which involves loading goods onto railway wagons for efficient transportation.
Transportation: The company provides reliable and timely transportation services, ensuring the seamless movement of cargo from one location to another.
Barge Services: Ashapura Shipping Group offers barge services, utilising water transportation for cargo movement in coastal or inland waters.
High Heaping: The organisation specialises in efficiently stacking cargo to maximise storage capacity and optimise loading/unloading operations.
Midsea Discharge: The company is experienced in midsea discharge operations, facilitating the offloading of cargo from vessels at designated midsea locations.
Other Port-Related Services: Ashapura Shipping Group also provides additional port-related services, catering to clients’ specific requirements.
Retail Petrol Pump Outlet: Besides logistics services, the organisation operates a retail petrol pump outlet, offering fuel and related services to customers.
As a second-generation entrepreneur, Mr Raja faced a pivotal decision between joining the family company or venturing out on his own.
Recognizing the immense potential and opportunities within the trade region of Kandla, Tuna, and Mundra, he envisioned creating a notable legacy for himself. His ambition drove him to propel the company’s presence in the international market and establish a strong reputation.
Mr Raja is an individual who embraces risk-taking, believing that even the slightest chance can yield desired results. However, he remains prudent and pragmatic when facing real-world situations, never shying away from his responsibilities.
Despite his accomplishments, he maintains a humble and grounded demeanour, having witnessed the challenges his father overcame to attain Success. Their struggles serve as a constant reminder and inspiration for Mr Raja to forge his path without faltering.
Initially, Mr Venugopalrao Gunti established Shree Ashapura Stevedores specialising in stevedoring and transportation services. Building upon his legacy, his son, Mr Raja Gunti, propelled the company’s growth by expanding into custom clearance.
After completing an Advance Diploma in Dry Cargo Chartering from the Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers, London, he spearheaded the venture into the chartering field.
Embracing a philosophy of diversification, Mr Raja also introduced a retail petrol pump as part of the organisation’s growing portfolio of businesses.
Mr Raja, the second generation of the Gunti family, serves as the company’s director and brings fresh perspectives, trends, and technological advancements.
Meanwhile, the first generation, Mr Venugopalrao, remains actively involved, continuously seeking innovative techniques and creating new industry standards.
The Ashapura Shipping Group comprises several distinct organisational units, each with its own specialised focus and responsibilities:
Shree Ashapura Stevedores
Shri Balaji Infraport Private Limited
Imperial Chartering & Ancillary Services Private Limited
Imperial Chartering Singapore Pte Limited
Shree Ashapura Fuel Station
Their ability to provide a comprehensive suite of services covering various aspects of the logistics industry sets Ashapura Shipping Group apart from their competitors. Their unique offerings include,
Strong Customer Relationship Management
Mobile Workshop for on-site maintenance
Presence in major ports: Kandla, Mundra, Tuna & Navlakhi
Speedy loading & unloading with minimal wastage
Capable employees to handle challenges efficiently
Personalised handling & customised solutions
Own fleet, tools and resources for transportation
In-house stevedoring & Customs license
Record-setting performance in dry cargo handling
All services under one roof
An in-house fleet of 250+ vehicles & equipment
To optimise supply chain operations and enhance efficiency, Ashapura Shipping Group keeps all stakeholders involved. It ensures effective communication and adjustments to improve collaboration and coordination while maintaining transparency and ethical practices to uphold a positive reputation.
Adopting automation technology has provided better end-to-end visibility and improved controls and records for inbound and outbound processes, enabling efficient tracking and communication among different teams.
Real-time communication is promoted through social media groups, providing a platform for instant updates, problem-solving, and coordination.
To optimise efficiency, separate teams operate at ports during day and night shifts, ensuring continuous operations. Dedicated security teams oversee cargo supervision, and a vendor screening process ensures the quality and reliability of inventory from suppliers.
Additionally, separate teams with defined work tasks provide regular progress updates in the mornings and evenings, promoting transparency and effective coordination.
The company also focuses on strengthening collaboration with suppliers and outsourced resources. Employee training, morale-boosting initiatives, team building, and effective management practices are prioritised to foster a cohesive and efficient workforce.
Emphasising time management to ensure timely shipments, the company has developed its own customised approach, giving importance to principles, quality, character, qualifications, and innovative ideas rather than relying on a conservative approach.
Streamlining processes and predicting potential obstacles are key factors, ensuring alternative solutions are in place to minimise disruptions.
In managing and motivating a team of logistics professionals, the company provides direct and indirect perks to keep employees motivated.
They organise trips, events during festivals, team dinners, and other appreciation gestures to make team members feel acknowledged and enhance team building. Additionally, the company supports employees during emergencies, fostering a supportive work environment.
In the shipping industry, adaptability and flexibility are paramount to handling unexpected disruptions in the supply chain, as things can change overnight. Ashapura Shipping Group maintains a proactive and agile approach, swiftly responding and making necessary adjustments.
By prioritising preparedness and staying adaptable, they effectively navigate challenges, ensuring minimal disruption to their supply chain operations. The company implements various measures to manage risks in the supply chain effectively. These include:
Strong cash and credit management to minimise risks and improve profitability.
Taking an amiable approach to understanding stakeholder requirements and finding balanced solutions for long-term operational management.
Analysing manpower, resources, and inventory needs to reduce overhead costs and mitigate potential risks.
Ensuring cargo and fleet security measures to prevent disruptions.
Regular employee supervision to monitor progress and tasks.
Prompt identification and rectification of work errors to maintain smooth operations.
The major challenges within the logistics and supply chain industry include fleet shortages and accidents, manpower scarcity, shortage of cargo orders, the necessity for value-added employees rather than non-performing assets (NPAs), and the risk of fleet idleness caused by inconsistent work orders.
As a leader, Mr Raja focuses on continuous improvement and emphasises the company’s market presence to enhance credibility. By pre-planning work tasks and streamlining orders, he minimises disruptions and ensures smooth operations.
Mr Raja is a man of action, committed to completing his responsibilities until the end. With his industry experience, he has the ability to anticipate work shortages and always keeps alternative plans ready.
Additionally, his expertise allows him to bring shipments to the table until the last moment, maximising operational efficiency.
To ensure compliance with laws, regulations, and industry standards, Ashapura Shipping Group employs in-house and outsourced consultants to oversee compliance and facilitate its implementation.
The company has ventured into Chartering, expanding its presence in international waters and markets.
They have established an in-house team of experienced professionals who stay updated with the latest market information enabling them to manage sea transportation services effectively.
The company also utilises advanced tools that provide instant access to global information, facilitating streamlined cross-border logistics operations with greater efficiency and accuracy.
Mr Raja defines Success for his organisation as being in the right place at the right time, coupled with unwavering patience and confidence. He shares,
With technological advancements and growing environmental concerns, the shipping industry has witnessed several transformative shifts and improvements in recent years.
To stay updated, Mr Raja attends international conferences like Coal Trans and Business Leaders. He also actively participates in events and workshops, utilising social media platforms like LinkedIn to share and learn about new technologies.
To keep up with the technology-enabled logistics industry, Ashapura Shipping Group plans to create platforms that streamline processes, reduce waiting and searching time, and leverage customised solutions to automate tasks. Real-time updates for operations and the use of technology for risk prediction are also part of their strategic positioning.
A highly conscientious and disciplined individual, Mr Raja Gunti understands the significance of maintaining a harmonious equilibrium between professional responsibilities and personal well-being.
He shares, “I prioritise my health, lifestyle, and fitness. An early riser, I value both work and lifestyle equally. I firmly believe that I can find peace and function effectively only when my mind and body are at their best working capacity.”
Upon asking his advice for young entrepreneurs, he adds, “Perseverance is the key. Today’s generation often jumps from one idea to another without giving proper attention to one. While multitasking is valuable, dedicating oneself to realising a vision requires focused effort. Shortcuts are never a reliable path to Success; it is through innovation, smart work, and taking each step diligently that one can truly succeed.”