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EDIT NOTE

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Arshiya FTWZ & Sholay I guess, seeds of the cover story presented in this edition were implanted in my mind quite sometime back. Around the end of the last year, Arshiya had unveiled its first FTWZ at Panvel, near Mumbai and there was significant buzz about this facility that it has created a new benchmark in the sphere of logistics infrastructure in the country. So seven-eight months ago, when I was engaged in a casual conversation with an industry friend who had visited Panvel, I simply asked him: “ Is this unit really as grand as the buzz suggests?” He didn’t take a moment to reply, “ You have to be there to believe it. Its like Sholay.” Well, in north India, we do have this habit of borrowing cinematic terms/names to define things and in popular perception Sholay simply means something of an epic proportion. About three months back the desire to watch Arshiya’s FTWZ initiative from close quarters got a fresh impetus when I attended a conference in Delhi where Capt. Pawanexh Kohli of Arshiya made an assertive presentation explaining the highlights of the world class facility which the company is creating at Khurja, western Uttar Pradesh. “ I would like to see your Khurja unit,” I told him in no uncertain terms after the conference was over. “If you want to make a sense of Khurja unit, you must visit Panvel first,” pat came the reply. Fortunately, a Mumbai trip was on the cards which facilitated me the chance to visit Panvel and I found it no differently than what my friend had conveyed using that cinematic analogy. However, the accompanying official stumped me further by informing that Khurja unit would be double in size of Panvel. Needless to say, on returning to Delhi, visiting Khurja was the top priority for me which ultimately happened last month. Having seen it with my own eyes ( Logistics Times, I am told, is the first publication which has visited this site), I think the most apt expression I can use is manifestation of a big ticket vision. The sprawling 315 acres complex disticntly divided into three sections – FTWZ, Domestic Distriparks and Railways Terminal – has been created in anticipation of the perceived benefits emerging out of being a confluence point of the eastern and western ends of the ambitious Dedicated Freight Corridor project. In a country, where logistics infrastructure does not have much to boast about, Arshiya has definitely shown the courage to up the ante in the domain. This is going to be biggest FTWZ in the country and Arshiya’s grit is well reflected in the fact that it has been created in a pocket which is hardly considered to be blessed with any progressive economic agenda. But like that evergreen blockbuster Sholay, they probably believe that they are creating something which would have perennial appeal. Leaf through the cover story to get a feel of the enormity and dimensions of Khurja FTWZ unit … “ To be or not to be,” the union government was recently besiged by this Shakespearean dilemma on the issue of allowing FDI in multi-brand retail. First, it gave the green signal, displaying strong resolve to take it through. But then opposition with heavy political overtones mounted and the government had to ultimately opt for ‘not to be’ side of the proposition till a consensus emerges. However, like other wings of India Inc., representatives of the logistics industry too were enthused with this move underlining that it would expedite the refinement of supply chain processes. Even as the move has been put on hold for the time being, they too eagerly expect the intiative to see the light of the day – sooner rather than latter. Flip through the Big Issue section to gauge the mood of the logistics industry on this much needed yet elusive initiative. Waiting for your feedback. Ritwik Sinha ritwik@logisticstimes.net

LOGISTICS TIMES August 2011

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Lt decemeber 2011  
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