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The Connecting Leader: Vineet Agarwal, MD, TCI TCI's business model, strategies, investments as well as product offerings have been crafted to go beyond just freight and express services

By Shrabona Ghosh

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Surviving multiple wars in the 1950s, 1960s and 1971, TCI evolved with the economic landscape of India. Established in 1958, the logistics company has seen the test of time. Working tirelessly through the years, Vineet Agarwal, MD, TCI, built a successful model at a time when logistics even struggled for an industry status due to lack of organized players in India. "When I started working, within the first few years, I remember going through the dotcom bubble burst and the subprime mortgage led financial crisis of the 2000s. By 2008 we had learned many critical lessons from all these industry cycles. One of the key learnings was to always keep an ear to the market - anticipating the evolving customer needs and staying relevant in all scenarios," said Vineet Agarwal, MD, Transport Corporation of India (TCI).

TCI's business model, strategies, investments as well as product offerings have been crafted to go beyond just freight and express services. "Today we cover all aspects of logistics services from multimodal transits to 3PL services, green warehousing, sustainable supply chain design, custom clearance and documentation & International logistics," he added.

With Indian logistics finally gaining its due significance and Industry status post-Covid, "We are now seeing rapid evolution in the sector as a whole. From infrastructure development, to policy and regulations, to standardization norms and digital integration – there is a lot of support from the government."

Like others, navigating the pandemic was a particularly challenging time. Behind the pandemic's insurmountable statistics were so many individual stories of pain and loss. "From delivering meals to migrants and health-workers, to delivering oxygen, beds, ventilators, PPE kits and vaccines to hospitals we saw the true strength of TCI. The pandemic forced us to solve the here-to-fore ignored questions, that we could no longer avoid –speed of tech-adoption, responsibility to the planet and the roles of our public, private and civil society," he said.

As a leader he believes in learning, unlearning and relearning things to keep evolving. Leaders' long term vision and ability to guide their teams decides how smoothly a large organization can swerve and navigate through paradigm shifts. "We've inculcated a learning culture within the company. This extends from the bottom-up, emphasizing the importance of upskilling/training and staying ahead of the curve. We believe in creating empowered teams with robust people leadership capabilities. Upskilling team members are the greatest productivity hack."

"I think this is a really interesting time for leaders. Many age-old paradigms are being broken, giving place to emerging management fundamentals," Agarwal explained.

Shrabona Ghosh


A journalist with a cosmopolitan mindset. I lead a project called 'Corporate Innovations' wherein I cover corporates across verticals and try to tell stories on innovations. Apart from this, I write industry pieces on FMCGs, auto, aviation, 5G and defense. 
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