SAMIR J SHAH : PIONEERING THE DEVELOPMENT OF DYNAMIC LOGISTICIANS IN INDIA
Logistics in India has evolved from a disorganised segment to a well-organized and technology-driven industry. However, the quality of human resources in Indian logistics is still stagnant. Since most companies rely on good logistics management to function effectively, it’s imperative to have a sharp skill set.
The need of the hour is dynamic and well-trained logisticians who can keep the bar high to par with global standards. In light of the foregoing, we’re pleased to present JBS Academy, a pioneering skill-development institute, building efficient logisticians and maritime specialists through bespoke training solutions. Recently, our magazine held an exclusive tête-à-tête with Mr. Samir J Shah, (Partner, Chief Mentor & Director), for our upcoming edition “Entrepreneur of the Year 2021”. Below is the disclosure of the freewheeling conversation.
DETERMINED TO MAKE A CHANGE
Anyone can be a leader, but not everyone can be a sustainable leader. It takes sheer will and a unique ability to think broadly. Business, be it of any size or shape, rides on the strong leadership skills of a person. But logistics makes the matter complex than others. Hailing from Gujrat, Mr. Shah sought to redefine the logistics space levelling it with other career prospects. He is one of the prime logisticians nurtured in Custom Brokering, Freight Forwarding, Logistic Education, SCM Training and Mentoring.
As such, he was aware that Logistics & Supply chain was virgin territory and that except for logistics hubs like Kolkata, Mumbai, Chennai and Cochin, people didn’t know how goods moved inland. The blue-collars weren’t trained, for the country didn’t have a formal education structure for this segment. Although Indian logistics had several technological inclusions, the lack of knowledge became a major hurdle. Ultimately, it impacted the trust between exporters and importers across boundaries.
Mr. Shah sought to change this and make Indian logistics at par with global standards. In 1984, he joined his family business, JBS Group, which has a history of providing complete logistic services since 1957 and began setting up institutes for technical training across the region. Initially, the focus was on enhancing the computer skills of the youth across Gujarat. But in 2010, with the support of academicians, logisticians and social thinkers, JBS Academy was reshaped into an institute of advanced Supply Chain and & Logistics training.
“I was making a big contribution to our economy by working in an area where fewer employed people worked at that time,” he avers. Mr. Shah’s vision to reimagine logistics education has led to a visible increment in employability. “We are seeing at least 83 – 84% placements from every batch as soon as a program is complete,” Mr. Shah adds proudly. The difference that JBS Academy conveys is its students participate with a 20-23% salary increase compared to others in the same position. Therefore, it’s making a positive impact that students and companies can benefit from.
AN ON THE GO TRAINING MODULE
With a mission to refine Indian logistics, JBS has developed a customized curriculum well-aligned with industrial knowhow. Also, the faculties onboard include logisticians as well as academicians. The multi-linguistic model helps train on the day-to-day challenges and logistics trends. Its courses are segregated as classroom programs, self-study programs, Live Learning Programs and Regulation 6 CBrLR. These are designed by practising logisticians and verified by working professionals across the country. “
“Our programs are structured with 70% focus on theoretical education, 10-12% on soft skills, communication skills and basic computer skills. The rest is devoted to the workshop to give them an overview of real-world scenarios,” explains Mr. Shah. At the end of each program, the company invites visiting professors (logisticians, maritime specialists, etc.) to share their experiences and make students aware of what to expect.
JBS’s training model ensures a 360° development of its trainees. Logistics is often considered a very volatile segment with no room for errors. Here, one has to deliver and ensure a smooth transfer of items from one destination to another. In doing so, people will come across challenges and intricacies. JBS ensures that its trainees are well-prepared to manage and stay ahead of them. It provides them with the necessary tools and knowledge to analyze and find solutions to various problems with guaranteed results.
THE SOULS OF JBS
JBS’s workforce reflects its enthusiasm for Social upliftment. But what makes it so special? The majority of its team includes women who are passionate and hardworking.
“Our decision to hire women is a deliberate one. We recognise and adhere to their endeavours in professional and personal lives,” asserts Mr. Shah. The company has a distributed workforce with distinct responsibilities, like developing curriculums, creating videographic teaching content, sales & marketing and teaching. And everyone works in unison to ensure a fully autonomous operational flow. The faculties bring over 26 to 27 years of experience to the table in their respective domain.
JBS also has a very hospitable environment that attracts the talent pool. However, it seeks people with the right attitude over their domain/technical expertise. Mr. Shah shares that most team members are trained in-house on creating videos, operating a camera, etc. The company has a learning culture, and everyone upholds it to the letter. This like-minded setting keeps the team moving forward. Although JBS hasn’t soared in the last decade, its employees see it as a service to society, which keeps them engaged.
MR. SAMIR J SHAH – A GLANCE ON HIS LEADERSHIP
“Leaders never stop learning,” and it’s this inherent ability that makes them wiser and decisive. The phenomenon is tantamount to Mr. Shah’s 38 years of leadership. Besides chairing JBS Group, he is a strategic thinker, author, Influencer, TEDx speaker and Lawyer. His evergreen quality to learn from people and other sources makes him a disciplined, observant and sincere leader.
His success mantra is “Whatever you do – do it for your satisfaction, not others.” He focuses on harnessing inspiration from success and learning from failures. It helps him in curtailing mistakes and yield better results. And he tries to instill these qualities in everyone around him. He encourages them to learn from mistakes and be analytical in the process. He also believes that everyone has their journey to make, be it professional or personal. He took the baton of leadership to work for common good, which helped him assemble his team and be an effective guide to them.
THRUSTNG BEYOND COVID-19
COVID-19 flipped the business world upside down and pushed people to venture beyond their boundaries. And it wasn’t any different for the education realm as well. But, every challenge is an unorthodox opportunity. As a training centre, JBS had a financial beating due to closing classroom training, but it used the period to develop new products, update skills and knowledge. Mr. Shah adds that they ventured into self-paced training. They collaborated with content creators worldwide via YouTube to refine content and curriculums. So, COVID-19 was both a challenge and an opportunity, which JBS Academy utilized optimally.
BUILT FOR A COMMON GOOD
As a pioneer in the block, JBS Group has contributed to major developments in Indian Logistics, especially cargo movements inland. Being a part of it, JBS Academy stands proud as a knowledge-sharing centre for the youth to excel in the logistics space. It has received widespread praise from the central and state government, as well as the international market. This inspires JBS to delve deeper into logistics and unveil new opportunities.
In light of that, the company plans to expand into all 12 logistics verticals, along with the ones it now operates in – This will help in popularizing its portfolio. Next, it aims to increase its student base. Its faculties are visiting colleges and institutions and making presentations to attract graduates for a career in logistics. Lastly, it’s developing a National Standards of Quality Framework certification (NSQF) to help students who dropped out of mid-school (10th/12th) finish their education anywhere in India. “In India, socially, a certificate scales a better value of a person’s talent and abilities,” says Mr. Shah. Ultimately, the certification is focused on empowering the employable class of people in logistics.
THOUGHTS TO INSPIRE THE COMMUNITY
“Always be a learner and be introspective. Industries like logistics are dynamic and transform rapidly. Be sincere and study your domain to the letter to build your forte. You cannot afford to be superficial about your facts. Lastly, pursue excellence and perfection over money. The more perfection you bring to the table, the better rewards you receive.” – Mr. Samir J Shah
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