18 Nov 2020, 10:00 — 7 min read
Inheriting a business mantle is not easy—it comes with the responsibility of keeping the business legacy alive and ensuring that it continues to grow and thrive. Third generation entrepreneur Mangesh Pednekar shoulders his business responsibilities with consummate ease and skill. Mangesh is the promoter director of GVP Forwarder Pvt Ltd, an international industrial cargo solutions company that was founded by his grandfather way back in 1937. He joined the business in 2001, at a time when the economy was opening up rapidly and the government was giving greater impetus to the import export sector.
In a freewheeling chat with GlobalLinker (GL), Mangesh Pednekar (MP) shares his excitement of being in a sector with great growth prospects, his commitment to uninterrupted business services even during the pandemic and his secret to expanding the business.
GL: Tell us about your business.
MP: In layman’s terms, we are like a DHL or Blue Dart, but we don’t operate at a consumer level, we operate at a bigger scale, we freight industrial goods. We get raw material from China, Europe, America—all continents and countries. It could be capital goods like machinery, we get them to India, store them in our warehouses, and distribute them to wherever the clients are. This is on the import side. We also operate similarly for exports—finished goods made in India are exported to different parts of the world. So once the factory finishes the good, we pick it up from their factory, put it in our warehouses, do all the formalities and then we export it to anywhere in the world.
We have 50 – 60 staff working in and around Mumbai. Our major centre is Mumbai. We have offices in Goa, Aurangabad and an associate office in Delhi and in Gujarat as well.
GL: How have you further expanded the business?
MP: We had good clientele and associations to start with. And then when I came in, I added another branch to it. So first we were purely custom brokers and I have added international freight forwarding, where we do complete supply chain. We also added warehousing to our kitty three years back. We have around 50,000 – 60, 000 sq ft of warehouse space in Nhava Sheva which is close to JNPT Port.
When I joined in 2001, the economy was really opening up and import export increased so we leveraged this scenario. In freight forwarding we tied up with a lot of international offices which are small SMEs around the world, and these are our counterparts. As you know business is evolving and the government is really working hard to cut down the cost and the timelines which is further helped by us upgrading our services and having a one stop for everything.
This is the best industry to get into it. To begin with it’s getting more simplified and it’s getting more technology driven. The economy runs on import and exports and we are the torchbearers for this.
GL: Was your business impacted by Covid and the subsequent lockdown?
MP: We were fortunately not really impacted because as a custom broker we were declared as an essential service, so we never closed down. For the safety of our staff, all necessary infrastructure was set up in their homes. It took us a couple of days to do this and we were soon up and running. Most of our competitors were not working for 15 to 20 days but there was never a downtime for us. In fact, we have got appreciation from all our clients saying that even though they were not working, their factories were shut down, but we were working for them which really helped them to take care of their production line as they never had any difficulties in processing the production since raw material was provided by GVP on time for them.
GL: What are some of the major challenges you face?
MP: Finance is always a challenge. All the clients are not good paymasters, they harass you, but this is part of the business and we need to take care of it. Otherwise, in terms of personnel, we have always had experienced staff as the company is quite old. My old staff’s children are now working with us. So things have been easy on this front for me.
GL: What are the 3 things instrumental to your success?
MP: Being in the business so long, we have a wealth of experience. Secondly, we have a very good clientele which have been with us for a very long time. Thirdly, my brother is President of an association and he is the Maharashtra Chambers President as well, so we are able to get a lot of help from the good offices of the government.
GL: How do you believe GlobalLinker benefits business owners?
MP: I think there is great value in having a network for business owners. If the platform can help us find solutions to problems of finance and provide new growth opportunities, it will help us grow!
GL: What is your advice to a new entrepreneur?
MP: This is the best industry to get into it. To begin with it’s getting more simplified and it’s getting more technology driven. We are the ones that propel import and export, we are the ones that help to move the country forward. The economy runs on import and exports and we are the torchbearers for this.
GL: What is your big business dream?
MP: To go international in a big way. Since the government is working hard on ‘Make in India’, I think there is big scope for growth.
Network with Mangesh Pednekar by clicking on the 'Connect' button on his GlobalLinker profile.
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