Pawan Jain is the Chairman and Managing Director of Safexpress which is India’s largest, efficient and most reliable logistics company. He is a man that is primarily known in the industry for his undoubtedly innovative skills & ideas and is widely considered to be the ‘Logistics Guru’ of India.
Mr. Jain has single handedly, transformed the dying Indian Supply Chain & Logistics Industry successfully, into a lucrative sector, in just four decades; due to which he holds immense respect in the corporate fraternity as well.
Being the humble human being that he is; he still considers his life to be the same as it was, before he started Safexpress. He says that, earlier he had started his job with a bicycle and used to work 12 hours daily; and even now, he does the same, only two more wheels have been added since 1975. According to him; the only change that has happened is that, his son was 6 years old, when he started the business and now he has completed his engineering & MBA from Columbia & Stanford University, US, respectively.
A perfectionist in nature – pawan, credits his passion to excel and an unshakable commitment to quality, the primary reasons to his success. He truly believes that the power of knowledge can make wonders happen and finely uses it as a strategic weapon to achieve his goals. Mr. Jain is an understatement to greatness and is a man that has built a foundation on the basis of his deep-rooted principles and strong virtues. He strongly believes in operating on the grounds of absolute transparency, ethics, trust and respect.
For sure, he is one of the greatest entrepreneurs of this era. A true Gentleman!
The IIT, Roorkee pass out; began his career right since he finished his studies. He was the first entrepreneur in his whole family and hence faced a lot of opposition from the very beginning!
He saw great untapped opportunity in the trucking business, hence, like a traditional Marwadi started ‘TransSolutions’ in 1975! He thought that it was more lucrative to provide services and logistics than just running trucks. Soon, he transformed the company into a INR 110-crore chicken that layed golden eggs!
Eventually, as that began to run smoothly and could be kept on auto-pilot, he branched out to courier service business and founded ‘Overnite Express’ alongwith his cousin Om Prakash Rajghria in 1987.
With much obviousness, that to began to run well and gave stupendous results but somehow Pawan didn’t seem to be happy of the outcome. Even though the company was turning out to be a success but the courier business in general had cut-throat competition and Pawan wanted a free-space to do something else, to tap the growing needs of companies for advanced large cargo transportation at large; basically, he wanted to give a new `definition` to his business! He conveyed the same to his cousin but the partner did not see benefit in Pawan’s idea. Hence, both parted ways and pawan eventually diluted his stake in the company to zero, over the years.
SAFEXPRESS PVT LTD
After his exit from Overnite Express; pawan began on working the new-hit idea! He wanted to do something different from what others were doing, he wanted to change the trend, he wanted to organize the unorganized industry and for that he went abroad for six-month studies.
Soon after returning back; with a sole aim to provide the fastest, safest and the best service to his customers and a seed capital of INR 1 crore, he started – ‘Safexpress Pvt Ltd’.
Due to his vision, sharp intellect and deep insight, he had in his nascent stages itself realized that the two core values of ‘Safety’ and ‘Speed’ were imperative to ensure customer satisfaction; because of these values, he coined the name ‘Safexpress’ for his organization.
In 1995; he first began with door-to-door service including niche products like DoD and To-Payfreight with 4 routes, 9 offices, 12 container-mounted-vehicles and 20 employees.
From day one; he faced a lot of criticizm from some of his family, friends & industry colleagues who said it would eventually fail in India because of the rough conditions of the roads and highways.
To add to that; as a company, they had to really convince their clients and the public about their offerings and their genuineness too! But he stuck to the ideas and believed that changing the mindset of his own people would bring the needed change in the enviornment. This strategy of his, worked well in their favour and soon business picked up.
And after just one year i.e in 1996; the company was a profitable venture & making a massive turnover of more than Rs 40 crores and due to the heavy increase in the demand they also had to open super hubs at Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore.
During those days; the only competitor Safexpress had was ‘Gati’ which eventually also got crushed too, by their sheer popularity!
Pawan’s believed that; we should never make long-term plans and that we should work on our short-term plans, primarly because in a country like India, decisions “are” or “might have to be” changed any minute. So, it is best that we be prepared to adapt to the change!
Following this ideology; instead to taking big leaps, the company first launched ‘Integrated Logistics Services’ in 1997. Their first ILS domestic client was NIIT, whereas their first international ILS account was signed with Hilti from Europe.
Not bragging; but their service was so good that, a regular cargo from Patna to Bangalore which travelled a distance of 2280 kms and 1425 miles check posts, gets delivered within just two days.
Now with the business growing drastically; Safexpress increased its fleet to 250 and number of stations to 290 in 1997. And on 1st of April 1997; ‘Safexpress Private Limited’ formally registered as an independent entity!
Between 1998 to 2004; Safexpress achieved many untouched goals and brought about drastic changes to the look, feel and the style of functioning of the firm at large. Some of which included: –
- Setting a new standard in value-added cargo services by launching Safeair and Safebox.
- Connected all its hubs to web-based software to make the communications easier.
- Safexpress started a pilot run for GPS on 28 of its regular routes
- Reached the 350-destinations mark
- Increased their fleet to more than 1400
- Safexpress began to offer services through an online medium. While at it, they also upgraded and launched numerous features on www.safexpress.com which included ePod, Virtual Cargo and Privileged Member.
- Safexpress inaugurated its 500th scheduled delivery location
Due to such massive changes; after a decade, the company was listing a growth of 35%, had grown by more than 1000%, its turnover was now reaching over INR 450 crores and was now a INR 5 billion company. They now were employing a team of 1400 people directly and 40,000 indirectly.
During this journey; what helped them the most was their strenghts, which they constantly worked on! And what had they achieved so far? Well, nothing fancy but they now had over 550 destinations, spread across 28 states & 7 union territories; warehousing space of more than 30 lakh square-feet; more than 3,000 ISO 9002 certified & all weather-proof vehicles; a business of more than 3 million packages a month with more than 5,00,000 kms being covered daily; and lastly, operations of 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and 365 days a year.
Things didn’t end here; the company was now being valued somewhere around INR 2500 Cr. and had a fleet of over 3200 graduate drivers. They were soon going to add 7 million square-feet of Logistics Parks at 32 locations in India in the near future and they had already invested INR 350 million to set up a 3 lakh square-feet Logistics Park in Chennai. These parks would compromise of warehouses, vendor management, raw material management, finished products storages, and distribute consignments.
Next would be lease of three aircrafts to expand their cargo operations and then opening of offices in all the upcoming Special Economic Zones (SEZ).
Safexpress also added another wing to their existing group in 2007! ‘Saf educate’ founded by Divya Jain & Rubal Jain is a specialist in supply chain & logistics training. Since then, their dedication has been towards serving and nurturing the industry to create talented & skilled individuals and has trained over 20,000 students in more than 52 cities.
And today, after so many years; Safexpress which began its journey in 1995 has now become a billion-dollar baby and has successfully gained the recognition for itself as the ‘Knowledge Leader’ and ‘Market Leader’ of supply chain & logistics industry in India.
Today, its top level management includes: Pawan Jain – Chairman & Managing Director, SR Sharda – Executive Director, Rubal Jain – Director of Corporate Strategy, Divya Jain – CEO of Safeducate, Anjani Kumar – CIO, Rajesh Kumar Jain – Vice President of Finance, Sandeep Dham – Vice President of Business Development and Vineet Kanaujia – Vice President of Marketing.
The company has grown to become a global player and now offers a wide range of innovative supply chain services including Campus2Home, Easy2Move, Sainik Express, SafeReturns, Stock2Shelf, Vendor Managed Inventory (VMI), Virtual Warehousing, End-to-End Supply Chain Management, Express Distribution, 3PL (Third Party Logistics) & Inventory Management, Supply-Chain Consulting, Customized Projects And Reverse Logistics.
The firm provides its value-added logistics services for 9 different business verticals ranging from Apparel & Lifestyle, E-commerce, Healthcare, Hi-Tech, Publishing to Automotive, Engineering & Electrical Hardware, FMCG & Consumer Electronics and Institutional.
Apart from ‘Trans Solutions’ becoming handsomely successful and having added 300 vehicles to its existing fleet; presently Safexpress has over 580 offices and 48 hubs & mega hubs pan India with requisite infrastructure, which is managed by its 2500 highly qualified employees who hold expertise in their domain to serve our valued clients. These offices as a whole, are connected through dedicated network of GPS-equipped & all-weather proof vehicles, operating 365 days a year, that are replaced every 2 years to ensure lower carbon emission levels and are driven by over 7000 well-trained drivers.
Other than that; the company has contributed largely in times of calamities as well. Some of such initiatives taken by the company include Kill the Jam, Polio Eradication Campaign, Disaster Relief, Leh Cloudburst, Tsunami Rehabilitation, Bihar Floods, Gujarat Earthquake and lastly their Go Green initiative.
ACHIEVEMENTS, AWARDS & RECOGNITIONS
The great stature of success that he is; Pawan & Safexpress collectively have equally earned numerous achievements, awards and recognitions, which frankly go beyond the capacity of count. Hence, below mentioned are some of the most notable ones: –
- Received the Golden Peacock Award (1999)
- Declared as India’s “Largest Logistics Service Provider” by Limca Book of Records (2002 & 2003)
- Received the Franchise Award (2004)
- Received the MICO: Power of We Award (2005)
- Received the prestigious RAI’s (Retailers Association of India) Award (2006)
- Won the ‘International Business Excellence Award (2008)
- Honored with Glory of India Award by the Institute of Economic Studies in (2009)
- Rewarded with the ‘Bharat Gaurav Puraskar’ by the Institute of Economic Studies
- Received Entrepreneurship Award by PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry & was presented to him by Mr. Pranab Mukherjee, FinanceMinister.
- Rewarded as the ‘CEO of the Year’ at the Asia’s Best Employer Brand Awards (2012)
- Jain was conferred upon with ‘Lifetime Achievement Award’ by Franchise India in 2012 for his immense contribution to the Supply Chain industry in India.
- Along with these some of the others include: Lifetime Achievement Award by ELSC, Retail Leadership Award by Asia Retail Congress, Udyog Rattan Award, Indira Priyadarshini Award
- To add to that; he was also affiliated with multiple associations such as:
- Member of Advisory Committee of India’s Leading Management Institutes like Lal Bahadur Shastri Institute of Management.
- Member – CII’s ‘National Committee on Logistics & Transport’
- Convener – ‘Policy / Procedural issues in Domestic trade’
- Member – Institute of Economic Studies (IES)
- Member – Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI).