Blue Dart stays on target

Fresh from its recent award as one of "Best Under A Billion" companies listed by Forbes Asia in 2008, Blue Dart Express is now sitting tight, confident that its prudent business strategy over the last 25 years will enable it to ride out the global economic storm. Donald Urquhart reports from Bangalore, India.

“We’re a very prudent organisation,” explains Tulsi Nowlakha Mirchandaney, managing director of Blue Dart Aviation – the group’s air express division – in an interview with Payload Asia. “We don’t just jump into situations which I think is why we have ensuredsustainability over the years.”

As India’s leading domestic express and air freight company with a 42 per cent market share in India’s domestic logistics market, it’s easy to understand why it attracted the attention of global heavyweight, DHL, which now holds an 81 per cent stake in the company.

Slow and steady
“It took us 13 years from 1983 to 1996 to build up the ground network to warrant getting into the aviation infrastructure, which you know is a very high cost, high capital asset management area,”Mirchandaney adds.

That network, now extends to over 5,658 vehicles, 282 facilities that enable deliveries to over 21,000 domestic locations spanning the entire country. This is made possible by Blue Dart’s aviation arm which operates scheduled night express cargo flights including domestic and regional charters via its main bases at Chennai, Bangalore, Kolkata and New Delhi and hubs at Hyderabad, Ahmedabad and Mumbai.

Blue Dart’s fleet now compromises three B737-200 and four B757-200converted freighters.