Germany’s Cismat eyes India

German general sales and service agent Cismat GmbH is wasting no time expanding its already healthy customer base, with a raft of new offices set to open in India and discussions ongoing with Middle East and European carriers. Heiner Siegmund reports from Frankfurt.

When passing by a map in his office at Frankfurt’s Cargo City South complex, Hiran Houx is often seen looking intensely at the eastern part of the world these days, namely at India. There, his Cismat GmbH together with local partner Vinod Seth will soon be hosting a number of inauguration parties in Delhi, Mumbai,Bangalore, Hyderabad or Chennai.

“Yes, we are presently establishing eleven offices at all major Indian airports that will become operational in January,” Houx confirms. The 50/50 joint venture between Cismat and Seth, founder of Mumbai-based Allied Aviation Pvt. Ltd., is a big move for the German air freight sales agent that was foundedonly a year ago.

Ample cargo experience
But make no mistake, Sri Lankannative Hiran Houx is no greenhorn, but rather a cargo veteran who once managed the air freight business of Sri Lankan Airlines in Germany before changing sides by working for a local GSSA. Having successfully filled the cargo compartments and main decks of a number of carriers he thought of either retiring and sitting back by running a small hotel at his home island, or establish his own enterprise instead to do the GSSA job.

He finally opted for the latter after a round of talks with his Italian pal, Gianni Traverso, the founder of Compagnia Italiana Servizi Marittimi Aerei Terrestri – Cismat Italy. “Gianni offered me to take his company’s name in case I should decide building my own enterprise in Germany,” recalls Houx. Today, the Cismat brand is the only clip that connects both general sales agents. “However, I would not exclude a capital swap to take place sometime in future if feasible,” states Houx.