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Exclusive | DHL's Sandeep Juneja betting big on India

The future of the logistics industry in India is very upbeat. While there has been some slowdown in the economy due to some structural and macro-economic challenges, the fundamentals of the Indian economy remain strong. To match the up-beating market, one of the well-known brands in this industry DHL has been marketing and associating in India and abroad with a lot of premium properties, quite literally. In India DHL has associated with properties like Procam Marathon, Formula 1, IMG Fashion Week and Manchester United Trophy Tour.

The brand doesn’t seem to end its efforts here and has been sponsoring some big properties globally too like Rugby World Cup 2015, Cirque Du Soleil, FIA Formula E Championship and Manchester United Championship Trophy Tour.

To understand the growing presence of DHL brand in India and abroad and learn more about their marketing associations and commercial strategies, Adgully caught up with Sandeep Juneja, Vice President - Commercial, DHL Express India. 

Speaking about the basic rationale behind marketing associations in India and how they help meet business targets, Juneja said, “DHL develops and maintains its successfully established partnerships. DHL’s focus while seeking partnerships is to look whether there is a high strategic business potential to build up level of 

interests such as Responsible and Innovative Solutions in the Formula E and Cultural and Performing Arts in Cirque du Soleil or passion and team-work through sports like Man United, Rugby etc. These partnerships are then used most effectively in our public relations, customer relationship management and engagement to maintain our presence as a global leader and develop new opportunities in new markets and new target groups.”

DHL is the official logistics partner of the Procam Marathons held in Mumbai, Bangalore and Delhi. For all the three marathon races, DHL is responsible for handling shipment imports consisting of timing chips and sports equipment for the athletes from Netherlands and heavy weight broadcast equipment from UK. DHL imports over two tons of shipments for the final race day and also handles the final leg of re-exporting the equipment to the countries of origin. On-the-ground logistics of facilitating the movement of event goods like food and medicines within the city for a whole week; including the race day is also managed by DHL. DHL uses Temperature Controlled Logistics (TCL) to facilitate dope testing in Thailand for potential winners of the Marathon and the Half Marathon, both before and after the race.

With Formula 1, as Official Logistics Partners, DHL is responsible for transporting cars, engines, motor, fuel and equipment by air, sea and land to the 19 race circuits in 5 continents around the globe. DHL operates a 24-hour express service for all of the F1™ races, delivering direct to the team motor homes in the paddock.
Giving us an overview of the entire sector outlook of the logistics industry, he said, “I think the Indian economy is poised for strong long-term economic growth. This growth would be accompanied by Indian manufacturing sector becoming more global and more sophisticated. All of this would mean rapidly increasing demand for logistical services. This would also mean greater consolidation, greater emphasis on technology and skills, and much greater focus on service quality in the logistic sector in this country.”

In connection with IMG's Fashion Week event around the world, DHL does an annual series of prestigious shows in 11 countries spanning four continents. The IMG Fashion Weeks are a perfect platform for DHL to demonstrate its expertise especially for the sophisticated textile business. In India, DHL is the office logistics partner of the Lakme Fashion Week for the past 7 years with two season shows each year – the Summer Resort and Winter Festive. Since the past few seasons DHL has an exclusive show with a renowned designer at the Lakme Fashion Week which serves as a customer engagement event.

Near stagflation marked the Indian economy in 2013, and the sliding rupee added to the woes but the industry is definitely hoping for a better 2014, with improving global macro-economic conditions which will keep driving up export growth. Exports have showed signs of recovery since 2013 due to a weaker rupee and improved conditions in key markets.

In terms of the strategy used to drive revenues of the company Juneja shared that DHL uses sponsorship as a highly efficient multi-channel platform for PR, CRM and Communications. This helps them utilize specific advantages of sponsorship to build up bonding that touches public interests. “It opens up attractive and interactive opportunities in customer channels with our global reach. Most of our associations touch the target audience emotionally in private sphere around their personal interests, thus creating impact beyond logistics and product portfolio. Eventually, these programs are extended to address a broader scope of interests that’s brings about new target groups in different countries,” concluded Juneja.

With Manchester United Trophy Tour which this year celebrated the Club’s historic 20th league title, DHL helped in transporting the Premier League trophy to 31 destinations across 25 cities around the globe. DHL also transports Manchester United artefacts directly from the Old Trafford Museum to give fans the chance to experience special moments in the Club’s history. This year the United Trophy Tour kicked off in Rio De Janeiro on 30th October 2013. The five-month tour will include locations including Dubai, Mumbai, Jakarta, Shanghai, New York, Los Angeles, Singapore, Tokyo, Bangkok, Moscow and Istanbul.  The tour visited New Delhi on 17 January 2014 and Mumbai on 19 January 2014 as part of a worldwide tour. Tour activities in New Delhi and Mumbai included a customer engagement event with Manchester United legend Dwight Yorke, and displays of Manchester United memorabilia.

Also, DHL is a Founding Partner of the new FIA Formula E Championship, further strengthening its engagement for a more sustainable future. Both DHL and Formula E have a shared vision – promoting a sustainable future and accelerating research and development around e-mobility. Well, that’s not the end but a gist of activities DHL does to mark and strengthen its presence and position in the logistics space.

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