In an interaction with Industry Outlook, Anshul Singhal, Managing Director, Welspun One Logistics Parks shares his views on the current evolution of warehousing in India, and how with adoption of new technologies, the industry is moving towards smart warehousing.
How do you see the evolution of warehousing during the current times? What are the major factors driving its demand?
In a post-COVID-19 world where businesses consciously navigate an uncertain new normal, the Warehousing and Logistics sector has emerged as one of the fastest, most strategic real estate asset class. When it comes to an increased demand, warehousing has become critical for the smooth functioning of online grocers and other e-commerce businesses that now service an unprecedented 3-5x rise in demand for essentials online. With retail moving from offline to online, warehousing in India stands as an obvious beneficiary.
The expected increase in demand can be envisioned for Grade A warehousing, which can be attributed to the implementation of stringent health and safety regulations, the need for high-operational efficiency and better provisions of infrastructure and amenities for the people working in warehouses, especially now in the post-pandemic world.
Why are Grade A warehouses becoming the need of the hour for supply chain and logistics? How are they bringing about the expected ROI?
With the global dynamics changing post-COVID-19, India is seeing rising demand and opportunities for scale. In the last 3-4 years, Grade A warehouses have already been preferred by organizations owing to high quality efficiency and global standards. Furthermore, post-pandemic, the booming e-commerce market and a robust demand for essential goods to be available online, have bolstered the demand for Grade A warehousing facilities across the Indian subcontinent.
COVID-19 has thus accelerated both the scope and the pace of e-commerce adoption and growth, which can only be fulfilled by virtue of excellent Modern / Grade A warehousing that offers compliance, human safety, hygiene and enable automation and social distancing.
To bring about expected ROI, Grade A warehouses can contribute immensely:
a. Bigger global e-commerce players expect certain international standards of warehousing, closest to which is Grade A warehousing in India.
b. In a post-COVID-19 world, hygiene, safety and regulatory compliance like firefighting systems will be paramount for warehousing employees’ health and will be a primary concern for the end consumer as well, making Grade A warehouses a necessity.