COURIER SERVICES
TCS PAKISTAN - A STEP AHEAD

Exclusive: Interview with Ali Leghari

SADAF AURANGZAIB, Senior Correspondent
Oct 09 - Oct 15, 2006

Many of us know about TCS but few of us can relate it to Tranzum. The father enterprise which provides extensive services in many spheres of express & logistics, travel, booking facilities for visa applicants, events management, publications, marketing and public relations services to the corporate, government and NGO sectors, gift delivery service and air freight solutions, etc. We contacted the Head of Corporate Affairs, TCS Pakistan, Mr. Ali Leghari to take his views on Tranzum, its services and its future. Following is the script of what he tells about his enterprise.

PAGE: FIRST OF ALL, TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT TRANZUM?

ALI: The new umbrella entity is Tranzum, and it is focused on attaining global market share in diverse endeavors. The new businesses are natural downstream activities of the core competency that TCS has acquired over the last 23 years of its existence. They are manned by old colleagues with new mission statements, and a shared vision that accepts nothing less than perfection.

PAGE: HOW DO YOU DEFINE THE SERVICES OF YOUR ENTERPRISE, WHAT IS IT THAT YOU THINK GIVES TCS AN EDGE OVER OTHER COURIER SERVICES?

ALI: Tranzum has emerged as a progressive master enterprise offering services in diversified industries including express, logistics, warehousing, distribution, gift delivery, mail order, travel & tours, visa drop box,

management development, event management, and publications. The Tranzum enterprise has established offices in various regions across the globe, including South Asia, North America and Europe. Under the new set-up TCS provides courier and logistics services; Flying Warehouse - customized airfreight solutions; Overland Express - warehousing and distribution; Sentiments Express - gifts, greetings and mail-order services; Intiana Travel and Tours; Octara - Training, Events and Publications; Infothon -web based e-commerce services.

When people take pleasure and pride in what they do, then success becomes a foregone conclusion. The journey, that invariably begins with the first few tentative steps, soon assumes a life and dynamism of its own as destination after destination is charted, arrived at, and proceeded from, for the pursuit of excellence has no destination, and remains a journey in perpetuity along an ever-rising graph of attainment.

PAGE: HOW DO YOU SEE THE ROLE OF COURIER SERVICES IN A DEVELOPING COUNTRY'S ECONOMIC GROWTH?

ALI: An express logistics service, which is what a courier company is, increases manifold the velocity of circulation within the economy of goods and services through the safe and speedy delivery of time sensitive documents crucial to the culmination of business in trade, commerce, industry and government. When TCS won the Pakistan Banking Council contract back in the eighties, when Dr. Mahboob-ul-Haq was the Finance Minister, it used to take three weeks and more for out-station bank cheques to be cleared. TCS reduced that period to 72 hours. The resultant favorable impact upon the economy was phenomenal.

PAGE: HOW MUCH DIVERSIFICATION IS NEEDED TO RUN A LEADING COURIER SETUP AND TO GAIN CUSTOMERS' RELIANCE?

ALI: Product differentiation and business diversification is always a good thing for growth, provided the core competency of the operators is kept firmly in view at all times. Customer reliance is something that builds up over time, and the operation must perform consistently to high levels of customer satisfaction for that to happen. There are no short cuts.

PAGE: TCS STARTED ITS OPERATIONS HERE IN 1983, MANY OTHER COMPETITORS CAME ALONG TOO, HOW DO YOU SEE THE ROLE OF COMPETITORS IN THIS REGARD?

ALI: Despite the major market share and a firmly entrenched industry leadership position, TCS never permits itself to rest upon its laurels, and embraces at all levels the philosophy of continuous improvement. We are in constant competition with ourselves, and that attitude keeps all other competitors at bay.

PAGE: DID TCS MARCH INTO PROVIDING THE VISA APPLICATION PROCESSING AS ONE OF ITS COMPETITORS DID, HOW DIFFICULT THAT WAS TO COMPETE IN THAT PRODUCT AND HOW SUCCESSFUL DO YOU THINK YOUR ENTERPRISE IS?

ALI: Getting into the Visa Drop Box arena was an extension of our endeavor to provide our customers with a full range of services. We are presently servicing Belgian, Spanish, Italian and South African embassies as well as High Commissions of Canada and India. The Visa Drop Box has been an unqualified success, and continues to be so.

PAGE: TRANZUM HAS DIVERSIFIED AND SEGMENTED RANGE OF SERVICES LIKE INTIANA, TCS, VISATRONIX, OCTARA ETC, HOW DO YOU SEE THE GENERAL PUBLIC RESPONSE TOWARDS EACH CATEGORY?

ALI: Each category meets a specific customer need, and the response has been fairly overwhelming.

PAGE: NOW WITH THE COMMENCEMENT OF CERTAIN GOVERNMENT AGENCIES LIKE PAKISTAN POST ETC, DO YOU THINK THAT SORT OF COMPETITION WILL HAVE AN EFFECT ON THE OVERALL PRICING STRUCTURE OF THE COURIER SERVICES?

ALI: TCS competes on service, not on price, and we appreciate the role that the PPO has been playing, providing far-flung areas with postal connectivity that is a primary requirement of every government. Our pricing structure is impacted by the same set of factors that operate in every other industry i.e. the price of petroleum, which is central to the operation of the TCS land and air fleets.

PAGE: ANOTHER ISSUE OF CONCERN FOR COURIER SERVICES IS THE GUARANTEE OF SECURITY TO THE CUSTOMERS, AS IN THE PAST THERE WERE FEW CASES REGARDING DRUG TRAFFICKING THROUGH COURIER SERVICES, SO HOW SECURE DO YOU THINK THIS BUSINESS IN OUR COUNTRY?

ALI: We ensure the prevalence of best management practices at all times at TCS, and security is a central issue in our line of work. As volume of business grows we have ensured that outlays on security have increased proportionately. This is coupled with a vigorous and on-going internal and external training program for our human resource aimed at a continuous enhancement of its quality. An intelligent and vigilant staff is the best insurance against any abuse of our system. All materials presented at our booking counters are inspected, and by the grace of God there have been no untoward incidents.

PAGE: WHAT POTENTIAL GROWTH DO YOU SEE IN YOUR SERVICE IN THE UPCOMING YEARS?

ALI: We see our service as a prime enabler of the economic growth of the country and region. This century is the century of Asia, and with the economic growth rates being experienced in the region, particularly China, we are bracing to pull 'Gs' in a steeply rising business graph.

PAGE: WHAT ARE THE MAJOR HINDRANCES THAT YOU THINK IF REMOVED COULD PAVE A MUCH SMOTHER PATH FOR FUTURE OPERATIONS?

ALI: Continuity of policy is important, and a level playing field. Also, it would help if Pakistan could strike oil in more meaningful quantities and bring down prices!

PAGE: HOW DO YOU SEE THE SOCIAL CONTRIBUTION ASPECT WITH THE HELP OF YOUR SERVICES TO THE PEOPLE?

ALI: TCS employs over 3000 people, and the ripple effect extends to perhaps 50,000 dependants. Our primary social contribution is in running a tight ship in the service of progress, prosperity and peace in Pakistan and elsewhere. We do a fair bit of corporate philanthropy as well aimed primarily at the education of the less privileged.

PAGE: WHAT MAJOR COUNTRIES DO YOU OPERATE THROUGHOUT THE WORLD, ESPECIALLY EUROPE, SOUTH ASIA, MIDDLE EAST AND NORTH AMERICA?

ALI: Through our own extensive network, and in alliance with other operators, we have a capability to ship anything from anywhere to anywhere in the world.

PAGE: NOW TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT YOURSELF, FROM WHERE YOU RECEIVED YOUR EDUCATION AND HOW DID YOU COME ACROSS TRANZUM?

ALI: I am a Leghari from Rahimabad, in Southern Punjab. My great grandfather migrated from Choti, D.G Khan due to a family feud which was subsequently resolved. We are rural agriculturists who have made a successful transition to the urban landscape. I have had a varied education. My family has always considered education to be a life long process, with each day yielding new nuggets of knowledge. I never aspired to be a rocket scientist, although my association with TCS has brought me close to becoming one. I was drawn to TCS by the dynamism of the people at its helm, and consider myself fortunate enough to have found a niche within the organization.

PAGE: LAST OF ALL WHAT ARE YOUR AMBITIONS FOR FUTURE?

ALI: The TCS family has been good to me, and in all probability my future is tied inextricably with that of TCS. My ambitions for TCS know no bounds. Maybe we will launch a space-craft one day.

EXPRESS TUBE RATES

NATIONWIDE DELIVERY

Each add 0.5kg

Small 1kg

Large 2kg

Within City Rs.23

Within City   Rs.120

Within City Rs.185

Same Zone Rs.35

Same Zone   Rs.150

Same Zone   Rs.240

Different Zone   Rs.55

Different Zone   Rs.205

Different Zone Rs.350

 


 

SAME DAY EXPRESS

Rely on same day express to major cities countrywide. Check booking timings.

Upto 1 Kg

Each addl.0.5Kg

WITHIN CITY

Rs. 90

Rs. 25

CITY TO CITY

Rs.350

Rs. 60

EXTRA SPECIAL EXPRESS

Rely on same day express to major cities countrywide. Check booking timings.

Upto 1 Kg

Each addl.0.5Kg

WITHIN CITY

Rs. 65

Rs. 33

CITY TO CITY

Rs.150

Rs. 75

SECOND DAY EXPRESS

If itís not urgent, itís still important, take the second working day parcel option --- a 48 hour service.

Upto 3 Kg

Each addl.0.5Kg

WITHIN CITY & CITY TO CITY

Rs. 150

Rs. 50

THIRD DAY (OVERLAND EXPRESS)

Economical truck service for heavier and bigger shipments, doorstep delivery by third working day.

Upto 10 Kg

Each addl.0.5Kg

WITHIN CITY & CITY TO CITY

Rs. 150

Rs. 20

OVERNIGHT EXPRESS

For next working day delivery of your shipments, urgent shipments.

Upto 0.5 Kg

0.6 - 1Kg

Each addl.0.5Kg

WITHIN CITY

Rs. 30

Rs. 40

Rs. 20

SAME ZONE

Rs. 43

Rs. 60

Rs. 30

DIFFERENT ZONE

Rs. 87

Rs. 99

Rs. 48

RED BOX (2kg - 5kg - 10kg - 25kg)

For next working day delivery of your urgent and bigger shipments.

2kg

5kg Each addl. kg (for 2kg & 5kg box)

10kg

25Kg Each addl. kg (for 2kg & 5kg box)

WITHIN CITY

Rs.87

Rs.161

Rs.30

Rs.204

Rs.300

Rs.20

SAME ZONE

Rs.126

Rs.213

Rs.50

Rs.300

Rs.517

Rs.30

DIFFERENT ZONE

Rs.152

Rs.326

Rs.80

Rs.517

Rs.935

Rs.50