Manik Pereira: “We are one of the top 10 freight and logistics companies in Sri Lanka. Additionally, we are first in investing in the latest technologies and ventures -we have a progressive outlook and are always willing to explore new opportunities and embrace change.”
Today we are publishing an interview with Manik Pereira, Chairman of Pership Synergy Pvt Ltd, CQR member in Colombo, Sri Lanka. In this interview Mr. Pereira talks about his company history, their area of operation, their strong points and the problems facing this industry.
Q. Please tell us a few words about the origins of Pership.
A. Pership was established in 1889 and Pership Group is a fourth generation business engaged in logistics and domestics services. We started as an import business in the 19th century catering to the British aristocratic society such as Governor Sir West, Lady Ridgeway in Ceylon. From 1905 we started expanding our operations with the introduction of the departmental store concept in Sri Lanka. To date, the Pereiras foster the same spirit of innovation and noble characteristics that is truly humbling.
Q. Which services do you offer?
A. We offer a wide range of services, from air transportation passenger services to cargo, ship, and freight services. We also manage exhibition logistics, relocation services, industrial household relocations, LPG discharging and oil bunkering, customs compliance, haulage solutions, fleet management, etc.
Q. What are the main challenges facing freight forwarders regarding the pandemic at the moment?
A. At the moment the only challenge I can think of is the Coronavirus. However, even during the pandemic, we worked around 24 hrs from home on a roster basis and handled a considerable volume of shipments with the spirit of teamwork.
Q. Which sectors in the freight forwarding industry are growing, and which are not? What is the outlook of Pership?
A. In Sri Lanka, currently, the sea volume is increasing instead of air. Regarding the outlook of Pership, with 130 years of partnerships and relationships, we have gained the trust and admiration of all our partners as an ethical and robust ally in the South Asian region. So all we ask for is to hold our position as one of the top 10 freight forwarders in the country.
Q. From your own experience, which are the keys to success in the freight forwarding industry?
A.Teamwork, good communication skill, seeking new business opportunities, and a strong bond with customers are some of the main areas which freight forwarders should focus on.
These are precisely the main skills that makes Pership stand out in the market. We are a highly respected Sri Lankan group of companies, with a strong reputation for the highest level of integrity adhering to fair trading policies, that is to say, that we are one of the top 10 freight and logistics companies in Sri Lanka. Additionally, we are first in investing in the latest technologies and ventures -we have a progressive outlook and are always willing to explore new opportunities and embrace change. We also count on a highly competent and empowered workforce across all disciplines in the maritime and logistics industries, and have immense goodwill and excellent rapport with all stakeholders & suppliers.
Q. In your opinion, what does the freight forwarders industry lack? How would you think it should improve?
A. Governmental aid to boost the transportation industry is absolutely imperative for the success of the freight forwarders. The government should invite / support / give them the maximum benefits, encourage the investors to visit and invest in the power, shipping and airline industries.
Q. What are the main technological challenges facing freight forwarders at the moment? How important is FreightViewer for the industry?
A. Technology is of vital importance to any industry in the present times and freight forwarding is no exception. However, it has to be remembered that not all stakeholders are tech savvy. Clients are keen on knowing the location of their shipments at any given time which is why live navigation and sophisticated tracking systems of multimodal shipments are now a standard requirement and not a luxury. Freight forwarders need to implement the various technological innovations such as FreightViewer – to make their services more attractive for the customers.
Q. From your experience, what are the keys to success in the freight forwarding industry?
A. In Asia, people still expect a personal touch from the service providers. I have to admit that freight forwarders bridge the gap between carriers and customers world over who come from different cultures and operate at different times. We need to create the right balance between olden day practices and futuristic processes.