In the realm of cargo, logistics, and airport operations, Malbarwala’s journey stands as a testament to dedication and adaptability. His foray into the freight forwarding industry commenced in 1977, and over the years, he has steered his ship to success, establishing offices across India and overseas. What makes his story truly remarkable is his ability to witness and embrace the industry’s transformative journey, spanning from the era of typewriters to the era of artificial intelligence.
His wisdom lay in the foundation of constant dialogue and alignment among all stakeholders
As the past president of ACAAI (Air Cargo Agents Association of India), Malbarwala achieved pivotal milestones that have left an indelible mark on the industry. His tenure allowed him to champion the cause of freight forwarders, collaborating with IATA, airlines, and government officials to advocate for industry interests.
Renowned for his collaborative leadership, he reflects on his tenure, emphasising the intricate art of managing diverse stakeholders. His approach was rooted in unity, as he consistently engaged with senior members of ACAAI and the Board of Advisors (BOA), fostering open dialogue and idea exchange. Malbarwala’s skillful leadership ensured that numerous challenges were successfully addressed through collective problem-solving, leaving an indelible mark on the organisation and the broader logistics industry.
M. Afzal T. Malbarwala, renowned as a collaboration catalyst, reflects on his strategic approach to nurturing engagement and alignment within the industry. Acknowledging the paramount importance of strong relationships, he underscores the necessity for ongoing dialogue and consensus-building with both internal and external stakeholders. His wisdom lies in recognising that every stakeholder is accountable to someone and that constant engagement is the key to alignment. He emphasises the essential harmony between government agencies ensuring compliance and business practitioners aligning industry requirements and customer expectations. With consensus achieved, the journey towards common objectives becomes merely a matter of time, solidifying his reputation as a master of collaboration.
Malbarwala, a beacon of industry wisdom, expounds upon his approach, which can be aptly described as “synergistic engagement.” In the relentless pursuit of industry growth and harmony, his methodology was elegantly straightforward yet remarkably profound.
His wisdom lay in the foundation of constant dialogue and alignment among all stakeholders. He understood that within the vast ecosystem of the industry, each entity bore its own unique set of responsibilities. Consequently, he placed unwavering emphasis on the establishment of consensus and collaboration. It was through these harmonious efforts that he bridged the chasm that often separated government regulations from industry requirements.
By fusing these elements, he ensured that the common objective was not an isolated destination but a collective journey towards success. Malbarwala’s vision was one of unity, where every stakeholder, regardless of their role, played a vital part in the symphony of progress, reinforcing the notion that true success is born from harmonious collaboration.
In a contemplation of India’s dynamic cargo, logistics, and airport operations, Malbarwala shares his insightful perspective on the industry’s transformation. India is swiftly emerging as the “factory to the world,” a development accompanied by its unique set of challenges. However, the industry eagerly accepts the responsibility of catering to the logistics required for this pivotal role.
Crucially, the government’s strong support is evident in the rapid development of infrastructure and the establishment of policies that complement the industry’s growth. Malbarwala wisely advises against fixating on specific percentage figures when envisioning growth, instead emphasising the need to prepare for various scenarios and unforeseen force majeure conditions.
To thrive in this evolving landscape, he advocates maintaining a well-stocked solution repository, embracing technology, and investing in innovative solutions as the most potent arsenal to navigate the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.
In offering guidance to young professionals eager to leave their mark in the industry, Malbarwala imparts timeless wisdom that spans generations. He underscores the universal truth that success has no shortcuts, echoing the oldest success story in the world.
To his energetic, tech-savvy colleagues, he provides three essential pieces of advice:
- Education and foundational knowledge are paramount, reminding them that Rome was not built in a day.
- Embrace the pursuit of answers, recognising that questions evolve over time, necessitating fresh solutions.
- Pay heed to the older generation, who possess invaluable experience. Engage in meaningful conversations, merge their perspectives with fresh ideas, and construct larger, stronger bridges. In this way, the bridge between generations can become a pathway to enduring success.