Unsung Hero: Power of simplicity and continuous learning

Unsung Hero: Power of simplicity and continuous learning

Nesal, a qualified cost management accountant and associate member of the Institute of Cost and Work Accountants of India, has had an impressive career as an independent director. He spent 12 years with Rohlig, leading the organisation’s finance, accounting, and taxation functions. During his tenure, he successfully established offices across Southeast Asia.

He is also a Director of there  global shared services Rohlig Blue Service India. He has extensively travelled in South Asia, managing expansion projects and fostering customer relationships. Prior to Rohlig, he worked with CH Robinson, contributing to their successful growth and acquisitions. 

His remarkable achievements include implementing GST within short time at Rohlig, a project recognised globally by the board of directors. Lalan’s expertise and dedication made him a key player in the logistics domain.

Challenges of Multinational acquisitions in India

In the context of the erstwhile acquisition, as per Lalan, multinational organisations faced challenges while entering the Indian market. As the acquisition involved taking over existing Indian companies instead of starting from scratch. The cultural mismatch posed a significant obstacle, as these MNC’s entities were originally proprietary-driven, and adapting to a more multinational approach, especially concerning the tax regime and working capital challenges, presented difficulties. Moreover, with the abundance of opportunities available in India, the dynamics of the business underwent a transformation. The shift towards implementing advanced IT solutions and moving from manual to automated processes brought technical challenges and a learning curve for employees. This cultural and operational shift from an Indian environment to a pro-American or European setup proved to be quite complex, especially for proprietary driven organization..

Essential Qualities for Success

According to Lalan, who has worked extensively in the industry, several key qualities are crucial for success. Firstly, one must focus on getting the basics right and be adept at providing customer-focused solutions. Additionally, possessing strong financial knowledge and technical expertise in the relevant domain is essential. Simplicity is also valued, keeping processes and approaches straightforward. Lalan has had the opportunity to travel and work with multinational companies, which has taught him the importance of understanding different cultures and motivating teams. His approach involves being customer-centric, providing solutions, and creating new business opportunities for the organisation.

Staying Updated

According to Lalan, staying informed about the latest trends and technologies in the industry is essential. To achieve this, he actively engages in various professional forums and organisations. As a participant in various CFO & Industry forum and the Institute of Directors, Lalan gained valuable insights into emerging developments. By interacting with industry experts and attending forums, he remains updated on market trends and upcoming advancements. Additionally, he keeps abreast of published data and information across different domains to further enhance his understanding and identify new opportunities for growth and development.

Proud Moments

As per Lalan, there have been significant incidents in his career where he had to engage in introspection and take a stand for the betterment of the industry or assist others, leaving him with a sense of pride.

One such remarkable project was the implementation of GST, which brought personal satisfaction. Additionally, Lalan and his team have actively collaborated with various NGOs, including to support community initiatives. For instance, they contributed by providing school furniture and computers to schools, ensuring an improved learning environment for children. Being part of such community projects has been fulfilling and reflects Lalan’s commitment to making a positive impact on society. His reputation in the industry speaks for itself, making him known for his realistic and practical approach.

Work-Life Balance

According to Lalan, effective planning plays a crucial role in his daily routine. He starts his day early, allowing ample time for scheduling meetings and tasks, which are often prepared in advance. This approach enables him to accommodate personal interests and family time, promoting a healthy work-life balance. Lalan takes pride in managing his team’s workload efficiently, ensuring that they do not work on weekends or for prolonged hours during audit days. This balanced approach reflects his leadership style, which motivates the team and stands out in the industry. He also encourages his team to take vacations and spend time with their families, recognising the importance of rejuvenation. The work culture has evolved over time, fostering a more balanced and family-friendly environment within the organisation.


As per Lalan’s advice for newcomers or those aspiring to pursue a career in the logistics industry, he emphasises the importance of simplicity and understanding the nuances of the trade. Knowing the terms of shipment and trade is essential, and always being open to learning and embracing new technologies is crucial for growth.

Regarding structuring and streamlining the industry, Lalan believes it requires a partnership between the government and private entities. He acknowledges the government’s efforts to invest in infrastructure, such as roads, railways, and industrial corridors. Additionally, the growing interest of multinational corporations in setting up shop in India indicates a positive trend. Logistics is now recognised as an independent industry, unlike in the past, and the public-private partnership approach is proving effective. Lalan is optimistic about the industry’s future, with customers being well-informed due to the accessibility of information online. The implementation of GST has also facilitated nationwide business operations, positioning India as a promising investment destination with its demographic advantage.

 Hence, simplicity, a strong grasp of trade nuances, and continuous learning are vital for success in the logistics industry.

By interacting with industry experts and attending forums, he remains updated on market trends and upcoming advancements

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