@ Bakoli, Delhi
April 5, 2014
Bakoli village, my destination for March 5, 2014 event, Google said was 42 km away from
home (Mehrauli) and predicted a 62 minute ride. Of course, subject to traffic conditions.
Actually, it took almost double that time. Yes, you’re right, blame it on traffic on Delhi roads
and lack of lane discipline among us.
20 plus years in Delhi and travelled NH1 ‘hazaar’ times on this super highway to Simla and
Chandigarh and crossed Bakoli crossing that many times. But never took notice of it. While
searching for this hamlet – nothing to do with the Shakespearian character – it threw up
another village by the same name: 545 km away in Uttar Pradesh, closer to Kanpur. And a ride
time of 6.49 hours. Amazing at this Google timing! Instantly I knew that was NOT my
But for Mansingh Jaswal, I would
have never known Bakoli. This
seasoned 3PL-er (ex-DHL and
equity partner in BLR Logistics)
jumped at the idea of hosting a
Road Safety “Do” at his approx
imately one lakh sq.ft Bakoli
warehouse – from where he’s
servicing Apollo Tyres & Grasim
RMGs (Ready Made Garments,
dude!) under Genex Logisolutions.
Flexiprint banners and buntings went up in a jiffy in this warehouse-dense ‘lal dora’ area
within the precincts of Delhi, the national capital. Curious to know what ‘lal dora’ is all about?
Okay, check out my ex-colleague Ramesh Menon’s blog here… ramesh-
What’s 3PL?... Third Party Logistics. Non-core activities of big companies are outsourced to
experts. Apollo Tyres, for instance managed by Genex, has given the responsibility of
distributing its tyres in the entire north. Apollo stuff, brought all the way from its plants in
Kerala, Gujarat etc and ‘godowned’ in Bakoli are dispatched to dealers in the north via Genex.
Of course, for a fee. To that extent, Apollo Tyres’ focus is on making tyres. Distribution is
parceled out to Mansingh, a logistics service provider. Got it? Yes, the warehouse is leased
and vehicles are again outsourced. He does not own much. Light Asset Format. Right, MJ?
What’s SAFER Roads. SAFER Lives? It’s a Road/Highway Safety Awareness Program. Surveys
showed that truck drivers knowledge of highway signage is dismal, leading to higher incidence
of accidents. Plus their lack of safety precautionary measures like wearing seat belts etc. This
interactive program is an engagement with this target group, with support from various
stakeholders. Plus lack of sleep or apnea leads to ‘driver fatigue’, another cause for accidents.
KRK Foundation hit upon the novel idea of donating soft pillows to truck drivers to help them
Genex’s Mansingh Jaswal assembled 25 odd drivers servicing his client Apollo Tyres and
Grasim RMG for an interactive session, conceptualised by KRK Foundation. These programs
are NOT just experts talking and others listening. It is more interactive and keeps the audience
engaged 100% with multiple interactive sessions. At the same time, ensuring the objective is
achieved: of educating them about safety steps while at the steering etc. All in their OWN
interest. And in the National interest too because accidents mean a net loss to the economy.
Ajay Srivastava of Toll Global Logistics explains the importance of “safety first” to the
audience. By the way, he is quite impressed with the safety awareness of this lot @ Genex.
But their knowledge about highways sign is nothing to crow about. Definitely a sorry state of
affairs. This driver, from Muzzafarpur/Bihar, defends himself saying that he was put to test by
RTO, Delhi before issuing driving licence several years ago. Was he driving blindfolded because
he has not seen these signages on highways? He brushes away such inconvenient questions
with a polite smile. Once they got licence, drivers believe there is no NEED to know or
understand highway signs. Dangerous, indeed.
By the way, these programs DO NOT allow participants to sleep through. Audience have to be
alert to happenings. Anyone can be picked up among themselves and asked to repeat what
their own colleague or expert has shared few minutes ago. Audience approval for repeat or
recapture performance is sought. This way, the same gyan (knowledge) is shared twice!
Luckily, all did well. Full grasp . Well done, folks!
All work and no play makes even Jack dull, no? So there is a bit of entertainment in the form
of blow and burst the balloon contest. Young assistants/kalasis are picked up for this activity
with the audience egging these balloon bu(r)sters with claps and catcalls. Subsequently,
others also participate.
Experienced drivers are called upon to share their safety tips with their own colleagues. There
is a consensus that three things cause accidents on highways: speed, drunken driving and
overload. Interestingly, there is also a unanimity that their take-home pay is low because their
owner (motor maliks), don’t make much money. Why? Freight rates have remained flat for
several years. How can owners pay out more if they don’t make big money? Drivers openly
ask. OEMs and 3PLs, are you listening? Improve your bottomlines through better efficiency in
other areas as well – beyond cutting down transporting cost. Explore your jugaad there too.
Syed Hasan, Senior Manager from Mahindra Logistics ,has a subtle sense of humour and the
audience is full of ears as he engages them with nuggets of juicy stuff. His biggest plus is his
familiarity with driver jargons! No wonder, he is a hit wherever he has addressed drivers as
part of KRK Foundation programs. Thanks, Syedbhai!
Meet 16-year old
Salmanbhai, yes, Salman
Khan! He wants to be a truck
driver and going through the
Talkative. He was called up to
come on stage to repeat
what the speaker has spoken
earlier. He did not disappoint.
Assigned to identify a well
dressed driver, he chose
Mansingh Jaswal(!), until he
was ruled out. One of the
first things he did after
walking in is to ‘grab’ another
driver’s ASDC cap and wear
it. Subsequently, he did
receive his own quota of cap,
soft pillow, biscuit, snacks
and, of course, balloon also!
Selvan Dasaraj, Vice President-CSR & Public Affairs of Mahindra Logistics, spoke on the
importance of wearing seat belt. “You’re not doing anyone any favour when you wear one. But
you protect your own life,” was his crisp and concise message to the assemblage.
Rajesh Jain, Senior Manager of Indian Oil, shared some tips on how to get the maximum
mileage out of fuel while on the go. Many drivers used the opportunity to seek clarity on the
usage of Indian Oil’s Fleet Card.
The “Safer Roads. Safer Lives” & “Donate Sleep” Campaigns ended with the customary group
photo with drivers and sponsors. Of course, Toll Global Logistics’ Ajay Srivastava made drivers
to PLEDGE collectively “Safety First” as the 2 hour program neared ending.
None wants their family members to get into this profession.
Fully aware of the looming shortage of truck drivers
Uttar Pradesh police, the most troublesome lot they face on highways
Corruption deep-rooted in every wing of government they deal with in Delhi
Motor Owners’s plight is pathetic
Desperate need for a freight revision by OEMs & 3PLs
95% of people on the client site they meet daily DON’T treat them with decency
To avoid/reduce accident son highways:
- Control on Speed
- No to Drunken Driving
Before signing off, it must be shared. Mansingh Jaswal is building a full-fledged Driver Rest
Room with toilet facilities that can accommodate 10-15 drivers waiting for load. More power
to you, MJ!