Snehal Khedkar, Principal Logistics Specialist in Supply Chain-Commercial Strategies Fluor Daniel
The traditional jobs are restructuring as per the new technological requirements; this is a great opportunity to drive gender diversity and to refine and groom fresh graduates to match the changing skill-sets.

I enjoy analytical thinking, acquiring technical knowledge, and providing solutions to technical challenges.

I have over 12 years of experience in the Shipping and Logistics industry, both domestic and international. My area of expertise is Project Logistics - mainly heavy lift transportation and shipping. As a graduate in Mechanical Engineering, I was constantly told that women would always have to work twice as hard to earn respect and gain credibility in a male dominated industry.

My first field assignment was at L&T Hazira Fabrication Yard for the logistics of heavy modules after joining my first job at Lift & Shift (road/barge transport specialized in hydraulic, SPMT trailer). The assignment was part of my three-month training on the field and included supervising the day and night logistics operations as per the tides in the river channel of Hazira, besides working on the ships and handling 3000 MT single piece modules.

It was an extensive learning environment; at times, I was the only woman on the jetty. But I am grateful to my colleagues, clients, and contractors who appreciated my work and supported me.

The scale of projects I worked on gave me an insight on how different and challenging the Logistics industry could be - where every equipment and project item needs to be moved differently every time, and the amount of engineering that goes into heavy operations.

Before joining Fluor, my first 8 years were in the core transportation and logistics area. I worked with Aprile (freight forwarding), Sarjak (ODC container specialist), and Jumbo Shipping (heavy lift). I gained extensive knowledge of end-to-end logistics. My clients were from diverse sectors like Energy, Chemicals, Petroleum, Mining, and Infrastructure. The opportunities that came my way enhanced my potential in the field of logistics and led to my professional growth.

Working with clients like L&T, Essar, IOCL, and KNPC developed my interest in the Oil & Gas sector and led me to enroll in the Executive Petroleum Management Course. I had the flexibility to study while continuing with my job.

I subsequently got a job with Fluor – an EPC company - as a part of their Logistics Competency Centre.

Working at Fluor has been a remarkable experience where I utilize my engineering, logistics, and petroleum management learnings.

At Fluor, I am accountable for Global Project evaluation and estimation, RFQ preparation, and contract finalization, maintaining overall profitability of the project with strategic cost saving solutions. I am also a program manager for the Logistics Supplier Pre-Qualification Program.

I have experience in ODC cargo, heavy engineering equipment, and modular transport with competency in technical as well as commercial aspects of the project. My expertise lies in cost estimation, project management, contractor risk analysis, and project execution. In Fluor, I have managed mining project –Spence – a copper processing facility. I was coordinating all offshore material deliveries from global suppliers to the project location in Altacama desert in Chile.

Currently, I am working on LNG Canada Project, which is a natural gas liquefaction plant and marine terminal export facility near Kitimat, Canada. I am responsible for the logistics of material procured from 102 different suppliers to the project. It is challenging working in this pandemic as most of the resources are working from home.

Fluor Daniel has a culture that fosters a healthy work environment where work life balance is achieved. The company is supportive of women and they are encouraged and empowered to take ownership of their responsibilities - creating a path for them to become future leaders. Fluor gave me very good opportunities: I was assigned to the first mining project and I travelled to Chile to have a better alignment with the head office. I represented Fluor in global platforms like Breakbulk-Middle East Conference in Dubai, where I learnt to deal with global logistics partners. I was the only woman panelist at one of the biggest logistics conferences in Delhi.

Women face discrimination every day and have to prove themselves time and again.

A female co-worker is assumed incompetent or less knowledgeable than her male counterparts. To give an example, if a manager has to assign an employee for an international job, he may not even consider a woman as he will assume that because of her child or her family she will not be able to manage. Such unfounded perceptions kill many opportunities for women workers. Fortunately Fluor has been very good in giving equal opportunity

Conventionally, the supply chain was considered as a heavy lifting and fieldwork job, but this is not the case now. Due to digitization, organizations have a more integrated approach in recruiting women and there are more openings for them in various departments like sales, marketing, operations or in the fabrication yards.

My advice to the next generation of women in the supply chain industry is learn every aspect of the business and not just what is required of your job.

At Fluor Daniel, we have special program named GROW - Growing Representation and Opportunities for Women.

Many organizations have training programs to train entry-level women candidates so that they can progress in their career. Flexible work policies do wonders for women as it gives them a stress-free environment. The contribution of women in the company is celebrated in various forums, meetings, and events, which empowers them and leads to their retention. Demonstration of such inclusion has helped women gain respect and feel valued at their workplace.

Principal Logistics Specialist in Supply Chain-Commercial Strategies Fluor Daniel

GROW’s charter is for women and men to cultivate opportunities to attract, retain and develop women. It helps in getting a qualified and diverse workforce at all levels. We also have a Mentorship program; it makes a huge difference to have a mentor develop and promote you in both your professional and personal fronts.

Fluor leads by example as we have a good mix of both men and women in senior leadership roles. When you have vibrant senior women in the workplace, they become role models for young women, who are then inspired to achieve more in their profession.

To go from “only doing things” to “becoming great assets to the employer” women employees need the opportunities to gain visibility across the organization.

The increasing adoption of intelligent robotic automation is changing the nature of work and affecting the end-to-end supply chain. Today’s machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) are a giant leap forward for the supply chain industry. The traditional jobs are restructuring as per new technological requirements. This is a great opportunity to drive gender diversity to refine and groom fresh graduates to match the changing skill sets. The steps I think logistics companies need to involve to attract women in the supply chain industry are:

-Assess and examine the policies, corporate culture companies are providing to employees. Areas they are lagging in terms of equal opportunity, equal pay, incentives, and the support system for women.

-Support scholarship, internship programs in high schools / colleges to encourage women to make a career in the logistics sector.

-Ensure that men are involved in the initiatives and policy making to increase the likelihood of success as they will support and become good team mates to their female colleagues.

-Family friendly policies should be applied to both men and women for better work-life balance.

-Senior leaders need to help young women navigate the path between “only doing things” to “becoming great assets to the employer” and simultaneously gain visibility across the organization.

Technology will be the key driver of growth in supply chain in the next 5 years, and a skilled workforce will play an important role as we implement digitalization.

The Covid-19 crisis has made the industry realize the need for a robust IT infrastructure and to increase focus on implementing technologically advanced digital solutions to streamline operations across the supply chain. All verticals like international supply chain, freight forwarding, contract logistics, container shipping, rail and road transportation, CFS/ICD management, and warehousing are upgrading to technology to improve efficiency.

Blockchain and a connected ecosystem will be another key aspect in the transformation to a digital era.

A skilled workforce will play an important role as we implement digitalization. Conventional experience and the new generation of creative mindset need to work together to match the changing business environment and be sustainable. An increasing number of women employees in this industry will be another major trend in the near future; they will not be limited to support desk jobs but will be seen in leadership positions too.
National Logistics Policy - A Guide and Driving Force for India’s New Phase of Growth
In a visionary move, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has launched the National Logistics Policy to improve the competitiveness of Indian goods, enhance economic growth and development of infrastructure, and increase

Read more ...

Favourable demand sentiments support growth momentum for road logistics sector; outlook remains stable: ICRA
The domestic road logistics sector is expected to continue its growth momentum in FY2023 supported by the accelerated pace of business activities, following a healthy growth in FY2022. Ratings agency, ICRA maintains

Read more ...

Strong demand drives industrial and warehousing leasing by 9% YoY: Colliers
During Jan-Sep 2022, Industrial & Warehousing demand witnessed a 9% rise on a YoY basis with a total gross absorption of 17.5 mn sqft across the top 5 cities in India. Demand remained resilient during the third

Read more ...

World premiere of Goldhofer FT Series
With the presentation of Goldhofer’s latest world first in the form of the »FT-SERIES« at bauma Munich 2022, we have definitely hit the bull’s eye and introduced a vehicle that will change the transportation market for years

Read more ...

Faymonville Group showcases three product brands: MAX Trailer, Faymonville, and Cometto at bauma Munich
The new BladeMAX1000 from Cometto made its world premiere at bauma Munich. With a lifting capacity of 1000 mT, this blade lifter is by far the strongest of its kind on the market. Such a special vehicle is used to safely transport the latest

Read more ...

Innovative, economical, and practical transport solutions from TII
Transport and manoeuvring solutions from TII offer unlimited application possibilities. At bauma 2022, TII brands, TII SCHEUERLE and TII KAMAG expanded their range of transport solutions and value-added services for the construction and energy

Read more ...

MEILLER showcases new TRIGENIUS® range of tippers
MEILLER displayed its new TRIGENIUS® range at bauma Munich. For the first time, MEILLER has given a unique name to the new three-way tipper generation which premiered at the IAA Transportation. A design derived from a single source, the range

Read more ...

Schwarzmüller presents more than 100 vehicle types for the construction and infrastructure sector
Schwarzmüller Group has significantly extended its product range for construction and infrastructure businesses. At bauma Munich 2022, it showcased a new hybrid tipper, new telescopic trailer for the transportation of construction materials

Read more ...

AI Logistix’s new brand promises green deliveries with zero carbon emission
AI Logistix’s new brand highlights its vision, mission, and motto. As a young company its logo in red colour aimed to reflect the dynamism of the young company. But now, having established itself, the company is focussing on being seen

Read more ...

Overcoming the  Deterrents in India’s Logistics System
According to data published by Indian Investment Grid, an initiative of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, in 2021 India’s logistics sector was valued at $160 billion and employed over 22 million people directly. It is expected to grow at a CAGR of 10% to $215 billion

Read more ...

ODD Dimension Cargo (ODC) And Its Handling
Prof. Yogesh Bhandari presents the challenges in ODC handling at airports and suggests necessary precautions and measures. Cargo, also known as freight, refers to goods or produce being transported from one place to another by water, air or land.

Read more ...

Indian businesses transporting more than 76% of goods via railways; expect to increase further
Businesses in the western region are the most optimistic about export freight demand and are already transporting more than 76% of goods via railways. More than 40% of businesses expect cost of transportation to

Read more ...

Bridge Section Installed as per schedule with the help of Innovative Equipment from Mammoet
The Rhine Bridge in Leverkusen is a heavily frequented section of Germany's A1 highway. In order to adapt the bridge to the increasing traffic volumes, it will be replaced with

Read more ...

Goldhofer to offer Next Gen solutions for the construction and heavy-haul industries
How can a wide range of heavy haul operations be handled reliably, sustainably and above all on a cost-effective basis? Practical answers to this key question for the construction and heavy-haul industries will be provided by the impressive exhibits that Goldhofer

Read more ...

Elixia Tech Solutions paving the way for technology integration and automation in logistics
Mumbai-based Elixia Tech Solutions is an ISO 9001: 2010 certified company that aims to use high-end technology for providing comprehensive software solutions for transportation, logistics, and supply chain management across industries

Read more ...

Transportation, Skidding and Launch of India’s Biggest TBM 'Mavala' by Freight Wings
The Coastal Road Project in Mumbai by Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) required 3.45 km twin undersea tunnels to be constructed, starting from Priyadarshini Park and ending at Girgaum Chowpatty. BMC awarded the construction of this Coastal Road

Read more ...

ICRA Report - Favourable demand sentiments to fuel growth in road logistics sector; outlook continues to be stable.
Rating agency ICRA has maintained a stable outlook for the Indian Road logistics sector. Accelerated pace of business activities and lower lockdown-linked restrictions from H2 FY2022 aided faster recovery in revenues for FY2022. The growth momentum

Read more ...

What’s Driving Growth of India’s Logistics Industry?
A recent report of ICRA states that the Indian logistics sector is projected to record a growth of 7-9% in the current fiscal; however, the industry players' margins are likely to remain sensitive to risks like the rise in oil and commodity

Read more ...

The Changing Nature of India’s Logistics Industry
Ashok Goyal, MD, BLR Logistiks, discusses the Indian logistics industry’s progress from a manual to an automated industry due to the increasing use of technology to drive efficiencies, reduce delays and accidents by eliminating

Read more ...

Tara Chand Logistic Solutions Offering Value-Added Services
With over 35 years of experience, Tara Chand Logistic Solutions is today positioned amongst the leading infrastructure development service providers in India. Himanshu Aggarwal, Director, Tara Chand Logistic Solutions, discusses the company’s

Read more ...

Sign-up for Free Subscription
'India Construction Week'
Weekly e-Newsletter on Construction Industry
Get the latest news, product launches, projects announced / awarded, government policies, investments, and expert views.
Click here to subscribe.