According to an ASSOCHAM report, India spends close to 14% of its GDP on transportation and logistics, which is almost double of what other countries spend – around 8%. Besides, a Business Standard report on the Indian logistics market shares that India is growing by leaps and bounds in this sector and is expected to become a US$ 307 billion industry by the year 2020.
The Growing Demand for Skilled Supply-Chain Specialists
Amy Cathy, Executive Director of the supply-chain MBA program at University of Tennessee, Knoxville, gives a very precise version of what supply-chain is all about. According to her, in a supply-chain, one has to source goods, make them, and get them to consumers.
Apart from the growing demand of consumers, other contributing factors for skilled supply-chain specialists are technology and the global market.
Michael Hugos, the author of the book Essentials of Supply Chain Management, states that projected job growth is one of the major reasons for the booming of the industry along with the impact of technology and dynamic changes in the global market. He adds that the life of electronic goods is not measured in years but months, pushing companies to evolve their supply-chain systems.
If you are a supply-chain MBA aspirant, this breakdown of in-demand job roles will give you an idea of the scope of your career path in this field.
Industry Analyst – Responsible for interviewing personnel from manufacturing, logistics, warehousing, and procurement divisions to set up business processes and optimize supply-chain workflows.
Project Manager – Liaise with a team of consultants to ensure everyday operations take place without hassles, supervise the work of analysts, and ensure projects are delivered under agreed cost and time metrics.
Global Logistics Manager – From warehousing and distribution operations to planning, forecasting, managing customer service personnel, and taking care of logistics information systems, the global logistics managers have a number of tasks to oversee. Besides, they also come up with supply-chain metrics, strategize, negotiate and initiate contracts with suppliers and vendors, and supervise everyday operations.
Transportation Director – They oversee outbound and inbound delivery of materials and products from distribution centers, budget transportation costs, and maintenance carriers, supervise third-party transport vendors, and manage invoicing. They are also responsible for the smooth moving of the carriers and freights across frontiers.
Supply-Chain Sales Manager – They outsource tasks and work to third-party vendors who offer logistics solutions, connect and sell supply services, and manage accounts.
Supply-Chain Consultant – A consultant works with several companies, comes up with strategies for coordinating supply-chain processes, provides tips and insights, and optimizes processes. Consultants are in demand owing to logistics companies liaising with decentralized distribution centers in different countries.
Procurement Analyst – They work closely with a company’s purchasing department, analyze historical data, assess purchasing cost of materials, estimate future costs, and research and find prospective vendors. They also negotiate costs, initiate contracts, and manage suppliers once they are on board.
The pay scale of supply-chain specialists is lucrative in India and other international markets. The annual Salary Survey conducted by Logistics Management revealed that the base salary for supply-chain managers on average is $111,994 in the United States. In India, according to a PayScale study, the median average salary for supply-chain managers is Rs. 8 lakhs and that of a supply-chain consultant is Rs. 9 lakhs, both of which increase with experience.
How Globalization has Opened Up New Avenues for Supply-Chain Management Graduates
John Flower, Carey’s supply-chain management division’s chairman, shares that MBA graduates in the supply-chain sector will need to keep in mind the global market when taking up the course. In his words,”They will be working a global network of suppliers and a global network of customers.” When it comes to the required skills, he adds, “It requires the mental agility of a good stockbroker. You’re always weighing things. You’re always watching world markets.”
The statements hold weight as India is expanding rigorously in terms of infrastructure, supply-chain network, and working on waterways, railways, and cargo to meet the increasing demands. According to Business Standard, the ‘Make in India’ campaign and the estimated growth of the Cargo and Logistics in India by CAGR of 16% in the coming years are bound to create more opportunities in this sector. This indicates a promising and rewarding career path for an MBA graduate in supply-chain.1