Home >Companies >People >DHL to invest over €100 million in India in next 2 years: Frank Appel
Frank Appel, CEO, Deutsche Post DHL. Photo: S. Kumar/Mint
Frank Appel, CEO, Deutsche Post DHL. Photo: S. Kumar/Mint

DHL to invest over €100 million in India in next 2 years: Frank Appel

DHL CEO Frank Appel sees another growth opportunity for express, aviation, e-commerce and warehousing businesses

Mumbai: Deutsche Post DHL plans to invest more than €100 million in India over the next two years to create infrastructure for the same. DHL chief executive officer (CEO) Frank Appel said in an interview that India will leapfrog from mom and pop shops to straight away to e-commerce and that India is better prepared compared to China. Edited excerpts:

How much are you going to invest in India?

In next two years, we would be investing more than €100 million in India. It depends on how fast the economy will grow. The investment would be even more, if the Indian economy grows faster.

This €100 million would be invested where?

We want to expand our actvities even further. We see another growth opportunity for all of our businesses including express (small parcel transportation), aviation, e-commerce and warehousing. We are also seeing opportunities in freight-forwarding business. Our investment would be across all divisions.

You have chosen India to pilot your e-commerce business in Asia Pacific. How optimisitc you are?

There is a conversion of consumer market from retail to e-commerce. We are so well equipped with our capabilities in all market. We think that e-commerce is next phase of globalisation and retail market will convert to e-commerce space. And we believe we can make a significant contribution to our consumers.

Is India a mature market for e-commerce?

I think the timing is perfect. India will leapfrog from mom and pop shops to straight away to e-commerce. India had moved from almost no phone to most modern mobile phone. We will see the same for consumers buying online. India is better prepared compared to China.

India is hugely fragmented market. Are you coming early or late in the e-commerce space.

Time is perfect for India. Hence we brought Malcolm Monteiro as chief executive officer of DHL eCommerce Asia Pacific to drive this initiative. Most matured markets in terms of e-commerce include Germany, the US and the UK. In many countries, you have a problem with last mile connectivity. In many countries, there is a wish from a consumer, but capabilities are not there. We have experience to handle these.

What can go wrong?

I dont think anything will go fundamentally wrong as the opportunities are just too large in India. People will find a way to explore that.

How difficult is Indian market? What are the three things you wanted in India?

India is still quite challenging market. But you can make things easier. However, the government is looking at right dimensions to introduce reforms. Firstly, India needs put infrastructure in place. Secondly, India needs to open more. Prosperity depends on how open you are and how connected you are. Besides introduction GST (Goods and Services Tax), India should heavily invest in education to promote talent.

Any plans for delisting Blue Dart Express Ltd from Indian bourses?

We are very happy with current 75%. Anil Khanna has done a teriffic job.

Anil Khanna, managing director at Blue Dart Express, says that margins in e-commerce is 2-3% compared to other business.

We will not comment on margins. You can imagine we will never enter a market where we cannot make money.

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