Radharamanan Panicker: Setting The Benchmark For Excellence & Ethical Leadership In Dangerous Goods Handling | CEOInsights Vendor
Radharamanan Panicker: Setting The Benchmark For Excellence & Ethical Leadership In Dangerous Goods Handling

Radharamanan Panicker: Setting The Benchmark For Excellence & Ethical Leadership In Dangerous Goods Handling

Radharamanan Panicker,  Managing Director

Radharamanan Panicker

Managing Director

Radharamanan is an exemplary figure in the logistics industry, prioritizing safety and compliance, particularly in Dangerous Goods logistics. Experienced, ethical and knowledgeable leaders like him lead operations in high precision, compliance-centric fields. Their expertise is pivotal in ensuring safety, efficiency and regulatory adherence, as even the slightest oversight can lead to significant consequences. Radharamanan’s decade long career reflects unwavering dedication to excellence, integrity and ongoing learning, setting a standard for others and safeguarding both organizations and the wider community.

Below is an excerpt of his exclusive interaction with CEO Insights magazine.

How has your professional journey been so far?
It has been a 35-years long journey in express logistics, airport cargo handling and now dangerous goods logistics. Spent seven years Elbee Express(then service partner of UPS), involved in domestic network development & Operation. A pivotal moment came when I got the opportunity to manage a startup called Cargo Service Center India (CSC) focused on airport cargo ground services in India, on behalf of KLM Royal Dutch airline, which I led for 19 years. This journey was in essence the most exciting part of my career as it involved working in a changing regulatory environment and airport privatization movement which saw 4 airports getting privatized or developed privately. Having established the company firmly in India, I left that organization in 2014, to take full complete ownership of DGM India, a niche logistics firm specializing in dangerous goods logistics, compliance and regulatory training business. Though self learned man, I also acquired an Executive MBA from XLRI Jamshedpur and various skill-based qualification certificates, enhancing my expertise in supply chain management, cargo handling, business finance and valuation.
With 35 years in the industry, what's been your success mantra? Can you share significant milestones?
My success mantra is made of perseverance, hard work, honesty and continuous learning. Never accepted No for an answer and thrived on challenges, using obstacles to fuel my determination to success. I constantly innovating to improve cost and process efficiency, always focusing on customer satisfaction and valuing the contributions of my people.

My success mantra are perseverance, hardwork, & appetite for continuous learning

My association with organization like CII, Indian Society for Training & development and Cool Chain Associates, an international think tank, enhanced my business perspective.

Three most important milestones include Breaking through the regulatory barriers in airport service sector to firmly establish CSC in India. setting up A 2500 sq.met multipurpose Perishable and temperature controlled facility at Mumbai airport and a 50,000 sq.mt. integrated cargo terminal project in Delhi airport.

How would you define Dangerous Goods Management India as an organization and its current position in the market?
Transporting dangerous goods by ocean and air necessitates strict compliance with international and national regulations due to inherent hazards. This entails understanding regulation aspects, identification, classification, packaging, marking, labeling, and document preparation (Shipper's declaration). The broad range of dangerous goods presents numerous challenges. In response, Dangerous Goods Management (DGM) was established globally in the 1990s.

While Europe and America maintain stringent compliance requirements, India lacks a robust regulatory framework for overseeing dangerous goods transportation. DGM India founded in 2005 aims to address this gap, focussing on dangerous goods transport compliance.

Over the past two years, we expanded our service into general logistics, including freight forwarding, and are exploring opportunities in warehousing. Our journey involves continuous adaptation and expansion to meet evolving customer demands.
We're also exploring opportunities to enter the warehousing sector, aligning with global DGM trends. It's an ongoing journey of adaptation and expansion to meet evolving customer demands.

Tell us about your leadership approach. What are the guidelines or methodologies you follow as a leader?
My leadership style is mixture of being affiliative and pacesetter. I give my team lot of scope and freedom for taking operational decision. I am not a laid back leader, but lead from the front. I would always push my people hard. But what I couldn’t do myself, I would never push others to do it. I have also focused on developing my subordinates with the idea that they should be in leadership pipeline. Many people who worked under me are now occupying important senior or top management position in their current organization.

What is the future destination you are heading towards?
I am at that stage where I have achieved what I wanted to in the first phase. Now post 60, the second phase begins. I now need to push my business into the high growth stage. Warehousing is one area which is now a priority. Simultaneously, we're intensifying our focus on training, which offers a robust contribution margin, to bolster our cash flow for expansion. We're also actively seeking financial partners or strategic partnership or investors to infuse capital into our growth initiatives and enhance our long term sustainability.

In light of your strong experience within the industry, what advice would you give to budding industry leaders?
Leadership is deeply personal, and everyone must cultivate their unique style. Amidst numerous options, it's crucial to allow time for settling into a leadership role. Aspiring leaders must invest time in developing their competencies and persevere in learning new skill. Confidence comes from enduring challenges and working diligently to maintain a top position. Market themselves to stakeholders their leadership competencies.

Radharamanan Panicker, Managing Director, Dangerous Goods Management India
Radharamanan Panicker is a seasoned logistics professional with over three decades of experience. Holding an Executive MBA from XLRI Jamshedpur, his expertise lies in logistics management & compliance of dangerous goods, perishables and pharmaceutical. He's known for ethical leadership, innovation, and a commitment to excellence in a dynamic industry.

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