François de Senneville, Lawyer specialised in international tax issues
Representing nearly a quarter of the Rogers group workforce, Velogic has established a global reach that allows the company to propose logistic solutions adapted to meet the needs of its customers around the world.
A core activity of Rogers since its creation in 1899, the trans-border trade of goods has strengthened over the past forty years into a complete and integrated logistics platform combining land, sea and air transportation services covering eight different territories. 25 years ago, in a bid to fully exploit their potential to cover different markets, Rogers opted to offer their logistics and supply chain services globally.
In 2009, with the aim of consolidating all of Rogers’ logistics and supply chain services, Velogic was launched. The brand established itself as a large-scale operator that masters the complexities of international trade. By integrating the best solutions available, they are able to meet the needs of their diversified clientele, which comprises of multinationals, airlines, marine transportation companies, vessel inspection companies and freight forwarders, among others. Velogic is able to propose end-to-end services, from the supplier, in any country, to the final destination.
From Mombasa to Dhaka via Roissy, the Velogic network has branches on three continents with a total of 28 offices outside of Mauritius. The strategic establishment of the brand in various locations, including France, India, Madagascar, Mozambique, Reunion, Bangladesh and Kenya, allows it to extend the expertise that it has forged over the years.
Currently, the range of services offered by Velogic includes freight forwarding services, customs clearance, inland transportation, warehousing, container services, as well as marine transportation (through Rogers Shipping Pte Ltd in Singapore, and Southern Marine & Co Ltd in Mauritius), an exhibition centre and the packaging of speciality sugars. The success of the network is largely due to constant communication between the different offices, as well as effective sales strategies and joint visits to customers.
Driven by experienced personnel and a robust information system, Velogic also maintains excellent relations with other airlines, agents and marine transportation companies throughout the world. A major strength of Roger’s logistic centre also lies in its various certifications, accreditations and affiliations. Velogic is a member of the World Cargo Alliance (WCA), the first independent network of freight forwarders in the world, as well as the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (CILT), the International Air Transport Association (IATA), the International Federation of Freight Forwarders Association (FIATA), the Intergovernmental Organisation for International Carriage by Rail (OTIF), the FETA Freight Systems International (FFSI) and the overall global logistics networks GPLN, among others.
This network continues to grow, both nationally and internationally, notably with the acquisition of Mechanical Transport Ltd (MTL) a few years ago. This acquisition allowed Velogic to extend its services in Mauritius to include the transportation of heavy or large loads of sugarcane and coal. In 2016, the brand also initiated its incursion in East Africa with the acquisition of two Kenyan companies engaged in customs clearance and land transportation. In this light, Velogic plans to carry on extending its network by taking advantage of lucrative opportunities that arise on the market.
Logistics with added value
“A one-stop shop”
André de Comarmond, Managing Director – Océan Indien
André de Comarmond joined the company back in May 2007 and was recently appointed as Regional Manager for the Indian Ocean. He explains that the added value of Velogic lies in its one-stop service. “The customer simply needs to contact us and we fully carry out the job for them. If necessary, our own network or network of agents is fully deployed, for example in situations where we must pick-up products from our client’s supplier,” he says. André specifies that the know-how and the professionalism of the Velogic team are a strong point and that solid ties are entertained with all the key operators in the different sectors, in particular the marine and airline companies, the Board of Investment (BOI), the Mauritius Revenue Authority (MRA) and the Mauritius Ports Authority (MPA). He also commends “the men and women who work tirelessly in the different countries for which I am responsible,” as well as the support from management and his
Steady progress since 2012
Tony Yue Chi-Ming, Country Manager – Madagascar
“Every year since 2012, Velogic Madagascar progresses be it in terms of sales turnover or profitability,” declares Tony Yue Chi-Ming, based in Madagascar since 2001 and managing director since January 2013. The company has been present there since 1993 and accounts for the four largest freight forwarders in Madagascar. Although they’ve diversified their portfolio in 2009, their principal activity remains the textile industry, delivering to France mainly. “We have customers in all sectors including agribusiness, mass distribution and the pharmaceutical industry. We also obtained the contract for the World Food Programme by invitation to tender and we diversified more recently to oil and aeroplanes spare parts logistics.” With 120 employees in eight offices – three in Antananarivo and one in each of the following cities: Mahajanga, Tamatave (the main port), Antsirabe, Fort Dauphin and Tuléar – Velogic also acts as the freight forwarder for the majority of the Mauritian duty-free zone companies which were relocated to Madagascar.
Indispensable in the Indian Ocean region.
Sylvain Girard, Regional Manager – Europe
“Velogic is a major player in the Indian Ocean market,” claims Sylvain Girard, European regional manager. On the job since November 2015, he was also responsible for Velogic Madagascar from 1997 to 1999. A team of 37 is employed throughout its five offices in Roissy, Lille, Dunkirk, Le Havre and at the Lyon airport. The activity of the logistic centre of Rogers in France is comprised of up to 80% textile products, distributed mainly in the Indian Ocean region, with 75% of import-export in countries such as Bangladesh, India, Mauritius, Madagascar and Pakistan. “We are also starting to get significant contracts with Asia,” points out Sylvain, who has 25 years of experience in international transport. Operating in France for nearly 25 years, the company opened R’Frigo in 2009, a subsidiary company in partnership with Seafrigo for air transport of perishable goods. Velogic France currently focuses on maintaining the development of its business with customers who’ve been loyal to the company over the last 20 years, and also the reviewing of its operational approach in its various agencies.
Same end-to-end brand.
Nawaz Gobindram, Regional Manager – Indian subcontinent
“Velogic is the only Mauritian logistics company present in India. It’s really a challenge to adapt to the country, to understand its culture and local specificities,” states Nawaz Gobindram, the regional manager for the Indian sub-continent since 2010 (after having spent his first three years within the company in Madagascar). Today, the brand has six offices in the Indian Peninsula – in New Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Bangalore, Tiruppūr and Tuticorin – and a workforce of 52 employees. “We are planning to establish ourselves in Kolkata and Ahmedabad and we have a franchise which operates under the Velogic brand in Bangladesh, with offices with Dhaka and Chittagong,” adds Nawaz. The textile industry represents most of Velogic operations in the region. “We represent the most renowned French brands, which we already assist in Mauritius and Madagascar. The fact that one company manages the products from end-to-end builds the customer’s confidence,” reveals Nawaz. The Velogic India portfolio has gradually expanded in a price-sensitive market to include kitchen equipment for local customers, as well as ‘Karma Healthcare’, wheelchairs, pharmaceutical products and spare parts,
First step towards expansion in East Africa.
Mehul Bhatt, ancien Regional Head, East and Southern Africa et membre du conseil d’administration de Velogic Kenya
Kenya is the latest addition to Velogic; with 208 employees it has the second-largest workforce. Previously part of the company’s board of directors, Mehul Batt was recently named the regional manager for Eastern and Southern Africa. Now fully integrated into Velogic’s network, the customs clearing and road transportation companies were acquired in 2016 in partnership with CIEL group’s Kibo Fund. This move “acts as a first milestone for the implementation into a broader reach in East Africa”, reveals Mehul. In the initial phase following the takeover, it was necessary to introduce systems, processes and necessary controls to ensure effective management. “The building process is not yet finished, but we have come a long way,” he adds. Freight forwarding services were added to the spectrum of services offered. Velogic Kenya is also gradually getting involved in trans-border activities with nearby countries such as Uganda, Tanzania and even Malawi, while continuing its efforts to increase its market share in its existing trades. Distribution is another field of great interest for the brand, provided that it proves to be lucrative, maintains Mehul.