Defining a Business Strategy for a Freight Forwarding Company


The company was in the business of freight forwarding by air and sea since 1953 and is amongst the top 20 companies in India. It had a tie-up with an international player in which the company handled the operations while the international player handled the sales and customer acquisition. However the tie-up was subsequently terminated and the company had to set-up its own business development and customer acquisition activities. The company saw a dip in revenues, however recovered by initiating aggressive marketing and customer acquisition activities. It believed that it had significant potential to grow, however it requested UC to answer the following strategic questions:

  • What should be the overall strategic direction of the company?
  • How can the company instill pride and increase ownership levels amongst its people?
  • What success factors should the company pursue to attain a competitive advantage?
  • How should the company tap into its hidden customer base to increase its revenues?
  • What are the unmet needs of customers that can be satisfied by the company to ensure competitive advantage/ higher customer retention levels?
  • What technologies should the company adopt to ensure speedy delivery of its services to its customers?
  • How should the company maintain relationships with its customers and ensure high satisfaction levels with them?

Our Approach

To define the business strategy and address the client’s questions, UC followed the below approach:

  • Defined the industry structure
  • Conducted market analysis to assess the potential across various products/services, sectors/ routes, trade type (import, export, domestic), mode (air, sea, road, rail), type of cargo, industries, etc.
  • Conducted an internal capabilities assessment and identified opportunities for improvement in internal operations across -

    1) Market and sales

    2) Customer servicing

    3) Relationship management for customers and alliances

    4) Finance and accounts

    5) Human resources

    6) Information technology

  • Developed the growth strategy including the following parameters -

    1) Target segments

    2) Products and services

    3) Alliance focus

    4) Target industries

    5) Capability building agenda

    6) Implementation plan

    7) Organisation plan


The client received a detailed implementation plan including plans for financials, organisation structure and target segments.