Blue Dart Invest $8m To Strengthen South Markets

News Clip : The Hindu Business Line, Chennai.

03rd July, 2003.

Blue Dart Express Ltd has invested $8 million to strengthen its network in south India and acquired its fourth aircraft,according to Mr Gopa Kumar, Vice President, Blue Dart South. The company will open 12 offices in the southern States and will also appoint its regional service participants and delivery associates in others to cover a total of 198 cities and town in the South.

The company's plans to enter small towns such as Vellore, Cuddalore, Nellore Sivakasi, Tirunelveli, Warangal, Rajahmundry, Bellary, Devangere, Kottayam and Thrissur.

Mr Gopa Kumar said that this expansion is a strategic move as almost 30 per cent of the company's total business comes out of this region. The main drivers for the business are the financial, retail, IT, pharmaceuticals, garments and electronics sectors. More than the business emanating from these hubs there is a lot of traffic into these towns, he said.

Speaking about the company's whollyowned subsidiary, Blue Dart Aviation Ltd, Ms Tulsi N Mirchandaney, senior Vice President, Marketing and Projects, Blue Dart Express Ltd, said with the qcquisition of the new aircraft the company was in a position to consider further route expansion into neighbouring countries from the south.

The company has three Boeing 737 freighters to support its core business of door-to-door deliveries, time-definite logistics and supply chain demands to the last mile.

The expansion would be mainly funded by internal accurals and debt. The cost of the aircraft-Boeing-would be around $5 million and the remaining amount would be invested during this fiscal. Ms Mirchandaney said.

The total express market is estimated to be around Rs 2,500 crore with Blue Dart holding 38 per cent of the market share in the organised sector. The company grew at a rate of 13 per cent during the last year, Ms Mirchandaney said.

The company had decided to focus on the domestic business some time back and today around 80 per cent of the company's revenues came from domestic business.

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