The Air Cargo Forum India (ACFI), ahead of its Annual Conclave 2023 on 3rd May, hosted the Curtain Raiser and press conference for the event yesterday at the New Udaan Bhawan (New Delhi). Along with the President of ACFI, Mr. Yashpal Sharma, Director General, Mr. K.S. Kunwar, and Board Members Mr. Abdulla Ali Al Khallafi (Cargo Manager, Emirates SkyCargo), Mr. Satish Lakkaraju (Senior Vice President, Global Head – Air Freight & Pharma, WIZ Freight) and Mr. Keku Bomi Gazder (Managing Director and CEO, Aviapro Logistics Services), many eminent members of the air cargo fraternity were also present at the event.
It was a one-of-its-kind Curtain Raiser event, organised with the aim to enlighten the members of the media as well as the air cargo industry, about what the upcoming event would entail.
Ms. Sakshi Gupta (Country Manager – India, Air Logistics Group) welcomed the attendees at the event and guided the event through. Mr. Lakkaraju (Chairman – Event Management Task Pillar, ACFI) was the first to speak and set the context for the event. He gave a brief introduction of ACFI and its expansion since it was conceived.
During the Presidential Address, Mr. Sharma talked about the core principles of ACFI and its endeavors towards the expansion and holistic growth of India’s air cargo industry. He highlighted the work that ACFI has done in collaboration with the internal and external stakeholders of the industry, as well as other industry associations (domestic and international).
“There were two key objectives, among others, for which ACFI was formed. One was that we need to bring everyone together and all in – only if we are all together, we will be heard and seen properly, bringing all the right things to us. The second was how we can take the industry forward while increasing the air cargo’s share in the pie.”Mr. Yashpal Sharma, Managing Director, Skyways Group
The President’s address was followed by a brief about ACFI – its history, present initiatives and plans for the industry – by industry veteran and DG ACFI Mr. Kunwar. He talked in detail about the ACFI Taskforce Pillars, its regional chapters, collaborations with other trade bodies like TIACA, IATA, PHDCCI, and the Ministry of Civil Aviation. In his address to the audience, he also mentioned the initiatives which ACFI has managed to successfully bring to force, as well as those that are being worked upon by them.
Next on the event agenda were the sessions with the moderators of each of the panels scheduled for the Conclave on 3rd May. The moderators talked about the speakers on their panels, the idea behind the panel they’re leading and the major points of discussion.
Mr. Lakkaraju will be moderating the 1st panel ‘Air Cargo – The Business Galvaniser’, Mr. Sanjiv Edward (Vice-President ACFI and CEO – Cargo & Logistics, GMR Group) will moderate the 2nd panel ‘International Air Cargo – Opportunities and Challenges’, and Mr. Gazder will be moderating the 3rd panel ‘Domestic Air Cargo – Leveraging the Potential of Indian Domestic Cargo’.
The event concluded with the Vote of Thanks by Mr. Munish Davessar (Head – Cargo Business Development, GMR Group and Member – ACFI). While he thanked the media partners and members of the fraternity for attending the Curtain Raiser, he also talked about his anticipations from the event and how it may start the motion for inducing forward-looking changes in the Indian air cargo industry.