The 22nd Annual Ball of the Air Cargo Association of Hyderabad was celebrated on August 6, 2023, at The Park Hyatt in Banjara Hills, Hyderabad. This event holds special significance as it marks the Association’s flagship gathering, an occasion that had been suspended for the past three years due to the pandemic and other industry challenges.
With approximately 125 members, the Air Cargo Association encompasses a diverse range of stakeholders, including representation from about 30 airlines, the custodian – GMR, and other crucial entities in the supply chain. This year’s edition of the event saw the Association honoring three esteemed individuals, namely Mrs. Suchitra Choudhari, Mr. Gautam Dey, and Mr. B Govindrajan, for their exceptional contributions to the air cargo community in Hyderabad.
Originally called ‘The Air Cargo Club’, the Association used to offer recreational and welfare activities to its members and their families. Beyond this, since its establishment in 2001, the organization has taken the responsibility of providing industry-specific training for cargo agents and shippers. Notably, this training includes instructing members in Good Distribution/Storage Practices (GDP/GSP) considering the pivotal role the air cargo community plays in exporting over 80% of pharmaceuticals from Hyderabad. The Association has also actively organized awareness programs, seminars, picnics, and training sessions, such as a comprehensive ‘DG Packing’ training at the Indian Institute of Packaging.
Founded in the year 2001, the initial members of the Association were drawn from the trade and airline sectors. Notable figures among the founder members included C S Rajender, Joe Fernandez, Suchitra Choudhari, Subramanayam, and Satish Lakkaraju.
This year’s splendid Air Cargo Club Ball festivities were made possible through the support of various donors like GMR Cargo, Air Shagoon, Aerosail, Global Aviation, Cargomen Logistics, Va-q tech India Private Limited, Emballiso India Private Limited, Far N Par, SRP Logistics, Hermes Travel and Cargo, and Gubba Cold Storage Private Limited.
Over time, the Association’s Management Committee has consistently organized diverse programs, including knowledge-sharing sessions every 2nd Saturday for newcomers and beginners in the industry. This practice continued until the transition to the new Shamshabad Airport. During this transition, with the support of GMR and other industry leaders, the Air Cargo Association became the first of its kind to establish its own Club House on approximately 600 square yards of land near the RGIA at Shamshabad. This facility was designed to facilitate recreational and related activities for club members.
Today, the Air Cargo Association of Hyderabad operates under the governance of the Telangana State Government Societies Act and is fully compliant with tax regulations. The Association has grown significantly from its early years, expanding from around 60 members to over 150 members, including freight forwarders and airlines.
Looking ahead, the Association aims to diversify its membership to include commercial members such as custodians, charter operators, trucking, and cold storage companies, along with providers of passive and active solutions like Va-q tech, Emballiso, C-safe, Dokasch, and Envirotainer.
The current Management Committee is composed of President C. S. Rajender from GBR, Vice President K. Venugopal from Global Aviation, Vice President T. Amaranth from Far N Par, Honorary General Secretary Laurence Jacobi from Emirates SkyCargo, Treasurer Ram Singh from HTL Logistics, and Committee Members Tulasi D. Prasad from Transys Global Forwarding Pvt. Ltd., Anand Pillai from S R P Logistics, T. V. Vijay from Pro Cargo, Sudhakar from Sudarshan Cargo, P. Rajkumar from Emirates SkyCargo, and Sridhar from HTL Logistics.