Anyone who has had the pleasure of becoming Datuk Kumars’ friend, will quickly learn that he is a very private man. In a classic story of rags to riches, here is a being of whom; business was neither handed down to nor needed a degree to learn what it takes to be an entrepreneur. Born and bred in Ipoh, he quickly learned as young adult that he would have to make his way to the city of Kuala Lumpur if he wanted to make it in life. His core of which makes him a passionate fighter, has time and again, enabled him to conquer the dreams he sets his mind to.
After finishing Form 5 at the Sultan Yusof School (SYS) Batu Gajah, this young man embarked from his home, on a solo journey to KL in pursuit of his dream to become an accountant. He began studies in accountancy at the Stamford College and also landed a job as an accountant. Shortly after, a series of fortunate events led him to join a logistics company, where he served as an accountant for 7 years before diverging into other areas to develop his knowledge, such as marketing, operations and after sales service, to name a few. Meanwhile, the accountancy lectures remained in his schedule, taking place for 3 hours at night. This very significant part of the journey would lay out, not only the foundations of automotive shipping for him but the grooming in the amount of effort required to run an operation of this scale.
At the age of 32, a turning point decision was made to leave the firm, when the opportunity to start his very own company came into being. Thus, Able Shipping Sdn. Bhd. begun, formed with a core team of young and enthusiastic men and women, sharing the same vision of success. They formed strategic relationships with customers based on trust and profits soared slowly but surely. At another crossroad in 2001, a motion was made to leave Able Shipping. A decision which was hard to take in, as it threatened a loss to what they had toiled so hard to build. Nevertheless, in true spirit of determination and entrepreneurism, he picked himself up and put himself back together and forged on. His mission now was to go in search of a vessel and figuring out the means of financing that vessel, without much capital in hand. Change is always going to constant, to survive, one must adapt to the circumstances and rise above it to foresee the oncoming impact of change. His departure from Able Shipping, though may have initially brought about much distress, paved the path for Giga Maritime Group to come about.
Being the passionate entrepreneur that he is; upon announcing his departure from Able Shipping, the core employees of the firm stood in solidarity with him and they left in unison. Giga Shipping; his second venture, was initiated in 2001, with less than 10 employees; allegiances with colleagues and friends who remain with the company till this very day. Recently celebrating its’ 16th Birthday, Giga Shipping remains as the one stop centre for all customers wishing to move their automotive vehicles into Roll-On-Roll-Off vessels plying between the Eastern & Westerns Ports of Malaysia. Acknowledging the importance of having strong and reliable partnerships, Giga Shipping went into partnership with NYK in 2002, with that, Strait Auto Logistics’ the ship owning arm of the group was formed. Yamimizu Shipping & Neptune Reliance, too, remain as crucial partners to the operations of the group. Expanding its’ supply chain, Nexus Mega Carriers was bought over in 2008; at that point NMC owned a meagre 60 units of car carriers, today it operates with close to 150 car carriers of various types and motorcycle carriers, in Peninsula Malaysia as well as Sarawak.
Recent advancements in the group includes the launch of Hino Truck Carriers which bring the benefits of transporting up to four units of less than two tonne chassis in one instance. The benefits of this include, zero mileage on chassis & zero tire usage until delivery to dealers, reduction of damage by flying debris as well as the time and cost savings of transporting four units at a time, in comparison to conventional methods whereby a single truck would be driven to the dealers. In February 2017 the transport division also implemented a Route Planning module, which automates the planning of loads for deliveries across Malaysia. Tied in together with this is the deployment of mobile devices to drivers, whereby they receive their trip plan for the day and proceed to deliver the units via e-delivery. The groups’ quality control team have also begun using mobile devices to perform an e-survey of chassis in all buy-off points across the supply chain. The immediate benefits which are visible are reductions in paper usage, real time update of information, a reduction in time to search for a document, transparency and better control in driver movement, as well as a reduction in data entry personnel.
Giga Maritime Group today employs a multiracial 400 employees & its’ revenue for the year 2015, was recorded at close to RM175 Million. In the last two years, the group has focus on developing its’ Information Technology platform, with its final goal of vehicle tracking and e-survey in the pipelines to go live by year end. DKP is also Managing Director of Carnauba Autospa, the first professional car detailing centre which was established in Malaysia. DKP prides all his company’s as being built on sound investments and strong foundations.
DKP is principally a family man; this motivates his determination to continuously do better than the day before in all his endeavours. DKP has also completed two full marathons and three half marathons, he continues to incorporate running into his weekly health routine. Some of his hobbies include, Driving, Golfing, Photography & Flying Drones. DKP took up golfing in 2012 and his best net score accomplished a few weeks back, was 66 (Handicap 24); played in Japanese tournament consisting of 16 flights; needless to say, he was announced champion of this tournament. This is best described by the motto ‘it’s never too late to learn something new’. When he sets his mind on an endeavour, he dedicates a lot of effort into ensuring its’ success. He practices a ‘never give up’ attitude towards work and life, which he has displayed over the years; despite the many obstacles that may have come by; from macroeconomic factors such as changes in the market forces, financial crisis’s, fluctuation in oil prices all the way down to the microeconomic factors which come about from employee transgressions and the trials of family life. DKP was awarded his Datukship in the year 2011. He very gracefully, balances between the familial, work and social segments of life, as he weathers the storms which stand in the way of the groups’ future and steers a clear path for a brighter outlook.
In the mid of 2017, Datuk Kumar embarked on yet another new beginning by attending an executive education program at Harvard Business School. His participation in Harvard’s OPM brings forth a lot of positive changes for both himself and Giga Maritime Group. Leadership and Operations have become a top focus as Datuk Kumar fights against time to raise the bar for all at Giga Maritime Group.