|Vol. 21 No. 23||
Tuesday May 31, 2022
Bharat Jamnadas Thakkar Was
The death of Bharat Jamnadas Thakkar, at age 66, Co-Founder and Joint MD, ZEUS Air Services Pvt Ltd, founded in 1986 in Mumbai has left the freight forwarders of India minus both a visionary top leader, and a lovely human being.
Our condolences to his family. He will be deeply missed.
Desmond (Des) Vertannes, retired IATA Head of Cargo said of his passing last week:
“I'm so saddened to hear that.
“He was a great man, and a vital force in freight forwarding.”
Mukesh Bhatia, former Regional Director at Air India Mumbai, Maharashtra, India said:
“It's really saddening to hear the death of Mr. Thakkar.
“He was a friend and visionary of Cargo and the entire freight forwarding fraternity,” Mukesh said.
His friend Tushar Jani, Group Chairman at Cargo Service Center (PVT) Ltd., noted:
“You have put Bharat's professional life so articulated that he is living in front of our eyes right now.
“We lost a great friend and most important, the most beautiful human being,” Tushar declared.
“God, may give his soul peace in his kingdom.”
Radharamanan Panicker, Managing Director, Dangerous Goods Management India Pvt Ltd, added, “A great person and true air cargo visionary. Air cargo was till his end, the focused area of his attention. He was also particularly concerned about the lack of training or development of skills and competency in the industry. He never curried favour and was ready to criticize anyone who he felt he needed to.
“It will be difficult to find another person like him. I am honoured and humbled to have known him.”
Amar More, President and CEO, Kale Logistics Solutions said, “This was a man who gave meaning to the word “passion”. He was always there to guide, help and move the industry forward. His efforts were relentless. If he had to get something done for the industry you could expect emails/ messages from him even at 3:30 am in the morning. Completely selfless and utterly dedicated person. He was one of the biggest proponents of digitization and literally cajoled everyone to get on the digitization bandwagon in India. It’s an immense loss for the industry but his legacy will continue.”
'Bharat Bhai,' as Bharat was lovingly and affectionately called, combined deep knowledge, plus an extraordinary human touch.
A gentleman to the core, he was ever helpful to everyone.
As a freight forwarder and past president of the The Air Cargo Agents Association of India (ACAAI) Bharat Bhai served as active and vocal member of the Working Group on Air Cargo/Express Service Industry under the Civil Aviation Economic Advisory Council (CAEC).
Bharat Bhai was a true businessman.
As immediate past President of ACAAI, he urged the government to boost logistics infrastructure.
In fact, Bharat Bhai called all stakeholders to support reform in air cargo handling.
“It is high time that everyone works together without pointing fingers,” he often declared.
He understood that there should be, “dedicated expressways connected to production centers, highways and railways, with links to ports and airports.
“Would help bring down transaction costs, by allowing faster transits with shipments spending less time in local ports and airports,” he insisted.
Bharat Bhai understood that a better working atmosphere was needed all around.
As Past President and Permanent Member-Board of Adviser, ACAAI & Co-Founder, Zeus Air Services, Bharat Bhai, met often with industry leaders and law makers, making suggestions to ease doing business.
Just a year ago at the height of the pandemic addressing the challenges in recovery of airfreight charges, Bharat Bhai spoke up for doing the right thing. “One of the carriers when approached by an agent to allow some time was shocked when the airline head replied: 'We are not everyone’s Annadata (food provider)'.
“Perhaps, the gentleman forgot that it is us agents who offer credit to customers but pay airlines on due dates regardless of customers paying us on time. This was after all a one-off request!"
His words on the war in Ukraine. He told our Tirthankar Ghosh:
“With fuel prices jumping through the roof, and routes restricted by the war in Ukraine, freight charges are high and there is much confusion."
And for the critical pharmaceutical industry of India, Bharat Bhai was a well-articulated voice advocating training in transporting healthcare products to meet or exceed requirements needed for further growth and development.
Of a recent flight on Tata-owned Air India Limited he said:
“Unfortunately the flight was virtually empty,” he said.
“The Tatas will have to work very hard to bring Air India back to its past glory and make it preferred and profitable,” he said.
Bharat Jamnadas Thakkar's presence will be missed by many in the industry and also by people who love India.
May your soul rise to the heights that you lifted everyone else, Bharat Bhai.
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Publisher-Geoffrey Arend • Managing Editor-Flossie Arend • Editor Emeritus-Richard Malkin
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