India’s Blue Dart Express has named Balfour Manuel as CEO with immediate effect, taking over the helm of Blue Dart from Anil Khanna, who is leaving the organisation after more than 12 years in the role.
Manuel, a Blue Dart veteran of over 35 years, has been instrumental in the success of Blue Dart from the very beginning of the company’s inception, it says. Manuel’s latest position was as senior vice president in charge of Blue Dart’s business-to-business customers, a cornerstone of Blue Dart’s customer base.
Prior to this, Manuel also held a key general management position where he was responsible for the growth and development of Blue Dart’s business in the Western region in India.
Under Khanna, Blue Dart broadened its strategic focus from being an air express company to a full-fledged logistics organisation offering a wide range of products and services, as well as industry specific solutions in air and ground express segments. He will be actively involved in supporting Manuel to ensure that Blue Dart operates smoothly during the transition phase. Khanna will also become an additional non-executive director of the company.
“Manuel is a seasoned logistics professional, deeply committed and passionate about Blue Dart,” says Sharad Upasani, chairman, Blue Dart Express. “He has spent his career building the company to where it is today, and has proven his capabilities in leading his team to achieve exceptional business results.
“We are confident Manuel will provide the continued leadership in keeping with the Blue Dart culture, ensuring we keep pace with the rapidly growing market,” Upasani says.
“On behalf of the board, we would also like to recognise Khanna for his years of service, and leadership in the past decade amidst a challenging macroeconomic landscape. We look forward to his continued contribution as a board member of Blue Dart,” adds Upasani.
Commenting on his promotion, Manuel says: “I have spent my career in Blue Dart and have witnessed tremendous transformation in the past 35 years as the company grew from strength to strength, in tandem with India’s economy. I am delighted to take on the responsibility and lead the team to chart the next growth decade.
“India makes up some 15 per cent of global growth, and Blue Dart’s market leading position serves us well in this fast-evolving landscape to help our customers tap opportunities,” he adds.
During the year ending 31 March 2018, Blue Dart Express – majority owned by DHL Express – handled over 196 million domestic shipments, 0.92 million international shipments and over 697,000 tonnes of documents and parcels across the nation and 220 countries and territories worldwide.