Readingis second nature for this air cargo ‘techpreneur’

Published: Thursday, February 16, 2023

“‘A caterpillar that refuses to undergo metamorphosis is doomed to die in the cocoon.’ Change is crucial to survival and we are in that period and so is air cargo as an industry.”

Jasraj S. Chug is among a growing number of tech entrepreneurs from India,who are makinga difference in various industries of today’s digital age.

Chug, co-founder of CargoFlash Infotech Pvt Ltd, which specializes in providing integrated solutions to the global logistics and air cargo industries, has always believed that digitalization is necessary to push growth in these sectors.

“A couple of incidents came into my life as a freight forwarder,” Chug recalls. “There were a lot of silos and discretion-based processes, which were affecting the growth of airlines to maximize their potentials.As a forwarder, I would experience a lot of opaqueness and lack of transparency. We’re talking about time and lots of messages going back and forth between clients and companies.Globally, there were only 1 or 2 companies at that time which specializes in air cargo management.”

“In 2008, it was normal to have mainframe computers but the penetration was very shallow.Maybe just 10-15%. We saw the potential of web interface and then finally, cloud brought in the ability for a lot of these airlines to upgrade and digitalize their systems and connect their process to the world,” he added.

And so, in 2009, Chug and the visionary, Pukhraj Singh Chug, Chairman and Managing Director of CargoFlash,established the firm. The company’s first client was AirAsia, Malaysia’s largest airline by fleet size with more than 255 aircraft anddestinations, with the low-cost airline currently flying to more than 25 countries.

“We’ve always had a global vision. Our first client was Air Asia. We needed an airline to take into a different path. The Indian aviation at that time was largely run by government-led companies,” Chug shared.

Today, CargoFlash serves a multitude of major global carriers,logistics companies, airports, among others in the air cargo industry.

“We are not only assisting the largest players, but also making sure that all of them have access to a platform,” said Chug, who noted that India is now fast emerging as a growing market for digital solutions with its economy picking up. “I think India is upbeat.The economy is growing.It’s now the 5th largest in the world. I see India’s air cargo and logistics industries growing exponentially.”

While much of his time is spent growing their business, Chug said he finds reading not only informative but also relaxing.

“I’ve always been thinking and working to grow our business, but reading has become a natural habit not only about the industry but also others things like technology. I’m also keen on learning more about the animal kingdom. I like the Discovery Channel and the National Geographic,” said Chug, who lately has been reading more corporate books as well.

Asked about his favorite quote, Chug replied, “We’re in a world of transformation, transition. Very early in life, I got a very interesting quote given to me by one of my friends. And I took it to heart.And this really worked for me. ‘A caterpillar that refuses to undergo metamorphosis is doomed to die in the cocoon.’”

“Change is crucial to survival and we are in that period and so is the air cargo as an industry. It must change, must accept digitalization, must be ready to accept that the environment is far ahead in terms of digitalization than they are and there’s a lot of catching up to do,” he added.