Walks, travels & music to recharge & stimulate creativity

Published: Friday, May 14, 2021

It’s hard to miss Blue Dart Express if you’re living in India. The name is synonymous to fast deliveries, locally and internationally. In fact, it’s the largest logistics company in the country backed up by the world’s biggest courier firm, the Deutsche Post DHL Group.

From a low of ₹1,873.05 (about USD25.52) per share a year ago, Blue Dart posted a 52-week high of ₹5,845 (about USD79.65) per share at the Bombay Stock Exchange, more than thrice its lowest value, with prospects for growth amid a surge on India’s need for logistics services within and outside the country.

Just like others in the air cargo and logistics industry, Blue Dart found itself at the forefront of the ongoing global fight against the Coronavirus pandemic, transporting different goods, including medical supplies, vaccines, ventilators, oxygen concentrators, pharmaceuticals, among many other things, across the country.

Behind this very busy organization providing logistics services to a big chunk of India’s huge domestic market of 1.3 billion people is Balfour Manuel, Blue Dart’s Managing Director since 2019. He has held numerous top management positions at Blue Dart within his 36 years at the firm.

Steering Blue Dart’s team to the new normal, Balfour says his focus now is to optimize their potential by combining it with technology, building on the strength of the company’s infrastructure, highly-trained people and digital solutions.

So how does a man like Manuel unwind and bring balance to his hectic work life in a very challenging environment?

He walks, travels and engages into music whenever there’s an opportunity and making it a point to allot short breaks in his busy schedule.

“I find it a luxury to be able to pull the breaks when I’m travelling for business and utilize even a few hours each evening to take in the city—whether it’s food, the people or general atmosphere. I spend this time trawling the closest markets, mostly hunting for music shops,” Manuel said in an interview with Mint, India’s premium business news publication.

Manuel said traveling became an essential part of his life when he began working and gained independence to explore new places on his own.

“It was only after I joined my first job that I had the independence to explore places on my own. It was travelling for work that triggered the passion to savor different cities. Now, apart from business travel, I like to take a vacation with my sons, or even take a few solo trips to refresh every year,” he shared with Mint.

And with traveling comes the opportunity to walk endlessly to discover new places and things. Walking and traveling have many health and other benefits, including stimulating one’s creativity.

In Manuel’s case, that’s exactly what happens: It relieves him of stress and stimulates his creativity. “In the age of constant acceleration, the virtues of walking versus hopping on to a motorized vehicle are numerous. Especially when you are encountering a city for the first time. It helps to extricate yourself from the phone and absorb things in a paced manner,” he shared.