‘Future export growth will come from tier II, III cities’

Ramesh Mamidala, Head – Cargo, Air India in an exclusive chat says, “The future export growth is going to come from tier II and tier III Indian cities. Great infrastructure development has been done at major airports across the country to facilitate seamless cargo movement. But, in the next four-five years, the industry collectively needs to focus on creating world class cold chain infrastructure in tier II and tier III cities. Therefore, the industry collectively needs to build the infrastructure that would also include the belly capacity deployment from the airlines in tier II, tier III cities, the airport infrastructure, the regulatory related infrastructure, etc.” He adds, “I feel the agriculture wastage that is happening is overestimated in India. For NE cities, what is produced in northeast can be consumed in India itself, it can be meant for the domestic market consumption, not only for the export market. But unfortunately, it’s not well-connected. So, connecting Northeast with air cargo or airline capacity may not be sufficient. Connectivity has to come in the form of railway network as well as surface network, which is a work in progress. In the next couple of years when it is well connected, we might see the northeast feeding their exotic fruits and vegetables to the rest of the country.”