Driven By Foresight And Perseverance
Prem Kishan Dass Gupta’s keen ability to spot opportunities has persistenly propelled him forward
Photo Credit : Ritesh Sharma
Prem Kishan Dass Gupta, Managing Director, Gateway Distriparks
Prem Kishan Dass Gupta has been Managing Director of Gateway Distriparks Limited for exactly a decade beginning June 24, 2009. He also serves as Chairman and Managing Director of the Gateway Distriparks subsidiary, Gateway Rail Freight Limited. Simultaneously, he is Chairman of Snowman Logistics.
Gupta cut his teeth in business with his newsprint venture, the Newsprint Trading & Sales Corporation, which represents internationally reputed newsprint manufacturers from the United States, Canada and Europe with strong tie-ups in South-East Asia and India.
He began as a small trader for imported newsprint in 1978. Since the paper was coming through various ports, he gradually got involved in logistics. The Newsprint Trading & Sales Corporation promoted Gateway Distriparks in 1994.
In the wake of the economic reforms in India in 1992, newsprint no longer had to be brought in through channelising agencies. Traders could import newsprint directly. Gupta decided then to transport paper rolls in containerised vessels. There was, however, no facility available then to take care of these containers at Indian ports.
Seizing the opportunity, Gupta and some investors from Singapore, developed a container freight station at the Nhava Sheva port in Mumbai. This was a turning point for his business and he never looked back.
Soon Gupta and his partners expanded their container freight stations to Visakhapatnam, Cochin, and Chennai etc. When the investors from Singapore exited, he seized the opportunity again and turned the business into a family holding. By the time the last investor had exited, Gupta and his sons, Ishaan Gupta and Samvid Gupta had 26 per cent share in the company, which they have now increased to 30 per cent.
To cut a long story short, Gupta has been an entrepreneur driven persistently by sheer perseverance and foresight. These two key qualities have propelled him from a small newsprint trader to chieftains of a host of corporations in the course of just four decades.
In 2006, when the government allowed private companies to get involved in the rail business, his company was the first to apply for a licence for a container rail operator business.
He attributes the success of his company partly to its ability to be able to spot an opportunity early and partly to the work done by his team. Snowman Logistics was begun soon after Gupta’s cold chain transportation business. It went on to become the largest cold chain transporter in the country.
Today Gateway Rail is one of the largest private container operators and Gateway Distriparks is the largest container freight stations in the sector. In future the company plans to have many more terminals across North India and expand all their interests.
Gateway Distriparks’ consolidated revenue for FY19 rose by 8.34 per cent to Rs 443.39 crores. The company’s consolidated EBITDA for FY19 rose by 15.72 per cent to Rs160.02 crores. Gateway Rail’s revenue for FY19 rose by 9.34 per cent to Rs 877.65 crore and Gateway Rail’s EBITDA for FY19 rose by 21.46 per cent to Rs 211.11 crore. Gupta has gone on record to say, “We are expecting high growth in the future especially because of the dedicated freight corridor and newer trains.”