IIMK inks MoU with Help Logistics on humanitarian assistance training in South Asia

In the backdrop of emerging challenges post-COVID 19, the Indian Institute of Management Kozhikode and Switzerland based HELP Logistics have inked a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to engage in a collaborative partnership and provide consulting services and logistics training for the humanitarian community. The MoU will be in force for a year, and will endeavor to carry out the activities that integrate efforts to shape supply chains that benefit humanity, amidst prevailing worldwide uncertainty as a result of natural as well as manmade turmoil.

The partnership between IIMK and HELP Logistics – a registered non-profit organisation and a subsidiary company of the Kühne Foundation, Schindellegi, Switzerland – aims to develop humanitarian logistics in India and the region by providing consulting services and logistics training to prominent actors during a humanitarian crisis – United Nations bodies, Government Institutions and Non-Governmental Organisations. The partnership, which also includes financial support, aims to enhance regional knowledge on humanitarian logistics matters and advance awareness on the subject among humanitarian agencies, government bodies, academia and private sectors. The MoU will endeavour to jointly achieve the following objectives:

        I.            Consulting:  The expertise of IIMK and the experience of HELP Logistics would be used to develop new products such as learning programs, games, optimisation models, etc. in the domain of Humanitarian Supply Chain (HSC) to assist the clients of HELP Logistics to improve their processes and make their humanitarian operations more efficient and effective. 

      II.            Training:  IIMK and HELP Logistics would offer high-quality learning and training programmes to the practitioners in the HSC across all levels (operational, tactical and strategic) on diverse topics related to HSC. 

    III.            Collaboration and outreach:  IIMK and HELP Logistics would jointly carry out research in the field of HSC to create new knowledge through surveys, case studies/action research and present the same in seminars academic conferences and tradeshows.  It would also involve knowledge sharing through publication of white papers, journal articles newspaper articles etc.

Announcing the cross-continental tie-up with the European organisation, Prof. Debashis Chatterjee, Director IIM Kozhikode, said “This association will not only expand our network in the calamity-prone vulnerable South Asian regions but will also greatly enhance the capability of stakeholders to effectively provide humanitarian logistics capacity in these unprecedented times. In its wider effort to make humanitarian organisations and actors efficient, this collaboration will transfer experience and knowledge through advocating the best practices and recent trends in the domain of operations and supply chain management. IIMK as an institute of national importance has always endeavoured to play a proactive role in societal actions for good and believes that such collaborations will be vital to creating a better world as envisaged by the 2030 global agenda for Sustainable Development.

Jason Connolly, Regional Director – HELP Logistics Asia, shared “The MoU signifies an important step for both organisations to leverage each other’s strengths, knowledge, best practices and expertise in the humanitarian logistics sector. We hope that this collaboration will benefit both HELP and IIMK to deepen our understanding of supply chain challenges in humanitarian operations. Through our partnership with IIMK, we look forward to providing best-in-class supply chain and logistics support to enhance the capacity of humanitarian actors in South Asia.” Prof. Sumit Mitra, Strategic Management, IIM Kozhikode,played a key role in initiating this collaboration which has Training, Research, Consultancy and Networking as the four cornerstones of IIMK’s Hum Log (Humanitarian Logistics) team responsibilities in this partnership. Prof. Anand Gurumurthy from the Quantitative Methods and Operations Management Area, IIMK, has been designated as the coordinator for the MoU. Till date, as part of the MoU, Prof. Gurumurthy has conducted training sessions for the partners of HELP Logistics such as World Vision Sri Lanka on the topics of supplier relationship and supplier development.  A similar training programme provided to World Vision Bangladesh focused on the aspects of warehousing management and the role of transportation in the humanitarian supply chain.