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Interview: Andrew Granger of Logistica Enkay Expressby Ahmad Lala on Nov 11, 2012
Andrew Granger, Middle East regional general manager for Logistica Enkay Express, reveals how the firm turned the bad times of the economic crisis into a good time for development.
How would you sum up your time at the company thus far? Also, considering that you were appointed soon after a global economic downturn, were you at all surprised by the company’s growth and success in the past two years?
I feel that this was a great opportunity to take on the role of regional general manager during such a torrid time in the global economic downturn. Bearing in mind that Enkay Express had been dominant in the M.E. region for the last 30 years, it gave us the opportunity under my leadership to totally refocus on what we were doing and why. Out of bad times come good times, and sometimes it takes such a jolt to force one to sit back and re-educate people and processes, and also to take a total overview on where we wanted to be and how to get there in next 3 to 5 years.
Are there any major developments that you want to share?
The first thing we did was to change our whole management structure and bring in quality industrial project sales and operational teams to help develop our project customers’ requirements and needs. The company’s growth was never in doubt, with the correct people and the correct management all pulling together as a unit. We knew we could grow, through our being proactive with customers and tenders, while strengthening our sales team and sales activities in the markets which we felt had suffered the least effect of the downturn and those markets which we felt would turn round soonest.
What are the company’s plans for 2012 and beyond? And, what aspect of the company will be your main focus?
Our company’s plans and strategy in 2012 and beyond are still very similar to what we developed in the downturn. Customer focus and sales activity in the correct markets are the areas where we strive for success, with the full backing of all within the company working as one. Our main focus for growth has obviously been in the vertical markets that we have chosen, mainly energy, pharmaceuticals, textiles and fashions, warehousing and 3PL. We are now working with some of the top European distributors and household names in all aspects of the fashion world in perfumes and garments along with some of the world’s top petrochemical/energy companies.
You have been actively involved in logistics in the Middle East region for the past 21 years; so what future do you predict for the logistics sector in the region and, in particular, the UAE?
When I look back after the many years that I have spent overseeing management and business growth in the region from the United Kingdom, and then after I decided to base myself here almost seven years ago, I honestly feel that GCC region has many good years ahead. When we look at the expansion plans that are coming up in railways, power plants, petrochemicals and pharmaceuticals within this region, we see that we are ideally geographically placed to be at the centre of logistics. With the expansion of the airport, Jebel Ali as an ocean hub for sea freight and sea/air and with the continued growth of our national
airlines, then I have no fears that we will not continue to grow within this region and globally; the world is becoming a smaller place.
What else should we know about Logistica Enkay Express?
It has been good for us that we are an integral part of a freight network (www.htfn.com), having more than US$2.2 billion net sales and over 220 offices spanning all continents, giving us the global connections matched with regional solutions tailored to our customers’ needs and requirements in all aspects of their logistical requirements anywhere worldwide. We have now shown audited EBITA figures of more than 50 per cent growth from 2010 to 2011 and we are already ahead of our budgetary targets for 2012 by 30 per cent, showing that with the correct management structure and sales and operations all pulling together, we can as a company overcome any and all obstacles that are thrown at us, whether it be global downturn, economic or political unrest.... down to the simplest requirements of our dedicated customers.
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