By Robeel Haq www.arabiansupplychain.com
Interview: Mazhar Ayub Khan, head of international freight and logistics at TCS Express
How do you think the Middle East logistics industry has fared in 2009?
The global recession had a major impact on logistics operations in the Middle East, especially Dubai, and while the initial panic is starting to fade away, it will take years to bring the confidence back to this shattered market. In particular, the crisis has taken its toll on the bottom line of express mail and courier companies, and while some have made claims about marginalise growth, the results have been grim for several others in the industry.
What challenges have recently been faced by TCS Express in the Middle East?
It’s been a year of struggle, although we benefited from an early reaction to market challenges, which helped to improve our bottom line by 5% from January to September 2009. In addition, we opened a new outlet in the Deira district of Dubai to facilitate our growing customer base.
Have new services been introduced by TCS Express in the past year?
Yes. Dubai Metro has become a reality in 2009, thanks to the visionary leadership of the emirate. As a result, we have introduced this new transportation mode to our delivery network for packages and other items, with a dedicated team of On Train Couriers (OTCs) being appointed. This will ensure a faster delivery for customers and also reduce the fuel emissions of TCS Express.
Any other highlights from 2009?
TCS further supported our Social Corporate Responsibility (CSR) initiatives this year by hosting students that are learning about trade and transport from international universities and business schools. Our sixth batch from France recently completed their research work and earned their certificates for placements. There are very few logistics companies in this region that have the capacity to offer vocational trainings for international students and luckily we are amongst the only ones in the Middle East to date.
What are your future predictions for the Middle East courier market?
The market has a huge amount of potential in the Middle East and other emerging markets. I believe it will continue to develop at full pace as soon as global trade gathers momentum.