Full Transcript; Interview with Krishna Kumar, General Manager, Logistics – YBA Kanoo (First published in June 2017 as part of an ongoing Interview Series with Global Supply Chain Magazine)
Brian Cartwright, Managing Director, Top Management Resources Group:
I recently met with Krishna Kumar, GM Logistics for the Kanoo Group to get his thoughts on the current state of the regional logistics sector.
Krish took over the running of the Group’s logistics business 1 year ago having moved across from his previous role as Managing Director of Kanoo Terminal Services (a Joint Venture between Kanoo & Maersk), where he had spent the past 25 years. Prior to his time at Kanoo he has worked for Johnson & Johnson and Colgate Palmolive for several years and brings a wealth of insight and experience gained from major MNC’s and long established family owned businesses.
Kanoo Logistics offers Global Freight Forwarding and end to end Multimodal Supply chain Solutions to a variety of Industry Segments.
In the current economic climate business continues to be tough going for many organisations and the logistics space in particular has been impacted greatly so this interview presented an excellent opportunity to hear Krishna’s thoughts on the good, the bad, and the future of logistics in the region.
What do you think the future of logistics looks like in the Middle East?
The future is extremely bright, but we do need to focus on encouraging more collaboration and communication between key stakeholders in government and the private sector.
The future success of the industry should be a joint story, one where the government and the private industry plays a decisive role together. It is time for both to sit around the same table and talk to each other and chart the goal and the path in phases and steps.
There are many great ideas and initiatives being shared by government and private sector organisations throughout the region, but it can be challenging to get enough traction and alignment between key stakeholders from all sides to be effective enough to make a difference, so what can everybody in the sector do to help drive this forward?
Implementing ideas will take more than just will, it will take grit and sheer determination. The tools are there, technology is available, people can be retrained –but the resources need to be given shape by the joint forces of both the government and the industry.
You have a lot of experience in Saudi Arabia, the biggest market in the region for Logistics, so how important do you see Saudi’s role in this.
As the largest market in the region, both in terms of imports and exports, Saudi Arabia will make a huge difference and impact in the way logistics is done in the region, it’s imperative that the logistics community and government in Saudi Arabia is a major supporter and influencer of change and development.
What are your thoughts on how E-commerce is affecting the logistics sector?
The impact of e-commerce is already seen here with players upping their game, and also major shipping lines reengineering their model to dip into the end to end solutions, via digital platforms. Technology is now a differentiator of logistics services – be it, transport, warehousing, tracking, etc. which creates the visibility for the customer. Overall, the rise of E-commerce should have a very positive impact by accelerating the need for improved cross border collaboration between countries.
What do think about the level of skills and the availability of people with logistics experience in the region?
We are facing talent shortages for some functions, but it’s going in the right direction as training and qualification in the field of logistics has become a primary guideline for selection of employees, and improving the skill sets of the already employed.
Trainability and hence employability of local population is also now being taken very seriously, with the government of each country making it a law. This has led to logistics providers making a concerted effort to engage and upskill local nationals as well as their expats employees.
What is Kanoo Logistics doing in regard to upskilling employees and raising logistics industry standards?
We are raising the internal bar first – our Group has now a dynamic team of professionals led by a Group CEO, Dr Patrick Chenel, who have laid out the cards on the table and charted out the path into the future by taking steps: bold yet careful; fast yet consistent; local yet global; individually yet as One Kanoo.
We are raising the standard of our Group offerings with technology, compliance, people competence, Operational excellence – all aimed at one single goal: a strong customer focus & delivery.
Brian Cartwright, Managing Director of the Top Management Resources Group (TMR Group), is well known throughout the international Supply Chain & Logistics sector as a focused and highly proactive business leader, mentor, and thought leader. He has partnered with Global Supply Chain magazine to run a series of exclusive interviews with senior executives to uncover the facts and provide real time insight on what’s happening in the Supply Chain & Logistics sector across the region.