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5 Mins With… Frank Courtney, Barloworld Logistics EMEA CEO

5 Mins With… Frank Courtney, Barloworld Logistics EMEA CEO

Boss of logistics company Barloworld says the recession kickstarted companies into investing into their supply chains.

What are the current growth areas for your industry?

All businesses are looking to reduce costs of their supply chain. The crisis has pushed businesses into a position where in many cases eliminating costs not only from their supply chains but from their total business is actually critical for the survival of the business. One of the things that we are able to do is assist companies in aligning their supply chain to their business strategy. This way, we not only take out costs but also increase service levels and efficiency.


Are you concerned that the current volatile global economic climate that will affect your strategy?

We are part of global economy, so of course it will have an impact. We are, however, a very small player in the markets that we operate. We expect it’s going to be difficult, however that doesn’t prevent us from being able to grow.

What new products will your company launch in the next few months?

We are looking into greener areas of supply chains. We are in the process of acquiring a company in the international market. Companies involved in the discussion are involved in recycling and the green side of businesses. We will be looking to bring some of that expertise and skills into this market and help our clients with ‘greening’ their supply chains.

Will you be expanding into new territory?

Our goal is to grow in UAE and well beyond into the GCC markets. We are currently busy with bidding tenders in other GCC markets.

We have been approached by two types of companies.

First – Gulf businesses have grown rapidly and before the advent of recession no one thought of optimising their supply chains. In the post-recession era, companies in survival mode are looking for a leaner and more agile supply chain to reduce costs and improve their service levels. Such companies invite us to analyse and reengineer their supply chain.

Second – The big corporates in GCC with mega-sized projects are involving us right at the beginning to plan, design and align their supply chain to their strategic goals.

What are the biggest challenges for UAE businesses in the logistics sector?

Competition in the UAE is very high. It’s a small market with all the big global players and lots of small players. The biggest challenge is going to be differentiating our business by giving the highest service levels with an excellence.

People run businesses; therefore, attracting skilled professionals and retention is a challenge. This also forms a part of a competitive environment and determines a company’s excellence.


What’s your leadership style?

My style is driving people and trying to get the best out of people. I like to get people’s involvement and inputs as far as possible. I like to have everyone giving their best to deliver. My motto is, “Be the cause of the result and not the result of the cause” and that reflects a lot about my style. If everyone causes the result then our company will succeed, without a doubt.

What makes the perfect employee?

I think a person’s values play a huge role in their fitting into a company. If the person’s values are not same as the company’s values, it’s going to be difficult no matter how good that person is. So, for me, the perfect employee starts with good values and that dictates the work behavior. The employee should be prepared to share their thoughts and be committed to their value and action.

Define success in five words?

Happy, happy, happy, happy, happy

Three tips for becoming the boss…

• Be the cause of the result.
• Believe in yourself
• Never compromise on your values.

When am not at work I like to…

I like to spend quality time with my family.

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