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Five Minutes With… David Ross, SVP, FedEx Express MEA & Indian Subcontinent

Five Minutes With… David Ross, SVP, FedEx Express MEA & Indian Subcontinent

The UAE’s logistics sector will greatly benefit from Dubai’s successful Expo 2020 bid, says Ross.

1. What is your company currently focusing on?

In today’s dynamic business environment, speed-to-market and reliable services are the two key factors that help our customers maintain a competitive edge. At FedEx, we are focused on expanding our presence in the region to ensure that our customers are always connected to global markets through the best logistics solutions.

We also constantly enhance our service portfolio. FedEx looks at each business’ requirement individually, and adapts its operations and technology to meet the different demands of each customer. For example, healthcare institutions are relying on us to transport everything from medical equipment to vaccinations, with utmost efficiency. FedEx develops customised industry specific solutions such as FedEx Priority Alert, which includes temperature controlled containers, around-the-clock support, advanced shipment monitoring and personalised notifications for healthcare professionals.

2. Are you looking at launching any new services?

During the recent Dubai Airshow, we highlighted our core competencies in offering innovative shipping solutions by showcasing the ‘FedEx Aerospace Solutions’, which are tailored to address the express transportation and logistics requirements of the growing aviation sector.

Companies from the aviation sector can now access an extensive range of customised shipping services that meet the time-sensitive demands of acquiring components to manufacture, maintain or repair the aircraft back into service.

3. Are you planning to expand into new territory?

As part of FedEx’s international growth strategy, this year we completed the first stage of a strategic acquisition by signing agreements to acquire Supaswift (Pty) Ltd., in South Africa and six other countries including Botswana, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Swaziland and Zambia.

Once the acquisition is complete, we will offer a complete suite of FedEx branded export, import and domestic solutions, connecting southern Africa to more than 220 countries and territories worldwide, enhancing our customers’ business flexibility and access to markets.

This year FedEx also expanded its services in Northern Africa by re-launching express solutions in Libya post the revolution, to support the country’s business community.

4. Will you be hiring in the next six months?

FedEx is always looking to work with people who are motivated and demonstrate a passion for the service industry.

5. What are the main challenges faced by the regional logistics industry?

One of the main challenges for the industry in the region is the limited number of specialised talent in the logistics field.

At FedEx, we feel that it is important to create awareness among both Emirati and expat students about the sector to ensure that the number of qualified candidates who enter the workforce meet the growing demands of the industry.

6. What are the growth areas currently for your industry?

The Middle East’s favourable geographic location, an ideal bridge between Eastern and Western economies, has provided the UAE with a strong opportunity to establish itself as a leading global transport and logistics hub. Today, the key sectors – oil and gas, engineering goods, food, metal, automotive and aviation are the major contributors to UAE’s logistics market.

In addition, winning the World Expo 2020 bid will have a tremendous impact on Dubai and the UAE’s economy. Businesses of all sizes, from both public and private sectors, will be involved in one form or the other fuelling growth across all major industries in the country, including logistics. We expect demand for international and domestic shipping to increase as the country prepares to host the World Expo. This will be an exciting time for all the people of the UAE.

7. What’s your leadership style?

I believe in giving team members the freedom to express their opinion at all times.

8. Three tips for becoming the boss…

To be an ideal leader one should:
1) Listen and understand employees through open conversation
2) Mentor and inspire team members
3) Recognise, celebrate and reward success

9. What makes the perfect employee?

Passion and integrity are some of the strong qualities our people at FedEx hold. We always strive to deliver an outstanding customer experience, and our team members are expected to sustain our standards of ethics and integrity at every customer touch point whether it is a face to face, phone or an online interaction.

10. Define success in five words…

Making every FedEx experience outstanding.

11. When I’m not at work I like to…

Spend time with my family and sail.

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