Logistics Middle East Power List 2011: 5-1

Find out who tops this year's Power List.
John Gould, CEVA Logistics.
John Gould, CEVA Logistics.
Dan Hjalmarsson, GAC Middle East.
Dan Hjalmarsson, GAC Middle East.
Garry Kemp, DHL Express.
Garry Kemp, DHL Express.
Hamdi Osman, FedEx.
Hamdi Osman, FedEx.
Fadi Ghandour, Aramex.
Fadi Ghandour, Aramex.


RELATED ARTICLES: Power List Introduction; Numbers 25-21; Numbers 20-16; Numbers 15-11; Numbers 10-6

Welcome to day five of the 2011 edition of Logistics Middle East’s Power 25 List – a detailed ranking of the region’s most influential executives from the warehousing and transportation sector.

Today, the wait is over as we reveal the five most powerful executives in the Middle Eastern logistics industry.

Click here for numbers 25-21, here for 20-16, here for 15-11 and here for numbers 10-6. Click here for the introduction to the list.

5. John Gould, Middle East managing director, CEVA Logistics

Appointed as managing director of CEVA Logistics in the Middle East last year, John Gould has overall responsibility for managing and developing the company’s freight and contract logistics operations in the region.

Reporting to Gianfranco Sgro, president of CEVA Logistics in Southern Europe, Middle East and Africa, he has already launched a number of new warehouse facilities in Jebel Ali Free Zone, signed a material handling contract with Kanoo Equipment Rental (KANRENT), and reinforced the organisational structure of CEVA Logistics in the Middle East, devoting time to employee development and promoting teamwork and cooperation.

With a career that spans over 20-years in the supply chain industry, Gould has worked in various business development roles at DHL Express, in addition to serving as UPS divisional manager in the Middle East and Africa, and chief executive officer of Agility in Saudi Arabia.

4. Captain Dan Hjalmarsson, group vice president, GAC Middle East

Gulf Agency Company (GAC) appointed Captain Dan Hjalmarsson as group vice president of Middle East operations in January 2009. Based in Dubai, the logistics executive is responsible for formulating a series of region-wide strategies that support the company’s ‘Vision Y-Global Value’ development programme.

In addition, he overlooks the effective and profitable management of local operations, while seeking to create a greater level of integration across the Middle East offices. An industry veteran with more than three decades of experience, Hjalmarsson comes from a seafaring background and has been on active duty onboard various types of vessels for more than 11 years.

He first joined GAC as general manager of Saudi Arabia operations in 1997, and served as managing director of GAC Dubai – the single largest operation under GAC Group – from 2004. He graduated from the Chalmers University of Technology in Sweden.

3. Garry Kemp, Middle East director, DHL Express

DHL Express appointed Garry Kemp as area director for the Middle East, North Africa and Turkey (MENAT) in March 2009, with responsibility for 15 different countries, including Saudi Arabia, Oman, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates. Based at the company’s regional office in Bahrain, Kemp is a New Zealander with a thirty-year career at DHL Express, including positions in general management, operations, sales and commercial.

Over the past year alone, he has overlooked the launch of five fully-automated DHL Service Point 24/7 outlets in Dubai, the introduction of thirteen new trucks into the Middle East fleet, and the completion of a US$4.2 million investment programme to celebrate the 35th anniversary of Lebanon operations. Kemp also signed a recent partnership with Emirates to enhance security for airfreight shipments in the region.

2. Hamdi Osman, senior vice president, FedEx Middle East, Africa and Indian subcontinent

As the senior vice president of FedEx in the Middle East, Africa and Indian subcontinent, the career growth of Hamdi Osman is well-known across the logistics sector. Starting his occupation in 1978, Osman was first hired as a truck cleaner for FedEx in the United States, but made such an impression on management that a string of promotions were soon to follow, including positions as a courier (1979), operations manager in New Jersey (1982), senior operations manager (1985) and managing director for the US Northeast District (1990).

In September 1991, Hamdi moved to Dubai, taking on the role of managing director for the Middle East and Indian subcontinent, which was upgraded to vice president of operations for the Middle East, Indian subcontinent and Africa in 1997, and later to his current position.

His influence on the company and the regional logistics industry on the whole is unquestionable. In addition to winning the FedEx Five Star Award in 1995, 1997, 2000 and 2002, he also serves on the National Association of Freight and Logistics (NAFL) board of directors, the Supply Chain & Logistics Group (SCLG) advisory board, and Dubai Logistics City (DLC) advisory council.

1. Fadi Ghandour, founder and CEO, Aramex

There’s little surprise that Fadi Ghandour has topped our power list for a second consecutive year. Ever since he launched Aramex in 1982, the logistics company has blazed an unquestionable trail to become one of the most successful and highly-regarded brands in the Middle East. Net profits increased by 11% to US$55.5 million in 2010, a year in which Aramex boosted its presence in emerging markets such as Turkey, Malaysia, Bangladesh and Vietnam through a series of strategic acquisitions and partnerships.

The strategy also helped to fuel a 13% increase in revenues, with $602 million being reported for last year. This success, coupled with a strong cash balance and low debt-to-equity ratio, will undoubtedly support the company’s development plans in 2011 too, with a focus on expansion opportunities in key markets such as Africa and Southeast Asia. “Aramex continues to deliver on its promises -- to its customers, employees and shareholders -- and we have reached the goals we set for the company for the period,” explains Ghandour.

Predicting an increase in the company’s operating costs this year, led by sustained inflationary pressure and higher fuel prices, the Jordanian entrepreneur is realistic about challenging conditions in 2011. “While the global economy has now moved out of recession, our outlook for this year is cautious, although we will reserve judgement for the full year until after we have posted our results for the first two quarters,” he states. “Despite these more challenging conditions, however, we have a clear vision for the company in 2011. We will continue to focus on carrying out our long-term growth strategy, and meeting the operational milestones we have set for Aramex in the year to come.”

Click here for numbers 10-6 on the Power List.

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