Interview: Krishnadas M.S., GM of Kintetsu World
Krishnadas M.S. is the general manager of Kintetsu World Express. It is a public listed company with its shares being listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange. KWE Middle East is a subsidiary of KWE Japan and was formed in the UAE in 2004, but commenced business operations independently in 2007.
 What is the history of KWE?
Japan Kintetsu Group, the parent company of Kintetsu World Express (KWE) was founded way back in 1910. Over the years it has expanded to be a multi-service corporation with over 149 subsidiary companies around the world. KWE, as one such subsidiary, was established in 1970 and as of now we operate out of more than 200 cities with more than 10,000 employees, and have an annual turnover of over US$3 billion.
 What services does the firm offer?
KWE Middle East is a comprehensive logistics service provider covering air shipments, sea shipments, GCC trucking services, warehousing and distribution, and customs brokerage services. We are a true “global logistics partner” for our customers.
 What is your company’s USP?
Our strength is our global network, especially in Japan, the Americas, Europe and Asia. In the UAE we are probably the only Japanese logistics company having its own operations and custom brokerage with Japanese-speaking staff. We have similar set ups in Saudi Arabia and Bahrain.
 From an economic perspective how would you rate you company’s performance in 2012?
KWE ME in principle has been growing extremely well with an annual average growth rate consistently over 170% during last the five years. In 2012 we are doing well above our YTD budget. I am sure we will close the year with extremely good results.
 What have been your major achievements throughout 2012?
We started our new facility in Dubai World Central where the future of logistics in the region is emerging We did this in order to promote KWE Dubai within our global network and highlight the advantage of Jebel Ali port as a gateway to the GCC and Sea-to-Air business ex Asia to USA and Europe. We have so far successfully demonstrated the advantages of the Dubai-gateway to some major automobile and aviation businesses
in Japan and Europe.
 What were the main challenges for the company to deal with in 2012?
Cut-throat pricing is a major issue resulting in stress in budgets. Many customers still believe we are mainly an airfreight forwarder and don’t operate much in sea freight which is untrue. We have been in the sea freight business for many years now and have dedicated experienced teams. We are working towards changing this image.
 What are the expansion plans for 2013?
The Middle East is one market which KWE has not yet [capitalised in], but our approach has changed now.