Ecolog: Lifting Logistics to the Digital Sphere
Newly Appointed Group CEO of Ecolog International, Ali Vezvaei, speaks to Logistics News ME on the company’s rapid expansion and growth in the logistics sector
From his headquarters overlooking the runways of the world’s busiest international airport in Dubai, the newly appointed Group CEO of Ecolog International, Ali Vezvaei welcomed us with a warm smile. The German national – who only recently took the helm of this leading global logistics company – has big plans for modernisation and diversification that promise to take the ultra-successful global group to new horizons.
Since its launch in 1997 and in Dubai in 2005, the logistics corporation has expanded to become a diversified holding group comprising every aspect of the logistics world and well beyond. Driven by the German instinct for perfection, perseverance, meticulous financial management and the adoption of state-of-the-art technologies, Ecolog remains a sole proprietorship with major international clout. Meeting the bold and ambitious CEO, fresh from his business trips to refugee camps at Al Paso in Texas and multilateral peace keeping missions in Kosovo, it seems there is much to discuss.
Ecolog and its subsidiaries form a robust and increasingly diverse business, serving an impressive list of national governments, international corporations and multilateral aid and charity bodies in 38 countries and 150 locations worldwide, with a workforce in excess of 12,000 personnel. The German quality of sangfroid is clearly rooted in a group that handles some of the world’s most sophisticated military, refugee, peacekeeping and industrial camps across ultra-challenging zones in Africa, the Middle East, the Balkans and the Falkland Islands. As Vezvaei arrives, he too embodies that almost enviable quality of calm that – on the face of it makes him the obvious choice to lead the business into its next phase of global growth.
Why is the German-owned and managed Ecolog International headquartered in Dubai amid your globally stretched presence?
Dubai is ideally positioned on the crossroad of the planet with unmatched ease and seamlessly integrated solutions. We’re proud to be here, enjoying state of the art business facilities offered by the Dubai Airport Free Zone, giving us the privilege of owning our headquarters. This incredible city also offers us second-to-none access to some of the world’s finest talents – and most can get here easily and quickly thanks to Dubai’s natural role as a global hub. Colleagues from our business locations in Africa, Europe, China, the Middle East or the Americas can get here with ease.
How do you foresee your business within the stretched logistics sector?
Our business model is based on perfection, punctuation and high quality – all traditional German qualities that married with Dubai’s smooth business environment, form the ideal recipe for success. We are actively expanding our business portfolio horizontally and vertically with operations worldwide, including remote areas such as Mali and Iraq. We are also considering opportunities in Syria, Libya and other volatile territories that are ripe for growth in line with our business strategy. I know that our high level, well-resourced solutions to highly demanding clients such as the US army, the United Nations or mega energy groups, leave us perfectly placed to enter such challenging environments.
Working in these kind of places requires a complex mix of ethics and skills that we have garnered over the years – not to mention strict security and safety measures. Ecolog has also worked strenuously to embed itself into the local environments where we operate, with 90% of our work force sourced from local communities, all of whom benefit from training and development. This has allowed us to give back to each local community we are in, through building trust, engaging in collaboration and meaningful engagement.
What’s next for the logistics sector locally, regionally and globally?
The overall business pace is rapidly changing, fueled by technology development. Ecolog is proud of integrating E-services worldwide including E-laundry, E-Gym and others, digitising our camps and services. We believe that expanding the business model is also important to diversify the financial flow and outcomes of our projects, logistics and facilities management within our core services. That is part of a comprehensive diversification strategy necessary for sustaining business in today’s highly competitive world.
What do regulations represent in today’s diversified business world?
Logistics regulations vary depending on the locality – and so our capabilities and strategies also vary in accordance. We always follow a strict risk management policy that underpins customer solutions, ensuring that no matter where we are – or what the regulations demand – safety, health and security are assured. We are, of course, aware of the fact that cyber security is increasingly surfacing as a threat and as digital developments evolve, so will our defensive strategies.
How can we incorporate SMEs within the sector?
SMEs are increasingly recognised as key business players and we, at Ecolog, have embraced that in full by supporting and embedding SMEs within our business model. This is also in harmony with mounting global regulations to include SMEs in the logistics chains – but that varies by country. For example, this is a must in the UAE and Oman – even the USA has policies in place to incorporate SMEs.
Whilst you are sole proprietorship, we would like to know your financial strategy?
Ecolog is premier provider of complete camp facilities and integrated service solutions that create vital living conditions in the world’s most remote locations, to assist companies with their business operations. These services include construction and engineering, camp support, environmental, logistics, energy/fuel, fleet, and labour provision (recruitment, vetting and payroll).
For a holistic macro finance strategy, our founder, Nazif Destani, established ND Private Equity Group which handles a wide portfolio of businesses across the globe including energy, logistics, services, technology, real estate, and philanthropy.