Full List Revealed: LNME Power 25 CEOs 2020
For our special feature, with close to 100 submissions from all over the GCC and the Middle East, the Logistics News ME team gives you a round-up of the Top 25 CEOs in the Logistics Industry. Check out the full list below:
- Mohamed Juma Al Shamsi, Group Chief Executive Office of Abu Dhabi Ports
As the head of Abu Dhabi Ports, the operator, and the manager of commercial ports within the capital city, as well as Fujairah Terminals and Khalifa Industrial Zone Abu Dhabi (KIZAD), he oversees the development of assets and activities as well as directs their strategy and operations.
Al Shamsi is an experienced maritime executive with almost 20 years of industry experience, working to ensure Abu Dhabi Ports continues to hold a prime position in the region’s commercial maritime.
He joined Abu Dhabi Ports in 2008, and has held key leadership positions with its portfolio, which in executive vice president for the company’s ports unit, where he was instrumental in restructuring the unit and rationalising its assets.
During his time at Abu Dhabi Ports, Shamsi has won more than 40 prestigious local and international awards. He was recently appointed as the vice chairman of the Arab Sea Port Federation.
- Nour Suliman, CEO of DHL Express Middle East and North Africa
In his capacity as CEO, Suliman oversees DHL’s operations across 19 markets and leads a strong team of 5,700 employees. He has been with DHL for 41 years and has held the position of CEO for the past nine years.
Previously, Suliman was the country manager for DHL Express Saudi Arabia, where under his leadership, the office consistently achieved stellar performances. He also managed the Bahrain business for eight years and prior to that held various managerial roles in the company.
Over the past 12 months eCommerce has been a key driver for DHL and this has resulted in the firm increasing their capacity and enhancing their network to meet the demand. 2020 has been a unique year due to the pandemic, but this has not affected Nour’s leadership. He has noted that even prior to COVID-19, it was his duty to ensure the wellbeing and safety of staff.
- HE Ahmed Abdulaziz Alhakbani, Governor of Saudi General Customs Authority
Appointed to his current role in January 2017, Alhakbani holds several senior management positions. He is the chairman of the board of King Fahd Causeway Authority and the chairman of the board of Saudi Company for Exchange Digital Information (Tabadul), a board member of several government entities and local organisations. Alhakbani is also on the board of directors of the Saudi Ports Authority, Saudi Food and Drug Authority, Saudi Arabian Airlines, and the Local Content & Government Procurement Authority.
Furthermore, he is a member of the founding committee of Flyadeal and the chairman of the board of Uptown Jeddah and a representative of the Public Investment Fund.
In 2008, he was appointed as the IT and Strategy Advisor to the Deputy Minister of Planning and IT at the Ministry of Education, primarily focusing on developing the Ministry’s e-government strategy and launching its online portal. Alhakbani holds an MBA degree from INSEAD, and a BSc. In Computer Information Systems from King Saud University in Riyadh. He also completed several executive education courses at the London School of Economics and Political Science and the IMD Business School in Lausanne.
- Mohammed Ali AlMajdouie, CEO of Almajdouie Logistics
AlMajdouie has been part of the AlMajdouie Group for seven years. Since taking charge of the Group, Mohammed has strived to build on the company’s momentum while navigating the complex challenges surrounding the industry.
Regardless of the size, location, or industry, businesses across the world are facing one of the biggest crises in recent history. However, one of Almajdouie Logistics’ greatest strengths is in its ability to turn challenges into opportunities.
Under AlMajdouie’s leadership, the Group has seen an advancement in automation and enhanced its digital capabilities. The company has also streamlined operations to improve member skills and better serve its customers.
AlMajdouie told Logistics News Middle East that digitisation remains at active area of focus. “At present, more than 80% of our processes and services are fully automated and integrated with stakeholder platforms. In line with this, we recently boosted our fleet with advanced telematic solutions that have improved safety and efficiency,” he said.
- Farooq Shaikh, CEO of LogiPoint
As the leading operators of Logistics Parks and Economic Zones in Saudi Arabia, LogiPoint started its journey as the first and only bonded and re-export zone in the country. Since then, it has established itself as a platform that enables the logistics and supply chain industry with innovative solutions and pioneering initiatives.
Shaikh has over 20 years of high impact experience in the Middle East’s shipping and logistics industry and has previously held senior leadership roles within leading global organisations in the UAE, Kuwait, Iraq, Jordan, and Pakistan prior to moving to Saudi.
In 2009, Shaikh joined the SISCO Group’s SAR2 billion Red Sea Gateway Terminal project as part of the core senior management team and played an instrumental role in building, launching, and operating the first privately built state-of-the-art container terminal in the country.
Since joining LogiPoint in 2018, Shaikh is committed to transforming the organisation into a regional logistics hub.
- Nabil Sultan, Divisional Senior Vice President of Emirates SkyCargo
With a career that spans close to three decades in commercial roles within the Emirates Group, Sultan began his career with the airline in 1990 in the IT department. Two years later he joined Emirates’ management training programme within the Commercial Operations department.
Between 1995 and 2008, Sultan gained extensive commercial experience working in various management and leadership roles both within and outside the UAE. In 2013, he was appointed to his current role taking the division from strength to strength. Under Sultan, SkyCargo has continued to develop innovative, bespoke products. In October 2019, it launched Emirates Delivers, an eCommerce platform that helps individual customers and small businesses consolidate online purchases in the US and have them delivered in the UAE. More origin and destination markets are being planned in the future.
Sultan completed his bachelor’s degree in Computer Science and Management Information Systems from the University of Portland in the US.
- Bengt Ekstrand, Group President of GAC
At a time of global disruption and uncertainty, Ekstrand is a steady hand at the helm of GAC. Since being appointed to his present role in January 2013, he has focused on the Group’s strategic plan to ensure GAC is structurally and operationally fit for the 21st century challenges.
In 2020, this strategy has been put to test as the pandemic took its toll on countries across the globe. GAC’s solid foundation and corporate resilience have set it in good stead to weather the storm and chart its course for the future.
The Group continues to grow as Ekstrand oversees expansion in the Middle East, Asia Pacific, Indian subcontinent, Africa, Europe, and the Americas.
Prior to his appointment as group president, Ekstrand was the group vice president for Asia Pacific from 2009. Prior to this role, he was the regional director for the Middle East for more than six years. He joined GAC in 1992.
- Mohsen Ahmad, CEO of Logistics District Dubai South
As the head of Dubai South’s Logistics District, Ahmad has seen to the set up of the free zone and the creation of the Dubai Logistics Corridor, which connects Jebel Ali Ports with Al Maktoum International Airport via a single, custom-bonded zone.
Ahmad leads the overall execution of the district’s operations, manages its financial planning, and is responsible for setting its strategic directions and goals.
He joined Dubai South in 2008, prior to gaining more than 12 years of experience in the supply chain and logistics sector, having held management posts at Al Futtaim Logistics and a tenure at Dubai Aluminium Company (DUBAL) as head of inbound logistics.
He set his sights early on a career in supply chain and logistics, as he pursued a bachelor’s degree in Logistics and Transportation from the University of Tennessee in the US, and a MSc. in Logistics and Supply Chain Management from Cranfield University School of Management, UK.
- Wissam Khoury, Serial Entrepreneur at Advanced Logistic Systems
Khoury is involved in leading installations worldwide for automated warehouses and air cargo handling systems. He is recognised among industry experts for his performance in engineering excellency and successful handover of projects.
In his current role, Khoury manages multiple business entities including automated warehouse for pharmaceutical manufacturer Al Dawaa, automated car park system for a government owned project in Dubai, and multiple projects for car park systems in the UAE.
As for future projects, Khoury revealed to Logistics News Middle East that he has plans to implement an automated car park system in Saudi and provide consultancy services for 2PL, 3PL and 4PL market players.
He is also involved in the global expansion of Advanced Logistic Systems, resulting in new offices established in Europe and Asia.
- Jens O. Floe, CEO of Red Sea Gateway Terminal
After joining Red Sea Gateway Terminal (RSGT) four years ago, the company has seen a significant rise under Floe’s leadership. It developed strategies that would see RSGT become a niche emerging market operator as evident by its international growth and project wins.
In 2019, RSGT signed a 30-year concession agreement with Saudi Port Authority, MAWANI, to consolidate and redevelop the northern sector of Jeddah Islamic Port. This includes the takeover of the adjoining Container Terminal, which was previously named as Northern Container Terminal, and develop it as the largest container terminal in Saudi Arabia and the Red Sea.
Floe has supervised the takeover that has a total investment of USD1.7 million in infrastructure, equipment, and technology by 2050, with annual container capacity growing to 8.8 million TEUs.
Furthermore, by 2023 RSGT will cover 1.5 million sqm and have an increased annual container capacity of 5.2 million TEUs.
- Alain Kaddoum, General Manager of Swisslog Middle East
Swisslog is an intralogistics provider that delivers robot-based and data driven automation solutions for customers across a wide range of industries including F&V, retail, eCommerce, pharmaceuticals, spare parts as well as third-party warehouses and distribution centres.
Under the leadership of Kaddoum, Swisslog was able to complete the installation and implementation of a new fully automated and retrieval solution for Mai Dubai in 2020.
Following the implementation of fully automated and date-driven intralogistics system, the company has benefited with double production, storage capacity and reduced labour costs. Khaddoum has emphasised the need to implement policies to directly drive and support sales and business teams and develop strategies to support the company’s automation solutions.
Khaddoum revealed to Logistics Middle East, “Since I took over the post of general manager, I have worked tirelessly for make businesses in the Middle East more aware of the benefits of automation. From zero awareness, today we are seeing see more businesses requesting Swisslog’s partnering in automation operations.
- Christopher Cook, Managing Director of Maersk UAE
Cook joined Maersk in the UK in 2002 and had the opportunity to grow through commercial roles across the UK, Africa, and Europe and for the last few years in Dubai, UAE.
His roles have been commercially orientated and developing a customer focus is one of the other points he has brought to the table.
He said: “At Maersk, our people and people development are something we focus on and over the years the company colleagues. It is something I am passionate about. I have focused on developing my teams and establishing clear development plans for them to grow further. I also continue to take on mentorship roles for colleagues in different parts of the business.”
Globally, Maersk set a vision to become an integrated container logistics company. This meant transforming many aspects of its business. The company also has plans to launch several new product offerings for air freight and less than container loads (LCL).
- Gaurav Biswas, Founder and CEO of TruKKer
Biswas has spent 14 years in international consulting across the UK, US and the Gulf before creating TruKKer. He is execution focussed and a commercial champion who strongly believes in the opportunity to organise a very primitive, traditional but fundamental land transportation sector.
TruKKer is currently the industry leader in technology-enabled land freight operations. The firm is the most advanced digital freight platform in the MENA region. It currently operates more than 25,000 trucks across 16 offices in the region.
With Biswas at the helm, TruKKer has been on a steep growth path for the past four years. It now services more than 500 enterprise clients including multinationals, regional large corporations, and SMEs.
Gaurav notes: “On an average day, we move over 1,000 truckloads and this is growing month on month. This kind of growth is difficult to execute without the right technology and automation. This is where we focus – ensuring we relentlessly create tools that help us scale and automate.”
- Mohammed Al-Mudarres, CEO of SISCO
Al-Mudarres has been part of the organisation for more than 13 years and has brought a systemic and structured way of managing its investment and portfolios of companies.
Talking to Logistics News Middle East, Al-Mudarres says: “We have improved our internal corporate governance and reporting structure tremendously. We have also developed a refined five-year strategy plan for SISCO back in 2015, of which more than 95% of the recommendations have already been implemented. We are in the process of re-evaluating our next five-year strategy plan with a focus on improving our position in the marketplace and enhancing our investor’s relations programme.”
In the past 12 months, SISCO added the North Container Terminal in Jeddah to its port sector, making SISCO and its subsidiaries the largest container terminal operator in Saudi Arabia.
SISCO also signed a new 25-year BOT contract for its water business to develop the city of Taif ISTP plant.
- Saud Abu Al-Shawareb, Managing Director of Dubai Industrial City
Al-Shawareb spearheads the cluster’s strategy and day-to-day operations to contribute to elevating Dubai into a global hub for advanced, innovative, and sustainable manufacturing in line with the UAE leadership’s vision of economic diversification for a more sustainable future.
Al-Shawareb believes that the fourth industrial revolution is tipped to create major opportunities across logistics. Robotics will make warehouses smarter, interconnected and less labour intensive and, alongside artificial intelligence, it will create new jobs moving forward.
“We are the key enablers and strategic driver of the Dubai Industrial Strategy 2030 and will work alongside our business partners to unlock the UAE’s potential to become a global platform for knowledge-based, sustainable, innovative industries,” he said.
- Ahmad Aljemaiei, CEO of Posta Plus Group
The Kuwait-based Posta Plus was founded in 2005, and has since enjoyed a balanced growth, evolving from a simple domestic courier into a regional provider of global business, logistics and shipping solutions.
Leading the charge is 32-year-old Aljemaiei, who joined the firm is 2015 and has quickly risen the ranks as one of the top CEOs in the region. Aljemaiei has held several senior management positions with notable logistics companies such as DHL.
His responsibilities have included global network policy, strategic sales, and business development. After gaining the board of directors’ trust to manage the group, in March 2020, he put together a highly skilled team of specialists to create a borderless world that curtails trade barriers for a seamless and convenient flow of parcels.
Aljemaiei has been responsible for transforming underperforming operations, optimising processes, and procedures, and driving sales teams to breakthrough results within a short span of time introducing different markets into the region.
- Hussein Wehbe, CEO of Fetchr
A logistics veteran with 20 years of experience in the industry, including 15+ years with Aramex, Wehbe has been tasked with leading Fetchr forward.
Founded in 2012, Fetchr is a cloud technology platform with a digital only approach. The firm was born to disrupt the traditional supply chain model. Fetchr understand what it takes to succeed in the rapidly changing digital world we operate in today.
Wehbe says: “This is why our positioning, predictive and machine learning technologies are so uniquely equipped to meet the transport and shipping demands of the generations. Agility, flexibility, reliability, and service customisation are part of the Fletchr DNA.”
Fetchr incorporates technology into conventional logistics services to resolve fundamental pain points that last mile delivery service providers face in the Middle East, which include cash on delivery reconciliation, lack of clear addresses and scalability.
- Deepak Khushalani, CEO of Premier Logistics
The firm was establishing in 2016 under the watchful eye of Khushalani and in the past 12 months, Premier Logistics has moved towards an agile and asset-light strategy proving itself more resilient during the pandemic.
The asset-light model helped serve numerous customer segments through several logistics networks that are based on shared assets and that leverage partners and digital tools to foster large scale agility and responsiveness.
To support its existing customers and to entice newer clients, Premier Logistics worked on implementing its digital transforming strategy for the region. It announced an exclusive partnership with Parcelly – the world’s largest pick-up drop-off (PUDO) technology service provider.
Khushalani elaborates: “By delivering thousands of parcels to individual doors, last-mile fulfilment drivers spend far more time on the road and have a much lower successful delivery rate as compared to those delivering the same parcels to a handful of PUDO locations, which are guaranteed to be open for business and able to accept deliveries.”
- Abhinav Chaudhary, Co-Founder and CEO of Fero.Ai
Starting his career at Danzas (DHL Dubai), after completing an MBA in Logistics & Supply Chian Management, Chaudhary has been instrumental in setting up the road freight products in Danzas. He also spearheaded Handling Operations at four DHL DGF cargo terminals in the UAE.
His professional experience spans over 15 years in strategy, planning, policy making and execution of multiple complex logistics projects. As the CEO and co-founder of Fero.Ai, which is a B2B SaaS global player in the freight and logistics space, Chaudhary believes that manual coordination is at the heart of inefficiencies in freight hence they are solving for it by using advanced AI to build technology solutions that optimise and automate coordination and collaboration across different freight functions and processes.
The Fero.Ai team has built the world’s first IVA for freight, called TiA, which is equivalent to the Google Assistant, Alexa, specifically for this industry.
- Janardan Dalmia, Founder and CEO of Trukkin
As the head of Trukkin, Dalmia has been involved with the company since it was envisioned. Over time, Dalmia and the team have worked passionately to create an enterprise which is fundamentally strong and will not only survive any crisis but thrive.
In 2020, Trukkin was able to expand its services to Pakistan, and during the pandemic it further deepened its roots in the Middle East. Looking forward, Trukkin hopes to break into the oil and gas, chemicals and building materials sector.
In terms of leadership, Dalmia tells Logistics Middle East: “A good leader facilitates the change he wants in his team. At Trukkin, we have done just that. My primary motive was to bring out transparency, efficiency, and reliability into logistics and it started from within the organisation in terms of culture and then with our world-class platform and our customer-centric policies.”
- Irene Sutton, Co-founder and CEO of Innova Supply Chain
Sutton has been involved in the operations of the company since its inception to its current form for almost a decade now.
She explains: “I took over as CEO in November 2019, after being the co-founder for 10 years. Almost immediately I began focussing on developing the solutions side of business as well as expanding and developing new partnerships with solution providers and service companies.”
Under her leadership, Innova has become a strategic partner in the Middle East for various supply chain software solution providers that cater to all levels of organisations and have several projects which include digitisation readiness assessments and supply chain health checks prior to solution tendering and implementation.
In 2019, Innova has several business transformations projects, the biggest of which was in Saudi for a major 3PL group. The company has lately been seeing an increase in projects for government and semi-government organisations around strategic supply chain management and optimisation.
- Khamid Ismatullaev, Founder and Managing Director of Worldwide Distribution Centre FZCO
Since the early 2000s, Ismatullaev has been successfully running the company by making sure that all the products and services are available to customers quickly enough to beat the competition.
Being the founder of Worldwide Distribution Centre (WDC), Ismatullaev pays a lot of attention to promoting the company and its products as well as the improvement of the customer services and education of the company members.
Creative thinking, inspiring others and constant innovation are what makes Ismatullaev and his team different from the others. Using a brand-new state-of-the-art warehouse facility that over 50,000 sqft and a fleet of modern delivery vehicles, WDC distributes its line of products in the UAE, across the Middle East, North Africa, and the CIS countries.
- Paula Bellamy, Managing Director and Shareholder of Oceanwide Logistics, Dubai
A part of OL Holdings USA, Oceanwide Logistics opened in Dubai in 2016 with Bellamy at the helm. OL Holding has 15 offices in the US, Canada, Shanghai, Hong Kong, and South Africa.
Oceanwide is also part of a global network agency, with access to over 110 countries and experienced agents. Its core strength in this hugely competitive market lies in good customer relations and this stems for a good work environment and a strong team.
Bellamy maintains that digitisation is still the main word on any freight forwarders lips. Logistics firms who fail to automate and digitise system-wide or do so only partially, rather than throughout their entire network, will quickly become relics.
She says: “I am proud that my team followed me to OL, and it’s thanks to their commitment and support that we have achieved so many in a such a little amount of time. I look forward to the future, continuing to expand our brand in the UAE and globally.”
- Fadi Amoudi, Founder and CEO of IQ Fulfilment & IQ Robotics
The first robotic fulfilment solution in the MENA region, IQ is an artificial intelligence-driven business that is spearheading the digital transformation of the logistics sector.
IQ Robotics addresses a vital market requirement, especially as the region focuses on digital transformation. “Our participation was based on the aim to showcase the technology we operate with and the revolutionary concept that is the first of its kind the Middle East.
“We wish to share our knowledge and expertise in robotics, warehouse automation, and supply chain management as well as in software (WMS/OMS/TMS), package protection, and dimensioning solutions. IQ Fulfilment is offering a connected fulfilment solution network to SMEs to unlock their growth at a pay-as-you-go scheme,” says Amoudi.
- Vinit J. Malhotra, General Manager of ATS
ATS is a fully integrated logistics company with ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 standards, specialising in road, air, and sea freight as well as warehouse distribution, liquid terminals, road transportation and onsite logistics.
With headquarters in Dubai, ATS operates in India (Mumbai and Mangalore), Oman (Sohar), Bahrain, Belgium, and the US (Texas). Founded in 1991, the company has grown by leaps and bounds ever since. It is a multi-modal organisation that has established itself as a leading NVOCC in the region. Logistics remain its core strength. ATS’ range of services has expanded to include storage, distribution, and terminal services.
Malhotra’s role in ATS has seen him being recognised by multiple customers as a hands-on solutions expert to their logistical requirements, various certificates, and awards by multiple customers.