Power 25 2021: Bengt Ekstrand, Group President, GAC, Ranks 15
Since Ekstrand’s appointment as Group President in January 2013, he has focused on the Group’s strategic plan to ensure GAC is fit for the 21st century’s challenges.
Prior to this current role, Ekstrand was Group Vice President for the Asia Pacific region from 2009, accountable for the GAC companies’ effective and profitable management in the region.
He was also regional director for the Middle East for more than six years. He joined GAC in 1992, working in several stations in the Gulf before taking on his regional responsibilities.
Solid business values paired with adaptability, resilience and innovation enabled GAC to survive and thrive in 2021 despite the continuing challenges of Covid-19. So, says Ekstrand, who kept the Group on a steady course through the year.
That strategy has been put to the test, not only by the continuing pandemic but also by other spanners in the works of global logistics including the domino effect of the six-day closure of the Suez Canal.
While proud of how GAC has weathered the storms, Ekstrand prefers to focus on the positive developments of 2021.
Work has started on GAC Qatar’s new 27,000m² multi-user contract logistics facility in the Ras Bufontas Free Zone. GAC Sharjah opened a new office in the Hamriyah Free Zone. GAC Qatar was certified as an Authorised Economic Operator, enabling it to offer faster customs clearance.
Meanwhile, the 2.7 MW solar-powered rooftop at the newly opened Dubai South contract logistics facility generated 5 million kWh of renewable electricity by May.
Losail Circuit Sports Club appointed GAC Qatar as its third-party logistics partner for prestigious international motorsport events, while marine leisure and events specialist GAC Pindar was appointed the official logistics provider for The Ocean Race for an unprecedented third time.
“The past 18 months have demonstrated the flexibility, resilience and innovative spirit of GAC and its people,” says Ekstrand.
“Our long-term approach, looking into the future rather than chasing the quick buck, has served us well, and our willingness to explore or create new solutions to emerging issues is forging our way forward into the future.”