AN INDUSTRY STANDARD

Dubai 2020 | INDUSTRY | INTERVIEW

Electric Way is a pioneer in the use of technology and best management practices in a traditional sector, becoming an important actor in its customers' supply-chain ecosystems.

Atheeqe Ansari
BIOGRAPHY

Atheeqe Ansari is the founder & CEO of Electric Way, one of the fastest-growing professional distributors of electrical products and solutions in the UAE. Prior to this venture, he joined EMCO International in 2002 as a commodity trader. He is also an executive board member of the Global Pulses Confederation, a member of the Dubai Food Trade Advisory Group reporting to the government of Dubai, and serves as a fellow of the Universities Leadership Consortium Bunyan. He is also a board member of the India Middle East Agro Trade Industry & Investment Forum. He holds a bachelor's degree in business administration cum laude from American University of Sharjah and an MBA with distinction from the University of Wollongong.

How have you pioneered change in the sector?
We were fortunate to have started our business in 2003, when the economy took an upswing with the meteoric rise of the construction sector in UAE. It was a good time to be in business, and growth came by managing customers, suppliers, and inventory. However, we soon realized we had to be different than the rest if we wanted to continue to grow regardless of economic quirks. We embarked on the journey of process improvement and innovation to usher in a new paradigm in our history. We built a new state-of-the-art distribution center and defined a system of processes and work flows encapsulating the steps of the supply chain ecosystem, commencing with the goods rolling out from the manufacturer to the final customer. We interviewed our customers to discover their pain points and identified the services that would bring service and cost efficiencies. Next, we hired the best consultants to put together a technology platform that would help us automate as well as expedite the processes with a single objective of enhancing customer satisfaction. We pioneered the use of technology and best management practices in a traditional sector turning the stockist into a value-added distributor, thus gaining an equally important place in the supply chain ecosystem.

How do you convey this message and promote yourselves as an innovative focal point in the sector?
Our facility in National Industries Park (NIP) is a true reflection of the digital transformation that has taken place in Electric Way, and our state-of-the-art warehouse and equipment will give visitors a glimpse of this. Customers are already experiencing the speed at which we do business and are impressed by the array of value-added services we offer in comparison to our competitors. Our technology roadmap is in motion, and we plan to launch a transparent and efficient customer portal that will become an industry standard for end-user interactions.
How can the government support SMEs to grow similar to how Electric Way has developed into a regional player?
We are blessed with great leaders like His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum. He is not just a visionary; he also ensures that his vision translates into actions that benefit businesses. Dubai SME is a great platform to support the SME sector, and other measures of the government have made it easier for genuine businesses to get finance and realize their growth potential. We are grateful to the banks in the country for their confidence in the SME sector and equally thankful for the business-friendly processes of all government departments when dealing with trade. The ongoing efforts to bring accountability and establishing credibility of business partners is helping businesses to thrive. Moreover, the UAE has proven to be a great hub in the region for all types of businesses including manufacturing, trading, and services owing to its fantastic infrastructure.

How will Expo 2020 influence Dubai, and how will Electric Way leverage these opportunities?
Expo 2020 will be great milestone in Dubai's history, and we hope it will catapult the overall economy of the country. As a supplier to the various Expo 2020 projects, we are thrilled to be a part of such a globally visible project, and we feel immense prestige in being associated with it. Electric Way is working with large contractors and supplying a wide range of electrical and construction material for the pavilions and expo facilities. Our innovative services such as just-in-time are attracting new customers who are working under tight deadlines and budgets. We hope Expo 2020 will attract not just tourists but many other people including entrepreneurs and investors who will find Dubai a place to start new ventures and use it as a launch pad to bring their businesses to the region, thus benefiting us all.