How have you prepared for the reactivation of the economy and supply chains during the pandemic time?
Milaha has been extremely proactive during this extraordinary time, and we have successes to report. Our incredible workforce has risen to all the challenges set before them, going further than the extra mile. We were delighted to report strong financial performance. Our operating profit in particular continues to perform well. We are also seeing strong core-business performance. Again, despite the changes and uncertainty over the past months, we continued operating and serving our clients. One of our major priorities is and will continue to be keeping a safe working environment for our employees. In April, we held our first-ever virtual town hall meeting for all employees to reflect on our business operations and most notable achievements over the past 12 months, becoming one of the first firms to play host to such an event. With regard to the reactivation of the economy and supply chains during these past few months, we have been highly active in making changes to how we operate as a company, which will be beneficial to all stakeholders and entities who have dealings with us, whether they are long-standing friends of many decades or new customers. We introduced a brand refresh and new digital systems to reflect the realignment of our overall business strategy. We continue to chart our path toward our vision, despite the challenges.
The country has a lot of infrastructure developments in the pipeline, which are very relevant to the logistics industry. What are your expansion plans?
Setting aside all the challenges caused by the pandemic for just a moment, it is right to say that exciting and profitable times for Qatar lie ahead. This is an extremely significant decade ahead of Qatar National Vision 2030, and everyone at Milaha is determined to play their part to ensure it is a tremendously successful one. The various developments and expansion schemes across our nation truly are exciting, while the idea of Qatar becoming a logistics hub for the Middle East, Asia and East Africa is an ambition that we all want to make a reality. Milaha is determined to work to the best of its abilities to ensure its loyal customers receive the very best at all times. Going back to our new marine and technical services pillar, this includes both current activities (ship management, shipping agency, shipyard, bunkering) and introduces new services, such as ship chandlering. We have also combined our truck sales and distribution activities with our land-based asset maintenance and servicing activities. Meanwhile, our existing maritime and logistics pillar now focuses on enabling trade and providing end-to-end supply chain solutions for commercial customers, through our container shipping, ports, freight forwarding, warehousing, and land transport business units. I am certain all these will neatly dovetail with the various projects lined up across our country.
What are your strategic priorities for the remaining of 2020 and 2021?
We look at COVID-19 as an opportunity to both further solidify the foundation of our business as well as to launch new service offerings. This is in addition to tackling the priorities that were already identified as part of our medium- and long-term strategy prior to the outbreak. As a first step, we are focusing on mitigating the impact of the pandemic in the short term; however, it is important that these initiatives make us structurally stronger for the coming years as we anticipate further disruptions to the global economy, whether due to trade disputes or black swan events. As part of this, we are doubling down on our efforts to digitalize the business in order to both become more efficient as well as to target new digitally enabled revenue streams. We want to take this opportunity to fundamentally reshape the business model in some of our sectors.