Mar. 25, 2015

Walid Fawaz


Walid Fawaz

General Manager, Aramex


Walid Fawaz is the General Manager of Aramex, one of the leading global logistics and transportation solutions providers, and the first company from the Arab world to go public on the NASDAQ stock exchange. With over 10 years of experience in the logistics and transportation solutions industry, he manages Aramex in Qatar—a core Gulf market. He started his career at Aramex in Dubai with the customer management teams in 2002. He has since risen through the ranks from early days in sales to senior management positions. In 2007, he was promoted to Sales Manager. Soon after, in 2009, he was managing Aramex’s Jebel Ali branch, which serves as the main hub for the region and led him to his current position as Country Manager – Qatar in 2011. Walid earned a Bachelor’s degree from the American University of Beirut, where he completed a strategic management and executive education program.

What is the significance of investments made in transport facilities and infrastructure here in Qatar?

The country is investing heavily in infrastructure right now, as this is part of the Qatar National Vision (QNV) 2030. On the other hand we have the 2022 FIFA World Cup, for which Qatar has made a public commitment and has set deadlines for the various infrastructure projects. This was the catalyst for a host of projects to be awarded. As mentioned infrastructure projects have accelerated like the airport project that was finalized recently. Also work has begun on the seaport, rail, and express networks, as well as mega construction projects such as Lusail. This spending has revived the economy, causing a population influx to Doha, which in turn triggers higher consumption and increases demand for services. Aramex offers services to diversified sectors and is regularly investing in expanding its infrastructure in Qatar to cater for this surge in demand. The main concentration is on the fast growing sectors that are finance, wholesale, and retail. In that regard, we can say that Qatar's investments in infrastructure directly impact our business.

With regard to the operations of Aramex, what do you see here in Qatar as being the core activities of the company?

Aramex Qatar offers its clients complete supply chain solutions, including transportation, courier, and warehousing services; the one-stop shop offering is considered as one of the competitive advantages of Aramex in Qatar. We are in the business of selling a solution to the clients rather than an activity. Considering the various industries we understand the business of our clients and offer a full supply chain solution that includes a bundle of our services to fulfill the client's requirements.

How would you characterize the current e-commerce business in Qatar?

There has been an exponential growth of online shoppers in this region in recent years. PayPal's 2013 report states that while e-commerce companies are still struggling with a variety of challenges, from customer trust to reliable logistics, the report estimates that 30 million people shopped online in the Middle East last year, up 65% from 2011, and that the e-commerce market is set to grow from $11.2 billion today to $15 billion by 2015. Of that $15 billion, Saudi Arabia will account for $2.7 billion, Qatar will account for $1.25 billion, and the UAE will account for the lion's share at $5.1 billion. Aramex was able to spot this opportunity early on. Aramex started building its online shopping platform Shop and Ship, 14 years ago, and today it has evolved to a comprehensive e-commerce solution for online shoppers worldwide. This product enables online shoppers to buy from online retailers around the world. Qatar is an affluent market and people love to shop. Shop and Ship has given individuals the possibility to shop online from global retailers across the world. Combining these factors has resulted in a surge of Aramex's e-commerce business in this country.

What are some tailored services that you offer to the hydrocarbons business?

Aramex offers customized services to the oil and gas companies. The company's extensive global network, in addition to years of experience in the supply chain industry, has created a wealth of organizational knowledge that allowed Aramex to create a specialized team dedicated to offer end-to-end supply chain management solutions to the oil and gas sector that includes customs clearance activities, project management, hub management center, regional distribution centers, and supplier order management, up to last mile field delivery.