How has Globalink performed over the past year?
It has been a somewhat challenging time. We have been preparing ourselves for this situation since the last economic crisis in 2008. After what happened in 2008, there was no quick fix and every business needed to become more sustainable, which meant that we had to look for the worst-case scenarios. We have prepared ourselves, and the difference this year is that we are investing much more than we were previously. We serviced the gold mining sector when the price was $300 per ounce, and later when the prices rose up to $1,800 per ounce. I do not expect the oil industry to invest in expansion in the current climate, and of course we have to adjust the scale of the services we provide to this particular sector for the time being. In the transport and logistics sector, it is extremely important that we follow market trends, and one of the principles of Globalink is that we have built our business model on integrated service strategy. Our company really covers nearly every segment of the transportation, logistics, and mobility industry. We refer to ourselves as a one-stop-solution for global logistics and mobility services.
How do you see the logistics sector developing over the coming two to three years?
Kazakhstan is a huge mineral resources and raw materials exporting economy, which is not extremely appealing for the transport and logistics industry. It is attractive when an industry has a robust small- to medium-sized production segment. In Kazakhstan, the current commodity market stress means that the government will have to start redirecting some of its investment support away from the oil and energy sectors and start supplying industrial production. At least this sector is able to cater for domestic demand and export volume. If you look at the market today, while the imported goods price has doubled because of devaluation, you can still buy local products for more or less the same price as before. This proves that domestic production is the only solution for withstanding any currency fluctuation, and that is good news for our business because more domestic production means a stronger supply chain and more distribution. Because of that we are investing in many different areas in the company to prepare ourselves, because we cannot afford to wait until the market builds.
What priorities and goals do you have for 2016?
The number one priority is to reduce costs, which is not about reducing staff numbers. We have not fired people, but rather improved practices to help us all workforce more efficiently. We are trying to reduce fuel consumption by investing in a modern truck fleet, which will allow us to save a lot more, and pass the benefit on to our clients. The investment we made in this new fleet is definitely the right move, as it sends a positive signal to the market that we are still open for business. We are not downsizing; we are expanding. This of course has given a lot of positive synergy to our clients and to ourselves. We are also building a new logistics centers, closer to the city center for distribution services, and my aim is to design a warehouse that reduces our carbon footprint by half. It is the right time to undertake such investments because, if you want to restart the economy, you have to spend money. The last thing I want to do is sit idle and wait for the good times to come. We are making a lot of investments and I expect some positive developments over the coming year as a result.