INTEGRATED ANSWERS

Kazakhstan 2018 | TRANSPORT | INTERVIEW

TBY talks to Siddique Khan, CEO of Globalink Logistics, on having unparalleled access to China's One Belt One Road Initiative, creating customer-focused multimodal products, and the importance of working hand in hand with SMEs.

 Siddique Khan
BIOGRAPHY
A graduate of the University of Punjab, Siddique Khan embarked on his career in the transportation and logistics industry in the Middle East in 1990. Actively involved with all facets of multimodal transportation systems and project logistics, Khan established Globalink Logistics in Kazakhstan in 1994. Under his management, it has rapidly expanded to 32 locations in 22 countries and become a market leader in Eurasia. In 2017 it merged with Kerry Logistics Network Limited. With 25,000 staff, it now operates more than 1,000 service points with 4.2 million sqm of warehousing space and 8,000 trucks in 51 countries. In 2011, Khan was awarded “Entrepreneur of the Year” by the American Chamber of Commerce, Kazakhstan.

How did your merger with Hong Kong-based Kerry Logistics come about?

Our merger was a customer demand-driven growth process. Globalink Logistics had set up in 22 countries and needed better global coverage with an enhanced service portfolio to fulfill our customers' demands. As a result of merging with our long-standing partner Kerry Logistics, we now operate under the umbrella of our Hong Kong stock exchange listed company and operate more than 4 million sqm of warehousing and terminal space, have more than 1,000 service points, and employ 25,000 people in 51 countries worldwide. As a fully integrated member of Kerry Logistics Network, we will continue to expand our global footprint through a combination of organic growth initiatives and strategic acquisitions. Speaking of strategic acquisitions, we recently acquired a 50% share in one of the leading China Railway-owned operators, Lanzhou Pacific Logistics, which gives us unrivalled access to China's One Belt One Road Initiative, as we can now cooperate directly with all the rail operators in the region and create customer focused multimodal products and overland mobility solutions between ASEAN, China, Central Asia, CIS, and Europe. Owing to our merger, we have an impressive fleet of 8,000 trucks in greater China and Asia and are rapidly expanding our fleet in the CIS and Eastern European markets. As a result of our merger, we are truly scaling up in every possible way and have become one of the global market leaders in selected segments of transportation and logistics. We are now listed among global top 10 sea freight forwarders and the top 20 airfreight forwarders in the world, not to mention a leading e-commerce service solution provider in China and Asia.

How do you see this merger with Kerry Logistics impacting your CIS operations?

Our focus in the market will remain the same. With our merger, we have a remarkable presence in China and a new customer base in the Middle East, Southeast Asia, the Black Sea, Baltic States, Eastern Europe, Russia, Central Asia, and the Caucasus that are doing business in China and now rely on our extended geographic coverage and enhanced service portfolio. In Central Asia and Kazakhstan, besides our large-scale global customers and national companies, we are focusing more on SMEs, which are crucial for any future economic growth. What's more, our SME customer base takes enormous advantage of our adaptable business model. We transfer general knowledge on best practices attained from our large-scale global customers to our local SME clientele to make their business more efficient and cost effective. These organizations do not have enough in-house resources to manage their supply chain and logistics and rely on our IT solutions and business process management to manage their businesses. We do have large-scale customers that we really appreciate; however, for SMEs we need to give them an efficient and economical service network around the world to help them grow their businesses.

What is the secret of your success?

Our customer service is the key. Every customer is a unique case study and source of learning for us. While we have many small and medium-sized businesses as loyal customers, the majority of our biggest revenue generators are the Fortune 500 companies with well-established global best practices, which we focus on. Rather than modifying their logistical systems and standards region by region, we adjust our operating model to complement theirs. Rather than a one-size-fits all approach, we always take a boutique service approach and customize our service methodology to adapt to the needs of our customers. We thoroughly investigate our customers' internal and external needs in regard to their supply chain, logistics management, and compliance to develop fitting logistics solutions. Our backbone is our IT system—the one-stop-solution concept and our Global Network, which means we have technical, commercial, and human resources on the ground in every major global market and trade center of the world to serve our customers with the utmost care.