With massive investments, efforts, and resources being put in place to Qatar’s logistics and supply chain sector, the rapidly growing industry is becoming more advanced and robust every passing day.
The logistics industry, which is very critical and complement to Qatar’s long-term strategy of economic diversification, is poised to witness major advancement and innovations in the coming days as more importance and focus is being given to the sector, said a top official of GWC, Qatar’s leading logistics provider.
“Never has the importance of logistics and supply chain routes been so highlighted, and because of that, there will be major advancements and innovations in the industry over the coming years as we work to mitigate the pandemic’s impact,” Ranjeev Menon, Group CEO of GWC told The Peninsula in an exclusive interview.
Menon said, “ It becomes a matter of balancing the gains earned through new automation and efficient management of operations at a distance that have been fast-tracked due to the containment efforts against the true losses experienced because of halted or delayed business and trade.”
Commenting on the outlook of the industry, he said that in times of need and times of plenty, logistics will always play an important role. “We will face some challenges from the fall-out of the COVID-19 response, but with our track record of excellence stretching from our establishment: having built the Logistics Village Qatar – the unrivaled 1-million square meter hub of fully integrated logistics infrastructure; our experience with the contract for GWC Bu Sulba Warehousing Park, the first of the nation’s public-private partnerships to bear fruit.” He noted that these are very important steps in supporting SMEs in a critical time of the nation’s economic diversification efforts.
The Group has already won the contract to manage operations at the Bu Fesseela Warehousing Park; and it moved forward with the construction bids for the nearly-completed GWC UPS Distribution Center and the newly acquired Al Wukair Logistics Park.
“We are confident in our outlook for the logistics industry in Qatar and the commitment to our long-term plans,” said Menon. On the government’s QR75bn-economic package, which includes a waiver of rents for small businesses hit by the lockdown due to the pandemic, he praised the country’s rapid, proactive response to the crisis. “Thanks to the directives of the Amir HH Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani. This has ensured that the private sector can manage to service their loans and meet their operational requirements. Moreover, in light of the government’s swift response to the public health crisis by creating makeshift hospitals and treatment areas and enforcing new policies meant to safeguard the business community, we can expect the same attention to detail and quick adjustments to take place as we re-establish the strength of our economy,” he said.
Asked about GWC’s role in mitigating the impact of the unjust blockade, he said that the company took on a pivotal component – and continues to contribute – a crucial role in supporting the nation’s response to the crisis.
“We will always put our every resource to the use of the government, supporting their rapid import of food stock at the beginning of the crisis in June 2017 through customs clearance, transport, warehousing, and distribution centers. We worked with our global network to create new freight routes, and retrofitted warehouses and transport assets in order to ensure the food stock was preserved in an ideal environment, while also ensuring the fastest turnaround times in the industry.”