GAC cel­e­brates 60 years in Kuwait with big party

Kuwait Times - - WHAT’S ON -

Filip Bjork­lund, GAC Kuwait’s cur­rent Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor, re­cently hosted a 60th an­niver­sary cel­e­bra­tion at the Radis­son Blu Ball­room which gath­ered to­gether GAC’s Chair­man Lars Safver­strom, old GAC pi­o­neers, key cus­tomers, ser­vice providers and rep­re­sen­ta­tives of the Kuwait port and govern­ment au­thor­i­ties. In 1956, Kuwait was in the grip of its early de­vel­op­ment phase. Ev­ery­thing was be­ing built: ports, roads, hos­pi­tals, schools, power sta­tions.

The list was long. Ce­ment was a high­de­mand im­port and ves­sels were lined up offshore wait­ing to bring their car­goes to land in lighters, barges, any­thing that could float. Into this fren­zied world stepped a po­lite man from Swe­den. Ber­til Ahlm was GAC’s first man­ager. His first chal­lenge was to act as a ship agent to get those thou­sands of bags of ce­ment into the hands of the con­struc­tion teams on­shore. He was also aim­ing to set up a travel agency but in the end, the travel agency went nowhere and the ship agency took off.

60 years later, in 2016, GAC Kuwait’s Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor, Filip Bjork­lund, is in charge of a full-ser­vice com­pany, cov­er­ing ship agency, in which GAC re­mains a mar­ket leader, and all el­e­ments of the sup­ply chain: air freight, sea freight, trans­port, ware­hous­ing, offshore sup­port, hus­bandry. Again, the list is long. “Since those early days, GAC has ex­panded and is now a global com­pany with 300 of­fices in more than 50 coun­tries, but it all started in Kuwait, and to my knowl­edge no other com­pany has ex­panded from Kuwait to cover ev­ery cor­ner of the world” says Bjork­lund.

“We have a net­work of teams around the world that can re­spond to cus­tomer needs any­where, any­time. “We still have our Swedish roots and our Scan­di­na­vian ap­proach to busi­ness and our em­pha­sis is on in­te­grat­ing our ser­vices so that our cus­tomers can choose the ser­vice mix that best suits their needs.” “We put up pho­tos from our ar­chives show­ing how things looked in the 1950s and they made such a vivid con­trast with what Kuwait is today.” he says. “It was a fan­tas­tic to see the jour­ney we’ve taken to get here and even more ex­cit­ing to see where the jour­ney will take us next.”

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