COVER STORY requires a level of specialisation, which we have mastered. But the equation changes if we consider cold storage, which requires a different set of skills altogether. Instead of investing or leasing a facility all by ourselves it makes sense to tie up with companies that have vacant space to lease,” Khushalani reveals. Growth also entails expansion beyond the UAE for Khushalani and Premier. So how does an asset light strategy come together to form a growth plan? “It’s simple, we are looking at expanding our warehousing capacity through international joint ventures and partnerships — primarily in Saudi Arabia, India and China. This has been made possible part in thanks to our client’s needs and requirements. It’s a case of we go where they are,” he reveals. Business sustainability and continuity During the last few months the think tank at Premier has looked to further advance its digital transformation plans. “With our recent focus primarily on digital transformation of the age-old logistics industry, Premier has been consistently moving towards providing innovative solutions. We want to create value for our clients and we want to build on innovative solutions to ensure the highest quality in warehousing and distribution, that’s the mission statement,” Khushalani adds. According to a recent survey conducted by Dubai Police, Dubai Economy and Visa shopping at physical stores has reduced 68% since the outbreak of the pandemic. The surveyed respondents in the UAE also added that 49% are shopping online more than previously. The coronavirus pandemic brought about a shift in consumer behaviour, and with it, a swift adaptability by the consumer towards technology. The survey further added that “These shifts in consumer behaviour caused by the pandemic are expected to be the “new normal”. THERE IS PLENTY OF TALK ABOUT INNOVATION WITHIN THE LOGISTICS AND FULFILMENT SECTOR IN THE REGION – FROM DRONES AND ROBOTS TO ELECTRIC TRUCKS AND E-BIKES. UNFORTUNATELY, MOST OF THESE WILL STILL TAKE SOME TIME TO BE ACCEPTED, AS THEY ARE NOT YET COSTEFFECTIVE AND CAPACITYEXPANDING. THE PROBLEM, AT LEAST IN THE SHORT TERM, IS NOT WITH THE WAY WE MOVE PARCELS, IT’S ABOUT WHERE WE MOVE THEM TO.” 23 LOGISTICS MIDDLE EAST | JULY 2020 www.logisticsmiddleeast.com
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