President's Column

Ringing in the new…

January is a time for reflection. On the year just ended, and on what the new one will bring. It reminds us that time flies, times change and those who thrive are the ones who adapt to keep up with those changing times.

It’s also a month of action. Our Group IT team have been at action stations for quite some time, and they are now starting to roll out changes in the tools we use and the way we work. It’s all about bringing technological intelligence and commercial smarts together to serve our business, and keep us relevant and ready for the challenges that await us. You can read more about what our CIO Martin Wallgren and his team are up to and what we can expect to see in the coming months in our cover story.

Good idea!

A lot of what Group IT is working on will play a key role in our drive to spread awareness, understanding and implementation of the Delta 21 strategy throughout the Group, not just at Head Office. So, it was gratifying to receive a comment from a reader in response to my column is the last GAC Chat underlining the need for offices to work together rather than competitively to achieve our Delta 21 goals. He suggested setting up an online forum of some kind where like-minded free thinkers across our Group can share thoughts, questions and experiences to stimulate cross border dialogue. That’s just the sort of bright idea our Performance Support Group (PSG) had in mind when they set up the initiative last year. Our reader has now used that email to submit his suggestion to them. I urge any of you bright sparks with a brainwave that can help GAC work better and smarter to follow suit. The PSG looks into the merits and viability of every suggestion received.

Good news

This issue brings lots of things to feel good about, including a bunch of new awards to add to our growing collection. There was a double win at the Lloyd's Loading List Global Freight Awards, as well as ship agency of the year accolades for both our Group as a whole and GAC Saudi Arabia. We’ve also been celebrating 60 years in Bahrain and GAC Dubai’s continuing collaboration with the TT Club. Auntie G even offers a few reasons to be cheerful of her own.

While it’s good to feel good about ourselves, it’s more important to continue to strive for excellence. What wins awards today is tomorrow’s norm, so we must always be thinking about new, better ways to stand out from our competition.

And now for something completely different…

We’re unveiling a new series of ads as part of a fresh campaign to set the GAC brand apart as a world-class provider of shipping, logistics and marine services. None of them features a ship or a forklift truck. Instead, frogs on a flying trapeze, bespoke suits, steaming cups of coffee and a sniffer dog are used to get our message across. Some will like the new campaign. Some won’t. They may even ridicule it. But one thing’s for sure – they will remember it.

I dare you

Fear of ridicule or even failure is the reason many bright ideas never become reality. That’s why we’re moving out of the comfort zone with our new set of ads. It’s a way to demonstrate that GAC dares to step away from the expected – both in the way we sell ourselves and how we serve our customers. Watch out for the hashtag #GACdares.

Some ideas don’t turn out so well as they seem on the drawing board. But we explore them anyway. If something doesn’t work out, we learn lessons and move forward. So, here’s to making even more progress together in the year to come.

Bengt Ekstrand
Group President