Established in 2005 with a unique mission to bring convenience to people & businesses, Posta Plus is committed to create smarter logistics solutions. From industry-specific high-tech solutions to e-fulfillment and same day delivery services, Posta Plus has established itself as a one stop shop for all logistical needs.
This year, the company is poised to further expand into newer markets including Oman.
Hisham Albahar, CEO of Posta Plus talks to Business Live Middle East about the company’s journey and the way forward…
Kindly tell us about the Posta Plus business model.
The Posta Plus way of doing business is actually a working example of “synergistic growth” through an international hybrid delivery network, which is made up of both owned assets such as our operations in GCC, and those of our service partners across the globe.
The model is constructed to be very agile and flexible in terms of capitalising on the existing and arising business opportunities globally with particular focus, of course , on the “Courier Express Parcel” market as well as “Freight Forwarding” as a core supportive activity.
Keeping the momentum and the energy levels within various teams across our network, high and yielding while creating this type of dynamic growth, requires a lot of central guidance, co-operation, training and motivational interplay, all of which have actually long been carried out by Posta Plus with absolute pleasure and some really exciting results along the way.
In a fast changing world like this is, where, speaking from our own industrial trends in isolation, light parcels (upto 30 Kg. Max.) and B2C/C2C becoming the game changers as product and business segments respectively , along with the fast diminishing impact of wholesalers and brick-and-mortar retail channels the world over, I dare to say that “power of adaptation” for any company, irrespective of its size , will remain more and more to be the main factor telling the difference between what is “IN” and “OUT”, “Relevant” and “Obsolete”.
From this perspective, Posta Plus is definitely a “New School” company with so much energy and will to deliver always more for its employees, customers and ultimately its shareholders.
What was the vision behind the brand? Kindly give us a snapshot of your journey from starting out in Kuwait to then expanding out into the region.
In a nutshell, I can describe it to be “Absolute Customer Convenience through Innovation and smart Hard Work”.
For Posta Plus, “Speed” and “Reliability”, for instance, are not the ends in themselves, as they still have been to quite a few companies in our industry , but rather just steps for arriving at a new and elevated sense “Convenience”.
Having said that, we normally start at the point where a large number of others just finish.
The inceptive idea behind Posta Plus is always to be on the forefront of offering new alternatives as long as delivery times, pickup & delivery points, digital customer interfaces, call-centre booking, event follow-ups, value-added services and customers interactions are concerned.
Being able to deliver more options requires – first and foremost – unique ways of identifying and addressing the changing needs and expectations of customers and ideally acting on them before anyone else would.
This is the reason why, since the very first days of Posta Plus in Kuwait, we have been opting for “owned IT”, instead of an outsourced one.
Many innovative and market leading IT solutions, that give our company a competitive edge and brand differentiation have been the achievements of this indigeneous team and I am proud of all of them.
IT is the main battlefield in our industry and here no one can understand you and the way you want to approach the big question of “customer” better than yourself. Whereas we followed just the opposite course in our network expansion by way of creating quality Service Partners in a variety of destination markets to handle the Middle Mile and Last Mile in the way we foresee them in terms of KPIs and level of customer satisfaction.
Both moves, although mutually exclusive, have so far paid off generously if we think about the market and customer share we have achieved to generate in such a short span of time.
Always, the first step is the most challenging one, as you have to establish yourself right and prove that your original business model works like you have imagined.
Kuwait was our laboratory and the rest have followed successfully based upon the findings and experiences we gained in our home market.
In what countries across MENA are you active in? And who are your biggest clients?
Posta Plus international delivery network currently covers such countries as Kuwait, U.A.E., Bahrain, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan, Jordan, Syria, Iraq, The United Kingdom, United States of America, and China. It also boasts of serving prestigious companies yet unfortunately don’t have the permission to publish their names.
Do the necessary infrastructures on a regional scale, exist to stay competitive? What are the challenges that you’re facing and how are you addressing them?
I always come to believe that you can build up operational capability where and whenever necessary either organically or inorganically through strategic partnerships or acquisitions, what is more critical and difficult to establish is to sustain your core customer promise, which, in the case of Posta Plus, is “Convenience par Excellence”.
This dictates a very meticulous and demanding management for keeping Service Level Agreements (SLAs) effectively up and running with your Service Partners as well as your own Management Teams. And as you can imagine, no matter how big and how multi-piece your global delivery machine is, a lot would still depend on the motivation of your teams and intrinsically their level of sense of belonging to the brand “Posta Plus”.
Human element is the main catalyst and the direction it will change things , positive or negative, will be your ultimate call of management. This is the experience, when I look back and proudly see 10 Million happy customers, 25 Million conveniently delivered parcels and more than 5000 businesses being helped to grow like Posta Plus itself since our establishment in Kuwait.
You are also planning to begin operations in Oman. What kind of businesses will you be targeting here? Will your network generate enough traffic to be profitable?
Oman, will surely be another important milestone in our journey of network build-up in the Middle East region. I am proactively very positive about the business prospects in this key market. Both B2C and B2B Express parcels and cargo streams will be aimed at in a “two-way /cross-border” traffic with a decent volume target, justifying our initial investment and our business cause to be there.
Posta Plus has recently expanded to the US as well. Kindly tell us more about your reasons for this expansion. What kind of services are you introducing and in what ways will it benefit clients in the GCC?
Like many, the US is the land of promise and opportunity for Posta Plus as well. I am very much excited about my company now having a firm foothold in this big market through its own operational facility near New Jersey.
From this point, we have already started building up new linehauls to connect some very promising tradelanes to our markets in the Middle East and also serving the delivery needs of our customers within the US through our partnerships. Moreover, this would add on the capabilities of our flagship product “MYBOX”, whereby our customers, anywhere in our network countries would realise their on-line shopping at various leading US E-Retailers and have their shipments conveniently shipped to their homes using their MYBOX accounts.
Going forward, I already see that our US opening will mark the beginnings of many beginnings for Posta Plus and its happy customers.
What are your plans for the future?
Our aspiration for the future is to become the most convenient Express Courier Company of the world. Sooner rather than later.
Sushmita, Assistant Editor – BusinessLiveME, enjoys writing about a variety of topics, including but not limited to, energy, video games, infrastructure, cyber security, feminism and gender, and popular culture. Apart from her content-related duties, Sushmita is adept at making to-do lists.