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Leaders Speak: Interview of Adrien THOMINET, COO

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Cargo general sales and service agents (GSSAs) role has been evolving. From just being sales agents, they now even add value to air cargo carriers by focusing on service aspect as well. ECS Group brings together well known GSSAs and has 58 subsidiaries with 103 offices across 39 countries. In a conversation with Twinkle Sahita, Adrien Thominet, COO, ECS Group, talks about the emerging role of GSSAs and describes the market situation in India as compared to the global market. Edited Excerpts.

What are the emerging responsibilities of GSSAs other than sales?
Well, the principal would expect the GSSAs to have the largest physical network of sales more than maybe their own organisation. So first is the network which is important covering sales and then the connection with the customers because we do represent several airlines. We are connecting to the best customers for the best benefit of the airline. Also, the capability to innovate new services, new products and new routes for them.

How do you foresee India’s contribution in comparison to your global presence? Are you satisfied with the figures?
India is one of our best prides. ECS India is the fastest growing GSSA company managed by Rajendra Dubey. We established Globe Air Cargo India in 2012 in Delhi. Just imagine. It was less than 4 years ago. There were 5 employees. 121 employees are working for ECS Group in India. Now we are amongst the largest GSSA Company in India, having presence over 19 locations across India. In India we are specialised in Total Cargo Management. ECS India have achieved the landmark figures of 50,000 tonnes in the year 2015, which represent 7 percent of the total tonnage moved by ECS all over the world. We do believe in a prosperous future for Indian market and ESC India will keep on being part of this tremendous transformation.

What according to you is important to scale up operations in the market you operate in?
Cost savings, always, because outsourcing is cost savings for them. I think we are also changing the kind of co-operation and trying hybrid system wherein we are mixing the airline staff and expertise of GSSAs. We are trying to combine the two strengths which is think today is the ‘new style’ of merging between an airline and GSSA.

How are you striking a balance between better service and cost?
The big pressure is coming on the yields and on the revenues. The airlines are increasing their capacity. They want to get better results. But the results are coming from better sales. More sales, better rates. So how to get better rates in a very competitive market is usually by creating new services around it. And cost control, of course, we need to be very close to the tracking companies, handling agents. Sometimes it’s easy to reduce the cost by increasing the revenue to them.

What is your vision for ECS?
30 percent of our business is dependent of the emerging market. Thus, we would like to maintain a double digit growth in those new places to be. We are very focused on Asia and especially South East Asia and mainly in the Indo-China region with a complete new network with nine new countries covered in Asia. Being a key partner over there is our goal for the next year. Also we want to keep on being able to adapt ourselves to the fast changes of our industry and anticipating needs. That is our strength. We have to be constantly innovative, flexible and obviously connected. We understand that beyond the e-logistic solutions we already provide we really need to match to the expectation of real time communication and e-freight.

Click on the link below to read this interesting article from Stattimes about the emerging role of GSSAs.
http://www.stattimes.com/index.php/from-magazine-leaders-speak-adrien-thominet-of-ecs-group/ 

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