Ramesh S. Ramakrishnan, Chairman, Transworld Group

Please share a profile on your field of business and how you came into your current role.

Founded in 1977 by my late father, R. Sivaswamy, his guiding principles of quality, reliability and commitment to excellence have served the group well and are the driving force behind our vision for tomorrow and beyond. I took over from my father in 1989, when we had moved our global HQ to Dubai.

As an integrated and holistic global shipping and logistics group, we look forward to the future with confidence and continue to expand our horizons, by delivering innovative solutions, supported by bold, resolute and decisive action.

What are the challenges you perceive in your field of business and how are you planning to meet them?

The maritime and logistics industry faces several challenges, including increasing environmental regulations, rising operational costs, and technological disruption. To address these challenges, we are focusing on sustainable business model and product diversification. We are also streamlining our operations through digitalisation and automation to improve service efficiency. Furthermore, we are fostering innovation within our organisation and collaborating with industry partners to find creative solutions to these challenges.

State three things that you could offer to help incentivise your team in their quest for excellence.

1) A collaborative environment: We foster a culture of collaboration, where ideas are encouraged, and teamwork is valued. We provide a supportive work environment where individuals can thrive and contribute to our collective success. Our open-door policy and culture encourage our team members to come forth with innovative ideas and disruptive strategies.

2) Professional development: We offer ongoing training and development programmes to enhance the personality, skills and knowledge of our team members, ensuring they have the tools to excel in their roles.

3) Recognition and rewards: We believe in recognising and rewarding exceptional performance. Our team members have access to performance-based incentives and opportunities for career growth.

How primed is the UAE as a hub for business and entrepreneurship?

The UAE has positioned itself as a thriving hub for business and entrepreneurship, offering a strategic location, world-class infrastructure, and a business-friendly environment. Its strategic geographical location serves as a gateway for trade between East and West. Moreover, the UAE government has consistently implemented policies to attract foreign investment, promote innovation, and facilitate entrepreneurship.

The presence of free zones, a skilled workforce, and a commitment to economic diversification make the UAE an attractive destination for businesses of all sizes.

How has your organisation contributed towards the growth of the UAE under your leadership?

Transworld Group has actively contributed to the growth of the UAE by facilitating international trade and logistics. We were one of the earliest movers into the Jabel Ali Free Zone (JAFZA) and we worked very closely with JAFZA and DP World on strategic initiatives. Our recent venture into aviation under the brand name, Airavat, with luxury passenger jets, which are based out of DWC, is a testament of our faith in the UAE.

We have invested in state-of-the-art infrastructure and technology to enhance the efficiency of supply chains in the region. By providing reliable and innovative shipping and logistics solutions, we have played a role in supporting the UAE’s economic diversification efforts and its position as a global trade hub.

Aligned and encouraged by the culture of the UAE, our organisation has embarked on various corporate responsibility initiatives, which are positively impacting human lives and our planet.

What is the growth trajectory you have charted for your organisation over the next five years?

Over the next five years, we are committed to an ambitious growth trajectory. We plan to expand our global presence and increase our assets, including ships, aircraft, distribution centres, and infrastructure, to meet the growing demands of the industry. This expansion will allow us to provide even more comprehensive end-to-end logistics solutions, bridging the supply chain gap for our clients and partners.

Our strategy also includes further digitalisation and automation of our operations to enhance efficiency and reduce operational costs. This will ensure that we remain at the forefront of industry innovation.

In addition to growth and technology, sustainability remains a cornerstone of our strategy. We are dedicated to eco-friendly practices, including exploring alternative fuels and implementing green technologies, as part of our commitment to a greener future.

As a UAE corporate icon, what is the legacy you wish to leave for future managers and team heads at your firm?

The higher purpose of our organisation is Delivering Prosperity To Humanity. My legacy would be every member of the Transworld Family is a catalyst for the higher purpose and a torchbearer of our company values, ethos, vision and mission.

I hope to inspire future managers and team leaders to embrace change, drive innovation, and prioritize sustainability in all aspects of their work. I want them to carry forward our tradition of excellence and customer-centricity while also contributing positively to the growth and development of the UAE’s business landscape. Ultimately, I aspire to leave a legacy of leadership that fosters both business success and societal well-being.