The FINANCIAL — Malkhaz Papelashvili, Manager of DHL Georgia, says that the effect of the global recession was terrible for every country’s economy and especially for Georgia. The influence was huge on the delivery business. Still they did not stop and decided to increase service portfolio. In 2009 DHL Georgia offered new types of service in logistics – store house running and strengthened internal deliveries.
Papelashvili says that in order to encourage export from Georgia management of the company did its best to get permission for stating lower rates on exporting. “Still, there exist several services that are more expensive in Georgia than abroad. Our price system is determined by different factors, such as the cost of the internet, phone calls, fuel and so on. It is ironic that despite being a neighbour country of Azerbaijan, the largest oil exporter in the region, the price of gasoline is much more expensive here than in the USA,” Papelashvili said.
In an exclusive interview with The FINANCIAL Papelashvili underlines the advantages of DHL that supported them in winning the loyalty of customers and the annual award of Golden Brand. DHL Georgia is on the list of the best four branches among post soviet countries. Still, Papelashvili says that the company has a lot to do.
DHL has radically changed since its first appearance. After its foundation in 1969 DHL was only focused on express delivering and was associated with post, then became the leading company in the logistic sphere. DHL built the world’s premier global delivery network by trailblazing express shipping in one country after another. Over 220 countries and territories later, DHL is the global market leader of the international express and logistics industry. DHL specializes in providing customers with innovative and customized transportation solutions from a single source. DHL started incorporating all services of delivery, boarding services with its distribution. The company managed to increase its shares and service portfolio with its own sources and after joining different companies.
“The main advantage of DHL is that it is a very dynamic company and is not afraid to transform in order to supply market demands,” Papelashvili said.
“If DHL sees that the Asian market is developing more, it starts strengthening its resources in that region. If they see some problems in the US market, they try to reduce service there. In 2003 Deutsche Post acquired Airborne Express, and integrated it into DHL. It was the third company in the USA and when DHL saw that it was interesting for them to increase shares, they purchased it.”
“The fact that a company can afford dynamic changes itself is very good. It allows the company to make changes and adequate steps whenever it is necessary. Such an approach towards business means that the company will manage to avoid any problems. Many businesses became bankrupt because they did not manage to make necessary changes in time.”
“DHL is among the minority of companies that incorporates such a huge number services. DHL delivers cargo, makes customs clearance, delivers it by air, ship, bus, car or even train, and keeps it in warehouses. You cannot find any alternative company on the Georgian market.”
“The crisis affected all countries. Still you can find exceptions. But minimal changes and collapses are catastrophic for more stable markets. Even a 5% reduction of business causes fatal problems for the whole world. Perhaps during the recession Asian markets became more stable but an increase of its development would not survive on the global market. It is a famous saying that when Wall Street in America sneezes China has a temperature of 41 degrees. So stability of the Chinese market and UAE did not encourage the global market.”
“The recession did not affect the developing plans of our company. On the contrary, we implemented all the projects that we had planned in advance. Actually, the Georgian branch of DHL is very respectful to the head office of our company. They are sure that we will always accept correct decisions. All the projects that were implemented with huge finances in other countries, were achieved in Georgia with minimal expenses.”
“All the services run by our only branch in Georgia are offered by several branches abroad. The Georgian branch of DHL occupies third position among the countries of the post Soviet Union. Only Russia, Ukraine and Kazakhstan are before us. Our success is the work of the whole group of our branch. DHL Georgia employs around 100 staff members and we are all focused on gaining respect. As well as all our achievements, we still think that we should be proving our worth. We still want to improve our service and quality. Quantity does not always mean quality and it is better to first improve quality and later start thinking about increasing shares.”
“Annual turnover of our company in 2009 was 6-7 million GEL. The volume is similar to that we had previously but it was because we added additional services. Actually we faced a reduction of demand even for existing services. When you expect benefit enhancement of 15% and finally get 3%, it is not bad, but not good. Of course it is good that we did not finish the year with losses but still.”
“DHL Georgia has been operating since 1995. Demand was rising for our services in ‘96 and ‘99. After that, in the beginning of 2000 we were in stagnation. Later we became more active and were stably rising from 2004 till 2008. 2009 returned us to stagnation. Today the main issue for us is returning to our previous level of stability.”
“Our main goal is achieving absolute satisfaction of our customers, even if our business will not be that beneficial for us. Our service is firstly connected with export and we will do our best not to hamper the exporter business. We are focused on developing this service among Georgians. That is why we implemented additional services in 2009.”
“Our company is a thermometer for the country’s economy. According to our expectations 2010 will be a stable year and we should expect further development in the future. I do not expect to have see changes inside the country in 2010. If our people will not repeat the case of Kyrgyzstan, we should achieve this.”
According to the company statistics, the volume of import is higher than export.
Papelashvili says export is beneficial. The company is doing its best to promote export.