By Sanjiv Edward, Chairman, TIACA
As Sanjiv Edward comes to the end of his tenure as TIACA Chairman, he reflects on his aims and achievements, and thanks his colleagues for the privilege of working with them.
As business leaders, one of the common challenges we encounter is how to drive consistent growth and efficiencies for our business in a highly unpredictable world. While every business leader has grown up believing the cliché “change is the only constant”, the speed of change in today’s times is unprecedented and the ability to adapt to this “accelerated change” is an extremely valuable attribute, that can be achieved through an “accelerated collaboration” made possible through industry associations like TIACA.
As they say, we exist in a VUCA world (volatility, uncertainty, complexity, ambiguity). However, the entrepreneurial view is that while there are challenges galore, so are there opportunities. Businesses are having to adopt new marketing channels (web and social). To engage globally is easier than ever before but this also requires important decisions to invest in, and adopt, new technologies for competing on a global stage. All of these hold true for trade associations as well for them to remain visible, engaged, and relevant to the industry.
Against the backdrop of today’s accelerated change, the role of the associations becomes even more critical to not only understand the change but to work with industry and fulfill the objectives in this rapidly changing business environment. This has been a key driver for the theme of our Executive Summit 2017 in Miami, encouraging industry and its leaders to deliberate on how do we ‘Future Proof Air Cargo’.
Historically, trade associations have played an important role, firstly in connecting businesses within their sphere of influence (for an organization like TIACA the arena is global, cutting across geographies, countries, and economic regions); secondly they have become the bridge between industry and regulators (facilitating the change in policy and procedures); and thirdly, enabling the creation of efficiencies in the products and processes to aid revenue and business growth in their industry.
Since my taking over as TIACA Chair, we have been gearing up for adapting to the changing world around us. It started by first having a Board that is truly representative of our global nature by bringing in participation from diverse regions like South Korea, Singapore, the Middle East, Europe, the Americas and our latest addition will be from Africa.
Another important step was engaging and collaborating with a diverse spectrum of regulators, which saw the launch of four major projects with the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) in the areas of joint events, training, technology, and cargo service quality.
The culmination of these two initiatives was the organizing of the very successful LEAD Summit at ACF 2016 in Paris, which witnessed heads of ICAO, the World Customs Organization (WCO), and Board members of TIACA interacting with industry and association leaders from 27 different countries across the globe, on various issues that impact the efficiency in the air cargo supply chain.
All the players in the air cargo supply chain have one thing in common — the ultimate customer, the Shipper. At TIACA, we have made special efforts to listen to the shipper by forming the Shippers’ Advisory Council (SAC). Also, to address their need for quality, we initiated the development of the Cargo Service Quality (CSQ) program during my tenure, which I had the privilege to lead and be personally involved with together with our Board.
The CSQ program is an ambitious project of the TIACA Board aimed at measuring and improving the cargo service quality to make air cargo the preferred mode of transportation. Last year our former Secretary General, Doug Brittin, moved on after a fruitful tenure to spend more time with his family. We found an excellent replacement in Vladimir Zubkov, an experienced industry veteran, who has brought renewed energy to the organization and our global industry engagements, hosting two recent events in Indonesia and Ethiopia, together with Regulators.
I have had the privilege of working with an excellent Board, the TIACA team, and have made many friends in industry which I really value.
In conclusion, I firmly believe that in this world of accelerated change, industry associations like TIACA will continue to play in important role leading “accelerated collaboration” in several areas, which will be a key factor for the industry to achieve consistency in an unpredictable world.
Sanjiv is chairing the Plenary session on TIACA’s Cargo Service Quality Initiative, and is also participating in the session on Airport Communities, part of the Innovation Track at TIACA’s 2017 Executive Summit.