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Εκτύπωση

INTERVIEW

26 Απριλίου 2020.

 

MARIA ANGELIDOU

 

 

GAC: “Delivering your strategy” is our brand promise

 

 

mariaangelidou1Maria Angelidou has been involved in the shipping sector for the last 26 years.  She holds a Shipping Agency Diploma, as well as a BSc in Business Administration from the University of Seattle and is currently an MBA Candidate at Cardiff Metropolitan University. She is member of many shipping associations, including WISTA (Women in Shipping & Trade Association) Hellas, for which she has served as a member of the Board of Directors for the past four years.  In addition to her native Greek, she also speaks English, Italian and Spanish.

Maria is the GAC Group’s Shipping Marketing Manager based in Greece.  Her duties include Public Relations, marketing activities and promoting GAC’s wide range of products and services to existing customers and potential clients in Greece, Cyprus, Croatia, Slovenia & Montenegro.

Frequent contact with Principals – primarily ship owners or charterers – is a key aspect of her role, which connects shipping companies with GAC’s operational offices in more than 50 countries worldwide.

On the home front, she is a mother of three lovely daughters: 18-year-old Theodora, ten-year-old Sophia and eight-year-old Rania. Although her girls take up much of her free time, she still tries to find some time for her hobbies such as reading, exercising, painting, dancing, travel, cinema and theatre.

Mrs. Maria Angelidou states: «GAC is a global provider of integrated shipping, logistics and marine services. Emphasising world-class performance, a long-term approach, innovation, ethics and a strong human touch, GAC delivers a flexible and value-adding portfolio to help customers achieve their strategic goals».

Mrs. Maria Angelidou says: «GAC is a global service provider that focuses on building long-term relationships with its customers, its staff and its suppliers.As a Group, we are committed to delivering the highest standards of integrated shipping, logistics and marine support to the markets we serve.

GAC’s vision is to provide leadership and innovation in global business and community life with its flexible portfolio of services built on quality, safety, honesty, vigour and an eye on the long plan».

Mrs. Maria Angelidou points out that: «We pledge to put the ambitions and strategic targets of our customers at the heart of everything we do. It tells them that we have the skills, the assets, the values and the drive to work with them to achieve their business goals. GAC aims to be their strategic partner as they reach for success».

About COVID-19 crisis Mrs. Angelidou says: «Although the whole world is “locked down”, we are finding ways to continue doing our job, keeping touch with our customers and providing the support they need. Regular updates and contacts are essential, and this is what I do». 

Determined, reliable, dignified, positive, talented Mrs. Angelidou always says, “Face your customers’ problems as if they are your problems and find a solution soonest”.

 

 

Interview to: Georgia Ermidi

 

The GAC story started in 1956 when Swedish entrepreneur Bengt Lindwall signed an agreement with two Kuwaiti businessmen to form Gulf Agency Company to provide professional ship agency services in the country. Today, Kuwait’s Shipping License “No.1” is proudly displayed at GAC Kuwait’s office in Farwaniya. Over the next decade, more offices opened throughout the Middle East as oil, shipping and logistics business grew. In the 1970s, more GAC companies were established in the Eastern Mediterranean and Nigeria, and in Asia Pacific and the Indian Subcontinent in the ‘80s. Further expansion throughout Africa, Europe, the Americas, Central Asia and Australia followed in the 1990s and 2000s. Today, GAC is now a global group providing a wide range of integrated shipping, logistics and marine services.

Could you tell me the History of your company from the foundation until nowand including all GAC services?

 

GAC is a global provider of integrated shipping, logistics and marine services. Emphasisingworld-class performance, a long-term approach, innovation, ethics and a strong human touch, GAC delivers a flexible and value-adding portfolio to help customers achieve their strategic goals.

Established since 1956, the privately-owned company employs over 9,000 people in more than 300 offices worldwide.

“Delivering your strategy.” is our brand promise. We pledge to put the ambitions and strategic targets of our customers at the heart of everything we do. It tells them that we have the skills, the assets, the values and the drive to work with them to achieve their business goals. GAC aims to be their strategic partner as they reach for success.

Today we offer:

•GAC Shipping offers a wide portfolio for ship owners and operators, including: ship agency, canal & straits transits, husbandry, marine fuel supplies, ROV hull cleaning, weather routing and maritime training.

•GAC Logistics provides a rich array of general and specialist logistics services to diverse markets from FMCG to oil & gas, plus a division dedicated to ship spares logistics.

•GAC Marine activities centre around our fleet of supply craft and barges that provide vital support for offshore exploration, construction and production, heavy lift cargo towage, and more in key locations in the Middle East, Caspian Sea and Indian Ocean.

 

How easy is to perform the service to your clients in a high-level prospect?

 

When you position yourself as one of the top global agents, you must always deliver on your promise of high-quality services. And the only way to do that is to have dedicated, professional staff who are efficient, involved and committed. GAC’s recipe for high-value service is its combination of expertise and professional discipline with a human touch. I always say, “Face your customers’ problems as if they are your problems and find a solution soonest”.

 

Tell me about a method you’ve developed for accomplishing a task.

 

Whenever I have a task to be accomplished, I start by measuring all the possibilities that could result from whatever action is taken. There are always many ways of reaching your goal, but only a few that are based on your own and your company’s values. My personal way of doing business is to be methodical, accurate, dedicated and always to answer promptly.

 

What strategy do you follow?

 

GAC is a global service provider that focuses on building long-term relationships with its customers, its staff and its suppliers. As a Group, we are committed to delivering the highest standards of integrated shipping, logistics and marine support to the markets we serve.

GAC’s vision is to provide leadership and innovation in global business and community life with its flexible portfolio of services built on quality, safety, honesty, vigour and an eye on the long plan.

In a nutshell, our strategy is based on our customers and what they need.

mariaangelidou2

 

These days it is hard not to talk about COVID-19. Which are the big challenges for work in the pandemic Covid-19?

 

Trade continues, and so do we. Maybe the circumstances or where we are working from has changed, but what remains solid is our commitment to our customers. We are here for them and even in these challenging conditions, we are determined to continue providing uninterrupted support to our principals.

For me, the biggest challenge is not being able to have personal contact with the operators.  Although technology can bring us closer, and it is a marvelous tool that enables us to carry on in the current situation, it cannot replace being face-to-face with someone in order to really understand their needs and their priorities.

 

What about Covid-19 and ports?

 

Shipping has always faced challenges – and it has always found a way to overcome the obstacles. In the new, rather surreal, version of ‘normal’ that COVID-19 has brought about, again we will find the way. For now, we have to adapt our way of working to new rules and regulations to bring COVID-19 under control. 

Nonetheless, the challenges are significant. Trade continues, but husbandry matters cannot be easily arranged. Crew changes are a major issue for ship owners and operators, as many countries have completely ruled out embarkation/disembarkation of their crew, and those that allow it do so only under specific conditions.

 

How are you and your company handling the COVID-19 situation?

 

Every difficult situation is best handled with a clear mind and composure. For GAC it is important to reassure customers of our continued presence, and we are around to help them adapt to current conditions and beyond. A clear understanding of the relevant information is key, and that is what is at the heart of GAC’s efforts to provide our customers with accurate, reliable and up-to-date news about steps being taken around the world to tackle COVID-19.

Our long-established HOT PORT NEWS (www.gac.com/hpn) is the go-to source of updates related to operations at ports around the world. Very early on in the current crisis, we realised that a dedicated resource was needed where our colleagues and customers could check conditions worldwide. You can see the latest shipping and logistics updates, provided direct from GAC’s global network frontline, at www.gac.com/coronavirus.

 

During your career, have you ever been in a difficult situation or a global crisis like this before, and how did you address the situation?

 

I have faced several difficulties during my work life, but nothing of this nature and on this scale. Although the whole world is “locked down”, we are finding ways to continue doing our job, keeping touch with our customers and providing the support they need.  Regular updates and contacts are essential, and this is what I do.  It’s a tough time, but as an industry we are tougher, and I believe that if we tackle the challenges vigorously, but with patience, we shall come through it.

 

With the Covid-19 and the grave disruptions it has caused in global trade are you concerned about the long-term effect on the shipping industry?

 

Yes, this indeed is one of my key concerns. We have seen a tremendous change in shipping. The oil price has plummeted to rock bottom, the demand for floating storage is at a peak.  Uncertainty is the name of the game, and we are all in the same boat. Nobody knows exactly when the global trade will recover, but for sure we have to be prepared for the long haul.

 

What is your opinion about the impact of Covid-19 on the global shipping sector. How long will take for global economy to recover?

 

No-one knows how long it will last, but even the best scenario acknowledges that it will have an impact on all. Maybe this unexpected revolution in the way we have to function will be a catalyst for permanent change, but it is still too early to predict exactly what will change and how. Global shipping and the economy are taking a hit, and we must stand strong to face the new challenges that will follow.

mariaangelidou3

 

What is your philosophy of life and work?

 

“Aim high, work hard in silence and let your success make all the noise”

 

How would you describe yourself in three words?

 

Determined, reliable, dignified.

 

What does success mean to you?

 

Success is feeling emotionally fulfilled by your family whilst maintaining your reputation as a professional in a competitive market. For me, there is no contradiction in these twin measures of success, but it does require organisation and hard work. My experience has taught me that recognition comes from dedication, transparency and commitment.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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