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What was your first thought when you got contacted by EMS Seven Seas– and when was that?
I was approached in August, which was only a short time after I set up Wave Shipping. I was immediately interested as it was such an interesting opportunity, but the problem was that I wasn’t looking for a job; I was looking for an investor. I was persuaded to attend an introductory meeting and there I realized the obvious synergies between the port agency services offered by Wave and the ship supply solutions of EMS Seven Seas. I also witnessed the 100% commitment to ensure EMS Seven Seas makes a really serious mark in the ship supply industry by leveraging the financial backing and organizational resources of Supreme Group. After a series of meetings, Supreme Group made an offer to acquire Wave Shipping and invited me to join the team as the new CEO of EMS Seven Seas.
Why is this an interesting opportunity for you?
This is a rare opportunity to make an impact in an industry that is so ripe for significant change. By investing in the areas of leadership, people and resources, great improvements can be made that will be noticed by our clients. I look forward to applying everything I have learnt over the years in the areas of leadership, management and market change to achieve our goals.
What do you expect to gain from it?
The satisfaction of helping a team of people to excel and build something unique and beneficial to stakeholders; and motivating my team to be equally happy about being part of that journey.
I know it will take hard work and perseverance, but I would like to create a better company by improving the services that we offer to benefit our clients. Our future market position will depend on how well we do it, but our ambition is to be the best.
How much do you know about the company?
EMS Seven Seas is one of the world’s top ship supply companies so obviously I was very familiar with the brand, and I had followed the EMS story for many years. It really is a great company with huge potential, and it didn’t take me long to decide that I wanted to join this team.
What are your ambitions for EMS Seven Seas – and how will you get there?
Our ambition is to be the preferred supplier in the industry. We plan to do this by developing and delivering a new market standard when it comes to customer service, compliance and convenience for clients.
We are planning to introduce customer service values that transcend everything we do, combined with a broader suite of products and services in all locations. In terms of compliance, this is on top of our agenda across the group, which include mandatory training programs and very strict policies. With reference to convenience, we plan to expand our geographical footprint, particularly in Asia, Africa and the Americas and we are totally committed to helping our clients resolve their business pains and needs by making their life easier.
Where do you see the biggest challenges going forward?
This is a major change project, so we are investing a lot of resources into managing the internal culture shift that needs to happen. I am encouraging the team to buy into the new and improved way of doing things. We are currently working with the leadership to improve operations at all levels of the organization, and that will remain a core focus area to the benefit of our clients.
I have already travelled extensively around the global office locations and have met the team of people who are all keen to work on this project. They are looking for direction and plans, and I am committed to providing that while supporting everyone to achieve their goals. I also met clients who want to do more business with us and have encouraged us to expand our service offering.
There are also practical challenges; extensive time and resources are required to grow the business, and set up new ventures. I also want to make sure that I spend enough time with our clients to understand how we can provide more support to them.
But these can be overcome by a combination of leadership, courage and commitment.
How will you handle it if any employees fear that the values of the company are changing for the worse?
It is normal for the employees of any company that gets acquired to have uncertainty and doubts that need to be addressed. I have been given autonomy to set the values that we, as EMS Seven Seas, want to deliver to employees and clients. These are appropriate for the industry and I have received strong buy in from everyone when talking about the future of the company. One of the values is encouraging open dialogue and feedback, so when there are concerns, these should be tabled and discussed openly without fear of negative consequences. I have therefore encouraged open discussions with the team from the beginning, and we use communication platforms like video messages and face to face meetings to ensure open, honest and fair discussions. This is a healthy form of discussion and it’s helping to reassure the employees about their role and importance in the company.
How will you make sure that everyone feels alright in the integration process?
By ensuring open and regular two way communication with the team; continuing to travel to meet the team; promote open door policies; and continuous reassurance of our goals, ambitions and intentions.
EMS Seven Seas is a global maritime services group serving merchant marine, offshore and defense customers. The company supplies general ship supplies, provisions, stores, spare parts and leading technical maritime brands through its extensive network of some 600 ports.
Founded in 1971, EMS Seven Seas primarily operates in Norway, Spain, Portugal, the Netherlands, Germany, the United States, the United Arab Emirates, Djibouti, and Singapore. Its clients include leading ship managers and owners, professional catering businesses, military operations and offshore platforms.
More information about EMS Seven Seas is available at: www.ems-sevenseas.com
The opportunities for private sector-led growth in Africa, the benefits of private equity buyouts as attractive entry strategies, and the focus of strategic investors in Africa were key themes discussed by Honore Dainhi, the President of Supreme Group’s Commercial Division. These were mentioned during a keynote speech at the Private Equity in Africa event that was held recently in London, United Kingdom. The overriding theme of the conference was a debate around the role of private equity in the African growth story, and to what extent it will generate enhanced returns over the medium to long term as the markets mature and new market dynamics emerge.
“Africa is full of opportunity, especially in regards to the fast growing middle-class and the huge increase in consumer spending. We see this is an attractive landscape for private sector investments, especially in the consumer facing industries. Until recently, the bulk of the growth was associated with resources (oil, gas and minerals) and infrastructure. This is changing now with consumer facing sectors presenting the largest growth opportunity for the coming 10 years or so,” Dainhi said
Supreme Group (Supreme) is a global leader in the provision of end to end supply chain solutions to governments and defense forces in challenging environments around the world. Supreme established a Commercial Division in 2013 with the objective of leveraging its proven expertise in the defense and government sector to broaden its portfolio in the commercial sector in emerging markets, with a particular focus on Africa. This will be achieved primarily by acquisitions, with target industries aligned to Supreme’s core competencies, specifically food manufacturing and marketing, nonalcoholic beverages, fuel marketing, and store-based retail.
“Supreme Group has been operating in Africa for more than 20 years, and we have developed bespoke capabilities and a solid understanding of the local markets and business environment. Our successful entrepreneurial experience and strategic mindset means that we have the same DNA as the owners of the target companies we are pursuing. We are planning to make long term investments that are focused on growth and partnerships,” Dainhi concluded.
Established in 1957, Supreme Group is a private, family-owned business that has built a unique reputation for providing outstanding service in challenging environments around the world. The company currently operates in 20 countries across five continents and provides procurement, transportation, storage and full site services to some of the world’s largest defence, government and commercial organizations. More information about Supreme Group is available at: www.supreme-group.net
EMS Seven Seas, announced that it has appointed Lars Rosenkrands as the new Chief Executive Officer (CEO) with immediate effect. Lars has 30 years’ experience in the shipping industry, having worked for a variety of ship supply and ship services companies across Europe, the Middle East and South East Asia, including Inchcape Shipping Services (ISS), Maersk, J. Lauritzen, Wilhelmsen Ship Services, ShipServ Ltd, and Sinwa Ltd.
Representing more good news for the company, EMS Seven Seas also confirmed that it has entered into an agreement to acquire 100 per cent of the shares of Wave Shipping, a maritime and port agency services company based in Singapore. Wave Shipping provides a full suite of maritime services to the global shipping and offshore industry, offering port agency services, outsourcing solutions and logistics services. It is helmed by a strong team of industry veterans from leading maritime services companies around the world and has offices in Singapore and A
Under the new ownership, Wave will continue as a standalone division within EMS Seven Seas. It will carry on the path to expand its operations across the globe, while pursuing its goal of revolutionizing the port agency industry by providing a significantly improved customer experience.
Lars Rosenkrands said: “We are thrilled to become part of EMS Seven Seas, which will give us the ideal platform and support to shake up the shipping agency industry and to deliver on our mission to provide a higher level of convenience, transparency and consistency in serving clients and partners within the maritime industry.
There are exciting synergies to explore between ship supply and port agency; as such, the combined EMS Seven Seas and Wave assets promise to bring unrivalled benefits to our customers.”
Following the acquisition of Wave Shipping, EMS Seven Seas now has a combined office network across four continents and a network of more than 600 ports; offering truly global solutions to its clients.
More information about EMS Seven Seas is available at: www.ems-sevenseas.com
Investing in Integrity (IiI) is pleased to announce that Supreme Group, a global leader in the provision of end to end supply chain solutions, has achieved the Investing in Integrity chartermark as a result of successful completion of the rigorous IiI accreditation process.
Investing in Integrity (IiI) is a chartermark, founded in 2012, designed to enable an organisation to reassure its key stakeholders that its business can demonstrate a commitment to act with integrity at all times. The real strength of the IiI framework is that it tests an organisation’s ethical conduct against its statements of values to ensure those values are properly embedded.It can help them identify whether or not the company is truly living up to its values, from the boardroom to the shop floor. Supreme underwent an independent assessment, to see if they were living up to the Company’s values of Customers, People, Success, Integrity and Sustainability. The process, carried out by Investing in Integrity assessment partner, GoodCorporation, involved site visits, staff interviews, employee surveys and a review of documentation.
“Supreme Group’s strategy around Ethics & Compliance is at the very heart of all that we do, every day. We are proud that our culture of ethics and integrity is of the highest international standard and continues to grow and develop. We take hard decisions and we always try to apply the latest techniques for embedding an ethical culture in our organisation. As with any successful business practice, innovation is key,” said Emma Sharma, Supreme Group’s Ethics and Compliance Officer.
Philippa Foster Back CBE, Director, Institute of Business Ethics said: “By achieving IiI, Supreme has demonstrated that they are serious about behaving ethically as a business wherever they operate. The high levels of engagement of their workforce on ethical issues is to be applauded. As the first logistics company to gain the IiI Chartermark, supporting their clients in difficult countries and situations, such as Afghanistan, means that creating a consistent corporate approach can be more challenging.”
Simon Culhane Chartered FCSI, Chief Executive, Chartered Institute for Securities & Investment said: “Being able publicly to demonstrate a commitment to acting with integrity has never been more valuable and we congratulate Supreme on the award of the IiI Chartermark.” To find out more about Investing in Integrity Chartermark visit www.investinginintegrity.org.uk
More information on Supreme Group can be found by visiting www.supreme-group.net