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Lighthouse - January, 2014.

The Road Ahead – Expo 2020 – By Jan Bak

After enjoying 23 years as a resident in Dubai the vision and determination of this city and country keeps, impressing me. Celebrating the victory at the impressive Atlantis Hotel at Palm Jumeirah with hundreds of other singing and dancing residents made me wonder, how one could take advantage of the opportunities ahead.

It also made me remember my 10 years at Dubai Ports Authority, Jebel Ali Free Zone and Tejari.com, which showed me the ability; a strong team has, in making dreams a reality. We had strong leadership and worked strategically and tactically across the divisions in winning new businesses, and always to the betterment of Dubai. There was a pride and self-belief that I have never come across since, and I feel proud having been part of these incredible growth years.

Now it is time to embark on another journey, capitalizing on EXPO 2020 and like Norman Vincent Peale once stated – “If you want to get somewhere, you have to know where you want to go and how to get there” – Then never, never, never & never give up and as with anything else it is about planning your work, and work your plan.

EXPO 2020 is starting in October 2020 running for 6 months, so is it a bit early to plan your attack? No it isn’t and certainly not when you are in the logistics, transportation, removal and industrial packaging game.

First it is getting involved with the construction industry at all levels and segments building relationships, and later it turns over into the fun of warehousing and distribution, ambient, cool and cold storage you name it. You want to win your share of the imports from all over the world, from raw materials to know how and expertise, moving people and arts for the exhibition, as countries show cases their pride and joy. Denmark moved the “Little Virgin” statue from Copenhagen to Shanghai for the 6 months of EXPO 2010, which is like the UK moving the “Crown Jewels” across to Dubai for EXPO 2020, this is an example how seriously countries value this opportunity. You want to position yourself as a company and individual to take advantage of this movement of people and goods that may turn into export opportunities later. It kind of also makes you think about the EXPO 2020 city and community, where a need for a fleet of small flexible cool and cold stores trucks would be evident, moving the tonnes of foodstuffs and waste materials in and out of the EXPO city from logistics centers, again it is not something you plan or finance over night.

Point is, nothing comes to you, you need to go and win it, create relationships locally and internationally within the segment and niches you see yourself playing a role. It is about showing one’s competences, willingness and ability to invest in resources whether hardware, software, people, structures etc., sell, sell, sell and creating the strategic relationships that maximize the opportunity to win the big tenders that no doubt will come to light, or focus on the specific niche elements and do them better than any competition. There are tonnes of opportunities and who will win them is about determination, persistency, consistency and a winning formula, planned well in advance. Everyone speaks about it but only few are really able to execute it over the long-term.

Happy Hunting from an old loyal resident.

(The author is a professional change management specialist, motivational trainer and an environmentalist based in Dubai.  Feedback can be sent at communications@cssgroupsite.com or janbak21@gmail.com )

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