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Henadi Al-Saleh Chairperson Agility Public Warehousing Company K.S.C.P

KUWAIT - Transport

Henadi Al-Saleh

Chairperson, Agility Public Warehousing Company K.S.C.P

Bio

Henadi Al-Saleh is the chairperson of Agility’s board of directors and has been recognized as one the most powerful businesswomen in the Middle East by Forbes Magazine. Al-Saleh oversees the company’s corporate governance program, leads its digital transformation, and also oversees the company’s innovation arm and technology ventures team. Before joining Agility, she was the head of debt/equity capital markets at NBK Capital in Kuwait. Al-Saleh earned a bachelor of economics from Tufts University. She sits on the board of the Gulf Warehousing Company in Qatar.

“We are keen on working with various stakeholders to spread the use and availability of ESG-related technologies.”
Agility continues to invests in sustainable technology to offer the best digital logistics services in line with changes in global trends.
What are the biggest advantages of employing ESG practices across the business?

ESG has taken on several forms, notably corporate social responsibility and enterprise sustainability program. We are pioneers in the logistics sector, having started the initiative more than 16 years ago. We are strongly dedicated to fair labor practices, the environment, women’s empowerment, and education. Each of our businesses has its own priorities and we make sure to govern them respectively, while implementing changes that bring our ESG initiatives to light. Our aviation business has targets that include carbon neutral by 2030. Moreover, it is working closely with airports to introduce more sustainable aviation fuel services across the operations. In addition, in terms of our industrial logistics business, our warehouse in Saudi Arabia was recently EDGE Advanced certified, confirming that we are 40% more efficient in energy usage than our peers. We are keen on working with various stakeholders to spread the use and availability of ESG-related technologies. We have a venture capital arm that has invested over USD170 million in smart and renewable solutions. We have also invested in electric and hybrid trucking businesses in the US and Europe, as well as in the thermal solar panel business. Basically, we are keen to invest in startups and technologies that we know can be deployable in a cost-effective way at some point. We not only support them financially but are committed to testing their solutions within our own business and providing them with the ecosystem to adapt and develop their ideas further. With the country moving forward, we aim to strike the right balance and are considering the adoption of a greener environmental business model on a regional basis.

What qualities and skills would you pinpoint as the most supportive on your journey as a woman in a leadership position?

Whether you are a woman or a man, you need to be clear about your personal and professional goals and aims. Balancing work and everyday life make you multi-task different priorities; therefore, you must know what to focus on. I personally believe in an “ecosystem” approach. Anyone with a family and works must have an ecosystem and a network to support them, especially if they have children. You need to work out a system that allows all your family members to thrive, while allowing yourself the time to pursue your goals. COVID-19 offered a chance to see how well we can manage our work-life balance. There is no way you can work, take care of children, and study unless you have a supportive system around you that help achieve what you want. Specifically for women, I would encourage them to speak up. It is important to make yourself heard and understood.

What digital tools are you currently developing?

Digitalization is rapidly changing the business models worldwide, and by developing our own tools and upgrading our operations, the businesses of Agility can truly thrive in the years to come. We set up a digital logistics platform called Shipa. Its three businesses are largely focused on logistics of the future, enabling SMEs to focus on global freight, parcel cross-border and last-mile delivery. Moreover, through our network, we have been operating a multitude of online tools that enable the easier administration of our customers and partners. One aspect of digital outreach is setting up these businesses, expanding our core service offering, and thinking about going digital. Agility strives to continuously improve its models and operating procedures. As I have mentioned earlier, a part of our group’s activity empowers start-ups and technological products by investing in their development and growth. We have a dedicated team that tests these solutions and works with the partners to implement valuable changes. Whatever business model one may have, there is always plenty of space to improve and introduce digitalization into the mix. It can enhance the company’s capabilities and make the team’s work much easier in the process.

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