“We are looking at an aggressive expansion plan across emerging markets,” Hussein Wehbe, CEO of Fetchr interviewed by Client Partner Brian Cartwright for Global Supply Chain Magazine

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Brian Cartwright, Client Partner, Supply Chain and Logistics for Pedersen & Partners, and regular contributor to Global Supply Chain, meets exclusively with Hussein Wehbe, CEO, Fetchr, to discuss a wide spectrum of issues from the current state of his company’s business, priorities, his vision for the future and how technology is altering and reforming the industry landscape.

Hussein Wehbe CEO, Fetchr.
Hussein Wehbe is a public and private sector leader with more than 18 years of experience in the service industry. He is currently CEO, Fetchr, since joining the company in April 2020. Prior to joining Fetchr his experience includes UPS where he served as the Managing Director for the Middle East. Earlier, Wehbe served as an Advisor to the Federal Government at the UAE’s Prime Minister’s Office and before that led Aramex International in the Gulf region, where he spent almost 17 years of his career. Wehbe is a passionate public speaker and a very active member of the entrepreneurship community. He has completed the Exponential Leadership Programme from Singularity University, US, and Advanced Strategic Management programe from IMD, Switzerland.
 
Brian Cartwright Client Partner, Supply Chain and Logistics for Pedersen & Partners.
Dubai-based Brian Cartwright specializes in Supply Chain & Logistics-related functions for CXO, VP, and Director-level in global, regional, and country level roles, working with service providers and end-user companies across the globe including large listed corporations, family-owned conglomerates, SMEs and start-ups. Cartwright has over fifteen years of experience in Executive Search and Recruitment. During his career he has owned and managed successful businesses in the Middle East and Europe.

Brian Cartwright (BC): What did the existing business look like when you took it over?

Hussein Wehbe (HW): When I joined Fetchr there was a lot that was already done and a lot that was still happening. The transformation team was in place and introducing a lot of positive changes to enhance efficiency, performance and productivity within the organization such as closing non-performing country offices, reducing costs by diversifying revenues and streamlining call centre operations.

We brought onboard new leaders who were experts in the field of logistics and transportation and along with the existing team, we worked on an improved customer experience, redesigning all the touch points to ensure a seamless journey. It is also very important to mention that all of these improvements and developments would not have been possible without the dedication, commitment, and capabilities of the existing Fetchr team of whom we are very proud to have on board on this exciting journey.

BC: What was your first mission, what needed to be addressed first?

HW: First and foremost, I was focused on addressing the internal culture at Fetchr. The employees had all been through times of doubt and uncertainty that had a negative impact on their morale in general and their trust in the organization. My mission was to support and encourage the existing Fetchr team to be able reinstate their confidence in the organization. The team showed incredible resilience and commitment to work, to the extent that even during these unprecedented times with order spikes during the lockdown, they managed to keep the service level unaffected.

BC: Why did you have so much faith in the Fetchr brand when given the opportunity to take the business forward as CEO?

HW: I have been a close follower of the Fetchr story since 2012. I saw in the brand an agile and disruptive player who is coming to change the way the industry functions and operates. When the opportunity to join knocked on my door, I saw major potential not only in the company but in the people and the technologies behind this organization that gave me a clear indication about the endless possibilities that await a company like Fetchr.

BC: What do you think is missing in this market when it comes to B2B and B2C deliveries?

HW: Today’s market is facing challenges when it comes to optimal customer experiences mainly because of the chaos that was caused by Covid-19 that has, in turn, reshuffled all the cards and affected the delivery capacities and capabilities of all the players. This naturally reflected negatively on the overall delivery service level in the region. Fetchr is coming to tackle this from all aspects and positioning itself as the efficient customer centric tech enabled delivery partner of choice for the e-commerce and B2C players in Saudi Arabia and UAE to start with.

BC: How has Covid-19 impacted the ecommerce market in general and Fetchr in particular?

HW: As you know, we are currently going through extraordinary times when most industries are facing incredible challenges to sustain; fortunately for us these times presented our industry with great opportunities. We at Fetchr capitalized on our tech enabled delivery solutions to be able to serve the markets where we operate smartly and in the most efficient way possible. The commitment of the team has given us an advantage over the other players which resulted in an optimized performance in the midst of the pandemic.

BC: What is the new Fetchr strategy going forward? What are the short and long-term plans in the region?

HW: Our short-term plans will focus on bringing back the confidence and trust in our brand and services in the markets, while at the same time accelerating our activities in solving the pressing challenges that are being faced today by ecommerce players and B2C operators. On the other hand, for the long term we are looking at an aggressive expansion plan across emerging markets and introducing more international services that will complement our existing services and solutions in this region allowing us to start penetrating new markets.

With our AI What’s App, Bot, etc we managed to reduce, by more than 40%, the need to contact customers personally to schedule deliveries.

BC: What are the new technologies and innovations the company has adopted or integrated to enhance the customer experience?

HW: We cannot ignore the importance of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning in improving our efficiency and optimizing our operations that allowed us to reach adequate customer experience levels. Through utilizing our AI WhatsApp Bot we managed to reduce, by more than 40%, the need to contact customers personally to schedule deliveries. We have a lot of exciting technologies in the pipeline especially when it comes to predictive technologies that bring efficiency to the end to end delivery process reducing the cost of return and undelivered shipments. Our predictive technologies will help us learn more and understand our huge and diverse customer base in markets where we operate and future markets as well, reflecting positively on the overall ecommerce process and experience in the region.

 

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