ECS launches #NexGenLeaders

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ECS Group chief executive officer, Adrien Thominet

Paris-based GSSA ECS Group is to help regenerate the airfreight industry by giving start-ups, students and its own employees a chance to showcase their talent and put it to use to benefit the industry.

Through a six-month challenge, ECS Group “firmly believes that the airfreight industry needs to build a future that incorporates the ‘New Normal’ – digital transformation.”

ECS Group wants to be a proactive player and a leading figure in this transformation by rallying the industry’s biggest names alongside it, believes Adrien Thominet, CEO of ECS Group. He says: “We’re launching a project on a huge scale, and our aim is to change the game and turn industry habits on their head! And the industry has jumped at the chance: 100% of the people we’ve asked to become mentors and grand Jury members or to be involved with the project more generally have said they’ll take part.

“Above all, these people have lent us their support with such energy and enthusiasm that it’s almost given us wings. We’re immensely grateful to them, and it just goes to show that we had the right idea – there’s a real desire for innovation in this industry, and we’re making a contribution in our own way.”

The 10 best projects submitted as part of the challenge will be invited to discover the Grand Jury’s final ranking at the air cargo Europe trade show awards ceremony in Munich on 5 June. This means the whole industry will be able to benefit from the challenge by accessing the projects.”

ECS Group has developed #NexGenLeaders as its ‘weapon of mass inclusion’. One key aspect is that this is an international challenge. Thominet says that mentors “will play a crucial role in training and coaching these teams, helping to revolutionise the industry in the areas that matter most – digital technologies, added-value services, people and sustainability.” Industry experts and logistics chain staff are giving their time to increase awareness of the industry among talented newcomers.

Thominet says: “This challenge has been designed to be industry-focused – its aim isn’t just to benefit ECS Group but the airfreight industry as a whole. The entire challenge is built around inclusiveness. That’s why ECS Group has sought out the sector’s top experts to coach and assess the challengers.”

The outside people on this project include Sebastiaan Scholte, chairman of TIACA; Guillaume Halleux, chief officer cargo at Qatar Airways; and Norman Bamford, director of AZura International.

De-silo the industry

The industry is “lagging behind” when it comes to digital transformation and its way of working, considers Thominet. “In addition, we really wanted to de-silo our industry and open it up to the outside world,” says Thominet.

“We wanted to make it less ‘confidential’ – partly because we firmly believe that this industry has a huge amount of potential and would benefit from being better known by the general public, and partly because we know that we can learn a lot from what others do, from different practices, etc. Taking a fresh look at something you know like the back of your hand is essential if you want to avoid resting on your laurels.

“We plan on this edition of the #NGL challenge being the first of many. It’s not just a marketing gimmick or a one-shot project – we want it to stick around for the long haul and to improve on it each year, just like a good wine gets better with age,” he says.