eNewsletter December 2007

Click here to learn more about this limited opportunity, seats
are limited and enrollment closes Feb 1st 2008.
GCA Awards  
Top Story: The Winners
The winners of the GCA Inaugural awards, GAC Singapore, Ramachandran Nair, and Jean Richmond, share their insights and reactions on winning. Click to read more!
Waleed Jameel on Strategy
The first of a three-part series on Strategy: its importance, its alignment, and how to cascade it so that every person in your organisation takes ownership of it. Click to read more!
The International Computer Driving License: A limited offer now at GCA
GAC Corporate Academy is adding the International Computer Driving License to its online line-up. Seats are limited and enrolment ends Feb 1st. Click here to learn more about ICDL, as well as Scholarship Opportunities within the GAC World.
Sights & Sounds: PRB, CRM, and IGW
Your colleagues from around the world share their opinions on their GCA courses: Presentation Skills Bootcamp, Customer Relations Management and Introduction to GAC World. Click to read more!

GCA Inaugural Awards: The Winners
GCA extends its congratulations to GAC Singapore, for Best GCA Company 2007, to Jean Richmond, for Best GCA Participant 2007, and to Ramachandran Nair for Best GLO 2007. And now, the winners, in their own words...

Best GCA Company: GAC Singapore

From left to right, Mavis Tan – GLO for GAC Singapore, Ivo Verheyen, Managing Director of GAC Singapore and Christer Sjodoff – Regional Director AP, with the award for Best GCA Company 2007.

I am of course very excited to receive this award on behalf of GAC (Singapore) Pte. Ltd. Since the launch of the GCA, we have had some challenges with getting the right GLO in place but once we had the corporate training room all set up and running, things went very smooth.

The GCA really fits in well with the SMILE concept which is running in our company. This concept started in our logistics department where all staff were asked about our top 5 USP (unique selling points). The staff came back with a list of 5 most important items and created the SMILE concept.



S Streetsmart
M Multi communication
I Integrity
L Learning
E Empowerment

The fact that these 5 letters turned out to form the word SMILE was an additional benefit. As you can see the learning is one of these top 5 USP’s and that is where the GCA plays such a big role. Our team feels we are different from other companies because we embrace the continuous lifelong learning. This award will only stress the importance of “L” in our SMILE concept.

We also had some or our senior colleagues in logistics enroll in the VSL course and what he learnt there was to study the customer’s needs and not just sell your products/price. He actually put this in place and secured a major client with considerable freight movements into ME without quoting one single rate. A lesson learnt from the GCA implemented in daily life!


Best regards,
Ivo Verheyen
Managing Director
GAC Singapore

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Best GLO: Ramachandran Nair

"I had the opportunity to attend GCA Governance Board Meeting on 03 December, during which the inaugural GCA awards were announced. The announcement came as a surprise to me. I really got excited when Waleed Jameel, the Manager of Business and Technology, declared the winner!

Some of my colleagues had even told me that I should be getting the GLO award, but my answer to them was, if not the GLO Award, I was confident that one of the three awards will definitely come to GAC Oman!

I was one of the 16-participants who attended first GLO course launched by GCA in March 2007. We had an interesting 8-weeks period with lots of discussions, exchanging of views, and finally a challenging assignment – I never had such an enthusiastic team together after my college!

With the GLO 2007 title, I should say, everything has been paid off – my commitment and dedication that has been well recognised by rest of the GAC World! Thank you!"



-Ramachandran Nair
Manager, Quality Development
GAC Oman

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Best GCA Participant: Jean Richmond

"It was a great, and needed, initiative to start the Academy within the Group and I appreciate that my participation in various courses was encouraged by my boss. I enjoyed each learning experience – even the homework – and I feel honored that my work was recognized by the Group through this award. Keeping an eye on the 2008 award is a great incentive to work harder and be more involved next year!"


-Jean Richmond
Group Insurance Administrator
GAC Headquarters, Dubai

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We begin the first column in a three-part series on strategy: its importance, its alignment, and how to cascade it to every member of your team.
By Waleed Jameel
Business and Technology Manager, GCA

You would never invest your money with a company whose pitch was: "Give us your money and, uhh, we'll, uhh, make more of it and, um, maybe share some with you". You would also never invest with a company whose value proposition was "to do the exact same thing as our competition because we're sure there are plenty of clients for everybody". Fortunately, most of us are smarter than that. In spite of that, many of us choose to give ourselves away to companies that have no vision, zero explicit goals and lack any strategic planning.

You would never invest your money with a company whose pitch was: "Give us your money and, uhh, we'll, uhh, make more of it and, um, maybe share some with you".

A recent article in Fast Company said:

Strategy 101 is about choices: You can't be all things to all people... Strategy must start with a different value proposition. A strategy delineates a territory in which a company seeks to be unique... If all you're trying to do is essentially the same thing as your rivals, then it's unlikely that you'll be very successful.

Corporate strategy deals with the direction and markets the company will compete in by providing certain services to its client base. This outlines the larger goals the company is trying to attain, e.g. Apple's goal is to make complex technologies simple for users. The company CEO leads to these goals via multiple techniques. Strategy gives direction and long-term vision to the company which is then broken down into smaller goals that need to be achieved to reach the final vision.

Why is a strategy important? A strategy helps align the resources a company has towards an explicit set of outcomes. Imagine the opposite: graphic designers, marketing executives, product development managers, all working towards different goals with zero alignment to each other. Imagine the financial resources being "invested" to make all these little goals happen which, in the bigger picture, may cancel each other out or end poorly at best. In this tug-of-war, nobody wins and everybody loses. A strategy takes all those resources - financial, human capital (you), etc. - and guides them in the same direction.

Corporate strategy seems like a fairly large-scale concept, so why I am talking about it to you? Well, corporate strategy should, ideally, define your role in the company and direct your efforts. Being aware of the greater goals can help analyze your self as well as your current work- Are the projects you're working on progressing anywhere? Are they contributing to something meaningful in a larger context?

By being aware of your company strategy, you can ensure that all work you do, at your level, is in line with the overall goals of the company. Additionally, it empowers your career growth – you want to work for a company that will provide you with new challenges thus furthering your experience. These new challenges are directed best by a back-end strategy. You're investing your time, your energy, and your self in this company. Shouldn't you know where it's going?


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With great pleasure I would like to thank you for nominating me for CRM course in Dubai last week. It was indeed the best training ever attended by myself. I have following suggestions in order to capitalize maximum out of this course.




  • Make this course mandatory for all the managers, sales, front line and supporting staff (virtually every one)
  • Form a CRM Team in GAC-Qatar
  • Close follow-up meetings / Workshops
  • Quarterly report to GM
  • Share the success with other GAC offices

Furthermore, I take this opportunity to thank Mr. John Faulds for taking us through very effectively. Thank you once again.


Kamal Boyagama, Operations Manager,
Logistics Department, GAC Qatar

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I was very impressed with the instructor and all the participants during this course. I learned so many valuable aspects of this amazing company. It was one of the most well organized and well presented online courses that I have ever seen. The website was easy to use and navigate and all the lessons were clear in their objectives.



I thought it was incredible to participate with students across the globe and share ideas about the company. If I could add one thing to this course it would be the chance to actually converse with all of the students perhaps over Skype in an established forum. This is difficult due to our location and time zones but I wish I could have the chance to discuss ideas over the phone.

GAC is a forward thinking company to allow its employees to learn from the past and apply fresh ideas for the future. This will allow GAC to flourish in tomorrow's business world. It was a great learning experience. Thank you for this opportunity and great meeting all of you!

James Pflueger, Boarding Agent, GAC-RUR

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I must say I am pleasantly surprised at how much fun I had doing the IGW course.

Discussing with fellow team members in 3 time zones and to come up with a team conclusion via the discussion in the forum was a great experience. Networking with colleagues from different areas of expertise during the course will I am sure come in extremely useful in future too.

As a result of participating on the IGW course, I have definitely acquired a lot of knowledge about GAC History, products & services, people & organisation and the GAC Spirit & Corporate culture in a short period of time which would otherwise I am sure have taken a year or two if not longer.

I look forward to meeting with all of you I hope in my future assignments with GAC.

Suresh Ahluwalia, General Manager
Finance and Administration, GAC Nigeria


I would like to take this opportunity to sincerely thank you for the wonderful course you conducted for the GAC employees on 1st and 2nd December 2007.

It is with great pleasure we play back the video and watch our performances. I really enjoyed my time and learned a lot during the workshop. Moreover, I anticipate being able to put them into practice during my future presentations. Thank you once again.

Lorraine Edirisinghe, Business Development
Kuwait Transcontinental Shipping Company

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