eNewsletter February 2009

February 2009

Course Profile: GSB GCA launches a course dedicated exclusively to the scope and magnitude of GAC core shipping products and services.

ICDL Relaunched for 2009: Lars Bergstrom named ICDL Ambassador for GAC Group, exciting new opportunities available for family members of GAC employees as well

Excerpt from GAC Spirit at Work: "When one of our vessels was in dry dock in Astrakhan, I fell on the rails and damaged my spine badly..." - Arkady Podkopaev

Top Story: Lars Heisselberg , VP of Shipping on evolution and innovation in the GAC Shipping Business through GSB

The foundation of today’s GAC Group goes back more than 50 years to shipping agency operations in Kuwait, and over the decades, GAC has continued to develop its Shipping Business geographically, to become a highly respected international partner to some of the world's foremost shipping lines.

We continue to evolve and innovate our service offerings, and today provide our clients with an extensive range of core and complementary services. We intend to find better and smarter ways of serving our customers across the globe, and your role in helping formulate this business intelligence is crucial to our on-going success.

You may already be aware that GAC is a leading shipping organisation offering global port and hub agency services. To deliver on this promise, we have made a commitment to ensuring that our people fully understand the scope and magnitude of our core shipping products and services. Who we are, what we do, and how we do it, are all crucial parts of this. Acquiring new knowledge, exploring new ideas, and - most importantly – building new relationships are the way we can ensure ongoing and future success.

I would like you to consider the inter-dependency that exists between all Shipping colleagues and how this impacts upon the success of GAC Shipping. Consider the role of business intelligence and how we are all connected by far fewer than six degrees of separation in the world of GAC Shipping. And thus, I would like to invite you to take part in GSB, the GCA course for GAC Shipping Business.

Let us understand and maximise the use of the support infrastructure to help drive our Shipping Business forward. Your contribution to the ongoing and future success of the GAC Shipping Business is important, and I would encourage you to be a front-line ambassador for GAC in whatever part of the world you reside.

Best Regards,
Lars Heisselberg
Vice President of Shipping
GAC Group

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ICDL Relaunched for 2009– Lars Bergstrom
named ICDL Ambassador
Lars Bergstrom


"When we raise the standard of computer literacy in our people, we give them the tools to work better, faster, and smarter, and the better our people are, the sharper GAC's competitive edge."

Lars Bergstrom
GAC Group IT Director
ICDL 2009 Ambassador to

The International Computer Driving License is being relaunched for 2009, this time as a group-wide initiative to promote the smart use of technology across the GAC World. ICDL, which serves as the worldwide standard for computer literacy, is being offered this year with one access point for 2009.

Enrollees also receive the added benefit of one additional license for a family member, as part of GAC's commitment to Corporate Social Responsibility as well as an incentive to participation in this exciting self-paced study opportunity.

ECDL "We support all managers and GLO's to share this information freely and to actively encourage and support our people to undertake ICDL during 2009, as this is the last time the ICDL will be offered through GCA said GCA GM Damien O'Donoghue, "Due to our global purchasing power, we have been able to secure a Group-wide licence that allows us to reach as many people around the GAC World as possible, and why we are able to extend an offer to one fee family member license per participant.
In addition, full ICDL scholarships are available for GAC employees who have completed two GCA courses with a GPA of 6.0 or higher.

"This could be the year that we achieve of an international standard of computer literacy throughout the GAC World, and I urge all managers to take advantage of this chance, let this initiative be the catalyst for growth and improvement and the boosting of IT skills for as many people as possible."

For further information or enrollment, please contact Rehan Naeem, Business Development Manager of GCA at rehan.naeem@gac.com

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Course Profile: GAC Shipping Business

GAC represents the interests of over 3,500 Principals and attends to over 40,000 vessels annually. At ports worldwide, the GAC network consists of four regional hubs, over 230 GAC offices in more than 40 countries and carefully selected partners elsewhere, covering thousands of locations. We've got a lot of ground to cover, so let's begin at home.

GCA would like to introduce GSB, or the GAC Shipping Business (GSB), an eight week course designed to increase revenue, improve client experience, and increase the flow of business intelligence throughout the GAC World.

Who this course is for:
The target audience for this course is not just current and future GAC Shipping personnel, it is also GAC employees interested in benefiting from a greater understanding on the GAC Shipping Business, from any region or sector.

What this course covers:
GAC Group Shipping Organisation: Who’s who, Key stakeholders, structure, and the integration of shipping organization in the business.

The Global Shipping Business: How the industry works, components of global shipping, and the contribution that shipping makes to the entire supply chain.

Products and Services of the GAC Shipping Business: In-depth information about the core services that GAC Shipping provides as well as the complementary services that add additional value and increase our competitive edge.

Use of Support Infrastructure: Definition of the interdependency of all roles on the success of GAC shipping to drive business, as well as the solidifying of relationships with your colleagues in the GAC World.

How this course will be taught:
GSB runs for eight weeks and is delivered via our state-of-the-art interactive online Learning Management System.

The course is open to all GAC employees. For further information, please contact Rehan Naeem , Business Development Manager - GAC Corporate Academy.

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Excerpt from GAC Spirit at Work: Full eBook available here
Arkady Podkopaev

... When one of our vessels was in dry dock in Astrakhan, I fell on the rails and damaged my spine badly - to the extent that the doctors said that I wouldn't be able to walk for a long while if ever at all.

The ambulance took me to the nearest hospital which just happened to be the worst in town. Our General Manager personally helped to carry the stretcher up to my ward - they just don't have elevators in places like that one. He then went back to the hotel to pack my stuff and bring it back for me. In a few days the doctors said that I was transportable, and GAC made arrangements to immediately transfer me to a much better clinic. During the whole month I was there, I would be visited by my colleagues every day bringing loads of goodies for me to feel better - so much for being in a strange town all on your own.

I can walk and run and jump now - thanks to the good doctors the company found and thanks to my caring colleagues who made me feel I was not alone but with my family.

Other companies may have (but not necessarily follow) similar corporate principles like commitment to quality services or face-to-contacts with customers. What I find really unique is the part about enjoying each other's company beyond the confines of work. Normally you can get people to work but you cannot make them have a good time together.

When I worked elsewhere, I always hated the corporate parties where you were forced to socialize with people you had a hard time putting up with during office hours. So there I stood sipping tasteless wine or poking in a piece of dry cake just waiting for all of it to end. Just because the boss was around, you wouldn't be relaxed enough to be yourself and to enjoy yourself. You were too worried with what people might say the next day if you felt good enough to dance or to sing...

To say it's different in GAC is to say nothing at all. I lived in Moscow all my life, but only when I started working for GAC did I discover the finest restaurants and the best discos in town where I would go to with my GAC colleagues from overseas offices after a hard marketing day.

Free eBook When I was on a business trip in London, the guys from the office took great pains to find out my eating tastes and entertainment preferences. So I went on a tour around the city, then was treated to exquisite dinner in the posh Japanese restaurant and, to top it all, ended up at a performance in a West End theatre. On such days you understand what the expression "royal treatment" means, especially when it's given not to some one from royalty, but from the GAC family.


- Arkady Podkopaev
Operations Manager
GAC Marine S.A.

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