May 19, 2020

fastjet appoints Jimmy Kibati as General Manager East Africa

tanzania
Dar es Salaam
Kenya Airways
fastjet Plc
Bizclik Editor
2 min
fastjet appoints Jimmy Kibati as General Manager East Africa

fastjet plc is pleased to announce the appointment of Jimmy Kibati as fastjet General Manager, East Africa. Kibati joins from Kenya Airways where he is currently Acting Commercial Director.

Working alongside the fastjet management team, Kibati will be responsible for leading the airline's expansion in East Africa. He will take up his new position on March 17, 2014 and initially be based in Dar-es-Salaam, overseeing fastjet Tanzania.  

 Ed Winter, interim Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, said: "I am absolutely delighted that we have recruited such a high calibre airline executive to spearhead fastjet's expansion in East Africa.  Jimmy's vast experience in the East African aviation market will be invaluable as we fulfill our goal of becoming a truly pan-African low cost airline.

 "Jimmy's appointment underlines the confidence which fastjet's track record has generated within the industry."

Kibati has more than 20 years' experience in the commercial airline business, having joined Kenya Airways in 1992 immediately following the completion of his studies at Kenyatta University, Nairobi, Kenya.

During his time at the airline, Kibati has progressed through various senior commercial positions, including Manager of Network Planning & Alliances, Area Manager Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi and Head of Network Planning & Airline Strategy.

Kibati left Kenya Airways in 2005 to join the startup carrier Virgin Nigeria, as Head of Network Planning & Commercial Development, was promoted to Director of Commercial Planning in 2008, and finally to Chief Commercial Officer, where he led the re- branding of the airline to Nigerian Eagle.

Rejoining Kenya Airways as Head of Network Planning and Airline Strategy in 2010, Kibati led Project Mawingu, Kenya Airways' 10-Year Strategic plan, and also headed the team that worked on the process that led to Kenya Airways becoming a full member of the Skyteam Alliance in June 2010.

Kibati has been accredited as Kenya Airways' representative in the Skyteam Alliance, the KQ Chair leading the expansion of the KQ/KLM Joint Venture relationship, and the African representative of IATA's Simplifying the Business Steering Committee.

 He was also responsible for the government portfolio, where he engaged various regulatory and government authorities to gain market access for Kenya Airways' expansion.

In January 2013, Kibait was appointed Acting Commercial Director of Kenya Airways, where he oversaw the restructuring of the airline's commercial department and drove the execution of the company's commercial and planning strategies, including plans for the B787 Dreamliner and B777-300 fleet's entry into service and new growth plans into Asia and Africa.

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Jun 27, 2021

Billionaire Kumar Birla Champions Regional Supply Chains

AdityaBirlaGroup
Alibaba
globalisation
Regionalisation
Elise Leise
3 min
As multinationals try to recover from the pandemic, Kumar Birla has a solution—narrow your scope and invest in reliable, regional suppliers

As the head of the Aditya Birla Group, a US$46bn firm that operates in 36 countries, Kumar Mangalam Birla is no stranger to splashy strategic moves. Yet his recent announcement that he no longer wants to acquire globally distributed supply chains stood out. While many companies have struggled to cope with shipping backlogs, his firm has chosen to pivot and focus on regional networks. Said Birla: ‘We wouldn’t look at a company or a business where you source in one corner of the world and sell in another’. 

 

He cited protectionism, the pandemic, and the limited movement of products and people around the world as ABG’s primary causes of lost profits. And they aren’t alone. Over the past year, 900 of the U.S. and Europe’s biggest IT, defence, and financial services firms have lost an average of US$184mn apiece

An Era of Global Disruption

Over the past few decades, low shipping rates and rapid delivery times have lulled multinational firms into a false sense of security. In the early 2000s, companies chose to take on significant global supply chain risks in exchange for increased profits. First, it made sense to manufacture higher-value goods, such as electronics, in low-cost regions throughout Southeast Asia, India, and Africa. Second, first-tier suppliers started to outsource the manufacturing of specific components to second-, third-, and even fourth-tiers—leaving supply chains with extremely limited visibility. 

 

So when COVID-19 disruptions struck certain regions, companies were caught unprepared. Usually, these events come few and far between. But over the past ten years, we’ve seen a number of ‘black swan’ events that have thrown the supply chain industry into chaos. Here’s a quick history of the most significant events in recent years, thanks to the MIT Sloan Management Review

 

  • 2010. China creates export quotas for rare earth elements. 
  • 2011. The Tōhoku Earthquake hits East Japan; flooding sweeps throughout Thailand. 
  • 2016-present. Trade wars between the U.S. and China hurt suppliers. 
  • 2020-present. COVID-19 pandemic shuts down international shipping ports.

 

Now, Kumar Birla is one of many who want to re-evaluate how we run our supply chains. Though his company has acquired 40+ companies in the last quarter decade, Birla intends to build up local hubs rather than expand operations. 

 

Why Pursue Regionalisation? 

Combine Chinese economic dominance, global supply chain vulnerabilities, and major government policy shifts around the world, and you have a storm brewing on the horizon for big multinational firms. As Brookings noted, ‘the biggest risk for trading opportunities in the developing world is growing protectionism in more advanced economies, often dressed up as national security protection’. 

 

Altogether, from the U.S. to the European Union, governments are trying to protect their domestic supply chains, secure adequate stockpiles of materials, and build world-class local networks. Consider Biden’s recent executive order, which seeks to bring semiconductor manufacturing back to home soil, or Japan’s bid to open more memory chip fabrication factories near Tokyo. The Aditya Birla Group intends to react in kind. Said Birla: ‘We’re looking at regionalism as a very big theme’. 

Will Others Follow Suit? 

In the post-pandemic economy, global businesses must decide whether to expand or contract. On one hand, the Alibaba Group’s Cainiao Smart Logistics Network recently launched a direct flight between Hong Kong, China, and Lagos, Nigeria. On the other, the Japanese government is desperate to make its chip manufacturing domestic. Indeed, as two supply chain strategies diverge in a post-pandemic world, the one businesses take may make all the difference. 

 

Yet Birla is confident that regionalisation is the right call. According to his words at the Qatar Economic Forum, even necessary cross-border transactions should be smaller in scope. And as the Bloomberg Billionaires Index now lists his net wealth at US$10.4bn, up 52% from 2020, he may have the cash to test his theories out. ‘Regional hubs, regional presence, regional employment, catering to regional demand’, he stated. ‘We’re a global company rooted in local economics’. 

 

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