x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Aramex regional chief keeps himself connected

Mohammad Alkhas, the chief executive for the Arabian Gulf region at Aramex, says there is no such thing as a work-life balance.

Mohammad Alkhas, the chief executive for the Arabian Gulf region at Aramex, always looks forward to a challenge. Ravindranath K / The National
Mohammad Alkhas, the chief executive for the Arabian Gulf region at Aramex, always looks forward to a challenge. Ravindranath K / The National

Mohammad Alkhas, the chief executive for the Arabian Gulf region at Aramex, has spent 17 years with the logistics company. He started as a sales team member and worked his way up. A native of Jordan, the 41-year-old has lived in the UAE for two years after moving here from Doha.

What are your favourite things to do on the weekend?

To spend time with the children and family, and trying to relax. We go to beaches or somewhere else every weekend in Dubai. We have a movie night every Friday, that is the time I spend with my children. My two children, aged 11 years and 15 years, decide the movies and prepare everything. Ask me about any children’s movie, I know it by heart now. The last one we watched was Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs. I travel a lot, so I make sure we have this time together.

What do you consider to be your favourite hobby?

I used to play a lot of contact sports, such as basketball and football, but those days are gone now, they are too hectic for my body. I watch sports a lot. I go swimming as religiously every day as I can manage it when I am in Dubai. And I read a lot about the logistics industry and what’s happening around, especially in the Gulf. I like to watch football. I am a Liverpool fan. I also watch the Saudi League because I used to live there. But I don’t have the time now to follow it. Due to the timing, I watch American football. I follow Oakland Raiders.

What can’t you live without?

My wife and my children, and they are something that drive me every day. I need them in my ecosystem.

What do you consider the secret to your success?

Being associated with a great company that allows you to grow, and believing in the basics of what the business is all about. And also believing that what got me here is what will keep me going forward. I always look forward to a challenge. I took 15 years to come to this position. I started as a sales team member back in Jordan in 1997 when I was 25 years old and grew up the ranks.

What advice would you offer other people starting out in your business?

In the logistics industry you have to put yourselves in the client’s shoes. You are in the service industry and you have to make sure you deliver. If their business is affected, automatically your business will be affected. You have to work really hard, make sure you put everything that you have, you deliver, and keep learning every day. When a client complains, it means you did a bad job, regardless of what happened or who’s responsible.

How do you achieve a work-life balance?

There is no such thing. I don’t believe there is a work-life balance because you have to be switched on every moment; it’s a global economy and we are connected. I leave home at 7am and go back at 7:30pm, depending on the day. Last year, I travelled for 26 weeks, and spent 120 days outside Dubai. That’s why I swim and that’s the reason I quit smoking. I swim one kilometre in 45 minutes every day when I can.

How do you relax after the working day?

I have to watch television or read something on my laptop or any other device I am using before I sleep. I check on sports news. We also have to be aware of what’s happening around the world, such as in Syria, Libya, Palestine, Iran, Iraq and the Gulf for instance. Unless you are switched on you won’t know how the business is moving. There are also changes in the customs laws and trade laws that you need to be aware of.

If you weren’t chief executive of this company what else would you be doing?

Aramex is my first job, and I never changed careers. I might do something to do with cars and classic cars. I am fixing a vintage car that I bought – a Mercedes 1966 Pagoda. It runs well and is technically sound. I am fixing it in a garage, but would like to have the time to fix it myself.

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