DHL Express is part of the world’s largest logistics provider and operates in some of the world’s most challenging markets. Having established a local branch in Cambodia in 1993, few companies have been in a better position to witness the significant strides that the Kingdom has made to develop its infrastructure. The Post’s Kali Kotoski spoke to Prayag Chitrakar, country manager of DHL Express Cambodia, about the company’s growth, challenges and position in the Cambodian market.
What segment of the logistics sector does DHL focus on and what services does it provide?
The DHL Group encompass the full breadth of the logistics sector – from international express through to forwarding, supply chain and our e-commerce divisions. Specifically for the express business, which operates in Cambodia, we focus on international air express services – time-definite services that help us connect our customers in Cambodia to our global network that spans 220 countries and territories.
What are the challenges in Cambodia’s market and how has the company adapted?
Cambodia is one of the fastest growing economies in the region. The country is on the road to improving its infrastructure as well as its land and natural resource management.
In many ways, regardless of the diverse challenges of the many local markets we operate in, we respond the best way we know how – to ensure that our local operations are consistent with global best practices around the world. That’s what customers come to us for – the assurance of quality, reliability and consistently good customer service from Cambodia to the rest of the world and back.
With increased regional integration and local start-ups, what is the level of competition in the logistics sector?
The logistics industry is fragmented so it’s hard to talk about competition as a whole.
In the sector that we operate in – providing international air express services – this isn’t an industry that sees too many start-ups. It is a capital intensive business with dedicated air networks, hubs and gateways around the world to deliver this quality of service.
Regional integration will boost opportunities for trade, and we are firm believers that global trade makes the world a better place. Trade brings opportunities for growth, for businesses to flourish, for local people to nurture talents and participate in the global economy.
How has improving infrastructure helped the ease of doing business?
New government initiatives have made it easier to do business in Cambodia and have eased export processing. These efforts have been instrumental in paving the way for a better business environment and have enhanced business investments. The government has also openly stressed the need for the country to grow its national and regional infrastructural networks to take advantage of the opportunities for greater regional integration.
These approaches bode well for both the short-term and longer-term prospects of Cambodia, encouraging business investments with a view that with greater infrastructural investments will further open up the economy to greater trade and integration with its neighbours.
What infrastructure challenges does the country still face?
Infrastructural challenges exist across many emerging markets – roads, rail, ports, airports – these are key foundations for the growth of an economy, but also need to be maintained and developed in tandem with the needs of the economy. It’s not a static one-off investment, but one which if the government is focused on, will help boost the economy as the infrastructure develops.
This interview has been edited for length and clarity.