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   Vol. 14  No. 34
Tuesday April 21, 2015

Why Ram Menen Matters

     The keynote speaker at CNS Partnership, Ram Menen said a lot of things, but nothing was more memorable than the following:
     “If you don’t know who your customers are then we are all in trouble.”
     Ram has always had a way of simplifying issues and presenting even complex thoughts in clear, simple terms.
     Some people just see things that way and have a knack for translating their thoughts so that anybody can understand them.
     But that is not what makes Ram Menen great.
     Forty years ago, Dubai was a fairly small Arabic city on the Gulf within the UAE, but without the massive oil reserves of some of its other UAE neighbors.
     But Sheikh Maktoum bin Rashid Al Maktoum, ruler of Dubai, had the vision of turning the Kingdom into a major tourist center.
     To do this—in addition to hotels, restaurants, and the relaxation of some Muslim rules—he needed an airline to bring tourists from all over the world to Dubai.
     So Emirates Airlines came into being.
     The Sheikh knew that the large aircraft he was buying could be sublimated with cargo revenue, but industrialization was not part of his plan. So how could it be done?
     As luck would have it, he found Ram Menen, and the rest is air cargo history.

 Rock & A Hard Place

    Although both are retired, there is no backing down, as Ram Menen and Bill Boesch stand at the gates of the Hard Rock Café at the Universal Amusement Park where CNS/Virgin Atlantic held its opening night event Sunday.
     Inside it was all darkness and rock music, punctuated with such training table foods as fried mac & cheese, wine, beer, and finger food, but as the music played on busloads of eager air cargo revelers, badges in hand, filled the place to bounce to the rhythms of the night.

     “The genius of Ram Menen and his leadership is evident in many of the things we take for granted in air cargo today,” said air cargo legend and TIACA Hall of Fame great Bill Boesch.
     “But, Ram’s major achievement was his creating one of the world’s greatest air cargo hubs in a non-industrialized country, thereby turning Emirates into one of the top movers of air cargo in the world,” said Bill Boesch.
     “Airlines like Lufthansa, Air France, Japan Airlines, etc. are all major cargo carriers, but a good percentage of their business comes and goes to their home country.
     “Like FedEx in Memphis and UPS in Louisville, the system Ram created used its main hub as a total transfer operation.
     “But, Ram Menen did this not for small express products, but for cargo of all sizes and all commodities.
     “He created an air cargo colossus while maintaining one of the highest quality services in the industry.
     “At start up, cargo professionals thought that what Ram was doing was impossible, but he did it brilliantly and left an image on air cargo history that will only grow his reputation and heighten his esteem as the years progress,” This is quite a statement from someone who is both outspoken and a visionary.
     But there it is, and the words are especially poignant after Ram’s performance in Orlando today.
     For what Ram did at Emirates, the song is over, but what Ram did for air cargo changed everything, and the melody lingers on.
     It’s sometimes hard to identify a truly great innovator when he comes packaged in a rather self-effacing, plainspoken, humble man.
     But today Ram gave CNS some good words.
     The hope is that some of us took notes.
     Thanks, Ram.

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Vol. 14 No. 31
Echoes 1975-2015
Flying Down To Sao Paulo
FedEx Ignites TNT
Chuckles For April 13, 2015
A Brief Encounter In Toluca
CAL Cargo Goes To School On Pharma
Swisserfic Summer

Vol 14 No. 32
New Landmark Address For Air Shippers

Taking Delta On The Road
Echoes 1975-2015
Intermodal Gets High Marks
Chuckles For April 17, 2015
India Postman Rings Twice