Wednesday 9 May 2018

At the UPU World CEO Forum 2018, panellists agree on digital dividend, but admit postal growth elusive

09.05.2018 - "We must break molds and cross boundaries," said Mark Barnes, Group CEO of the South African Post Office in a panel session on elusive growth at the UPU World CEO Forum 2018 today.

Discussing the future of the Post, Barnes said that Posts were in a competitive environment and he called on them to make significant investments and to change cultures and mindsets.
"We have to go into a different paradigm. The people we play against are not Posts, they are entrepreneurs who are used to making money," said Barnes.
The Group CEO went on stress that Posts must utilise their infrastructure and leverage the inherent strength of their brand.
Questioned by moderator, TV and radio journalist Alex Taylor as to why Posts do not change their name, Barnes responded by noting that the word "Post" has tremendous brand value and is trusted by customers.
Barnes was speaking during the second panel session of the UPU World CEO Forum titled, "Global Perspectives: Elusive growth despite improved environment."
The session invited CEOs to reflect on why some sectors are benefiting from the improved economic environment and pervasive digitalization.
Opening the panel, Irena Vojackova-Sollorano, UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative to Turkey provided a global perspective on development and highlighted disparities in access to education and technology.
In his remarks, Seong Ju Kang, the President of Korea Post acknowledged these existing disparities, but also stressed the need to collaborate on new technology such as drones.
Leveraging postal strengths was key, according to Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Alabduljabbar, Acting President and CEO, Saudi Post. He agreed with Barnes that there was a need to change mindsets. 
"If we are to play football, we must put our best team on the field," he said.
The World CEO Forum is an annual forum. This year it is being held by the Universal Postal Union, together with Turkish Post, in Istanbul. Previous forums were held in Moscow and Paris. The Forum's aim is to bring the world's postal CEOs together to discuss new strategies and trends and developments in the postal sector.   

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