For this month’s Alfa member interview, we had a conversation with Magdy El Hawary from Cairo, Egypt. He talked about starting his career at the bottom of the ladder, why his job means so much more to him than just work and the family-like approach of his company.


How did you get started in the logistics industry and what has your journey been like so far?

My journey in the logistics industry began only as an interest in what I had seen my father do for years. I was curious to discover where the passion and the continuous hard work that I had seen my father put in everyday came from. During my last year in university in the year 2015, I decided I would join my father during my free days, and explore the logistics industry to see what it was all about.

For me, it was not my desired career path. I had already had a plan to apply to consulting companies during my last semester and to take the corporate route as that’s what interested me more. However, once I got the gist of logistics and started to delve deep into the nitty gritty details of the profession, the passion that I had seen in my father began to grow in me. Right then and there, I decided that this was the path I was going to pursue. And 9 years later, I don’t regret any of the decisions I made to lead me to this point in my career.

My company is a family business that my father had established in 1998. With the knowledge and expertise that my father had gained throughout the years, he was able to guide me in my logistics career. He made sure that I begin my career at the bottom of the ladder and learn my way up. This allowed me to experience many challenges on all fronts of the logistics industry and allowed me to grow in ways I would have never in the corporate world. I was able to work hard, succeed, and learn.

My passion for the work itself, along with my eagerness to network, build new connections and relationships, and expand my knowledge and business is something I really enjoy. For me, the logistics field is not just a career path, it is a way to build relationships, and create a family around the world. Another aspect that I really enjoy is the field is always evolving and changing, which makes it a never ending learning process and a process in which I always have the opportunity to meet new people.

What do you like most about the industry and your job in particular?

What I like l most about the industry is the direct relationship that we, as forwarders have to the everyday practicalities of life, in a sense that we play a large role in the spread of globalization. On a daily basis, we deal with individuals from all over the world to try and reach an understanding about a specific topic.

Despite the different culture, different languages, different means of communication, we are all able to build relationships and agree on deals under the umbrella of our common language, logistics. This to me is the best feeling and accomplishment.

Specifically regarding my job, I enjoy the different hats I wear in our company. I’m currently a business development manager which is my strong suit, as well as a partner. My position allows me to work on a number of different tasks which I see as a challenge and is something I enjoy accomplishing.

How do you set yourself apart from your competitors?

Our competitive advantage is the culture of our company. What sets us apart from our competitors is the way we deal with each other and the individuals we work with. We consider our entire network our family, it’s not just business. We make it a point to work very closely  with our clients, from the CEO to the operations executive, so clients always feel that we are there any time and  all the time with all the support from all team members. This is critical in the field of logistics and is a make or break factor when discussing networking.

Another factor that sets us apart from our competitors is our ability to solve problems and our fast decision making skills. In today’s fast paced world, especially in the logistics field, every second counts. To be able to deal with clients, solve any problems, and get the deal done, our customer service and ground team know that it is critical to always be there to accomplish any mission as accurately, correctly, and as fast as possible.

What do you like the most about being a member of our logistics network?

For me, networking is everything. Meeting individuals from all over the world that are talented, knowledgeable, have expertise, and are professional is something that I wouldn’t trade for the world. To be able to have engaging and productive conversations with members from the network is something I love. It feels like a family and I always find that whenever I need help, I find it right away.

If there is one thing that you could change to the logistics industry, what would it be and why?

If there was one thing I could change about the logistics industry it would be the extent of knowledge that the suppliers and customers have about the field.

It is a common difficulty that I face while working that suppliers and customers are not aware of the bigger picture. They lack understanding of how the process works, which makes it difficult to explain why some of their suggestions are not valid. Therefore, I would add training sessions or study sessions about models of transport and the importance of forwarders in the chain for these parties to have a better understanding.

How do you relax in your free time?

I have a family with 3 toddler boys, so I enjoy spending my free time with them, as well as with my parents. I also enjoy watching football games and traveling.

— Thanks, Magdy!