Captain Samuel Salloum
Captain Samuel Salloum
Captain Samuel Salloum is the Co-Chairman of GCEL, the Global Coalition for Efficient Logistics. GCEL is a Swiss-based nonprofit public/private partnership focused on sustained economic growth through increased trade efficiency based on an empowered Digital Economy. Captain Salloum was one of the youngest officers ever to be awarded the degree of Open Sea Master by the Italian Ministry of Transportation. At the age of 29, he led the world’s second-largest shipping company in its expansion into the North American market. As the leader of GCEL, he is currently focusing his efforts upon strategy, development and deployment of the organization’s groundbreaking Digital Economy program, the spearhead of an initiative which will universally boost trade efficiency, performance and profitability as it improves the well being of millions of people worldwide.
INSME: How would you define an innovative organization?
Captain Salloum: Innovation seizes a big part of human history and is the path that influences our future. Now that innovation is a must to integrate our world and our economies more efficiently leading us to a new era of prosperity, the world is wondering how this innovation is going to look like.
Historically, innovation was introduced to the world by someone or by a group of people that have discovered a new idea by coincidence or through the research and development process. Then the business team took over and transformed the innovation to a profitable business venture.
Today we are addressing something completely different. The GCEL’s initiative to empower the Digital Economy Platform is the largest and the most influential innovation that will impact our lives. This innovation is about our lifeline… Global Trade…that delivers our food, our clothes and the materials to build our cities, in fact everything we touch in our daily lives. Without this industry the global economy will simply come to a halt.
Who can we trust to deliver such an initiative?
In another words who can we trust to provide the world with the required Digital Economy Platform and the desperately needed tools to create the point-to-world environment that represents the main foundation for a 21st century trade efficiency era?
For our lifeline we cannot trust one company, one country or one region. We can only trust all…all of them, the top technology firms of the world, under one roof, protected and monitored by international community, who will make available what technology can make possible, at no cost to the end user…you.
How is the system going to look like?
This time it’s going to be different. The end user decides how the system is going to look like to enable them to do a better job. The top 12 technology firms from around the world in collaboration with leading e-Commerce, e-Finance and e-Insurance firms will be working hand in hand, protected by the international community and monitored by semi-government organizations from the four region of the world, collectively committed to empower the end user. Our job is to provide the digital tools the end user needs, at no cost, so each one of us can to take control of our world of trade.
This is the Multi-Dimensional Digital Economy Application Systems or “MDDEAS” that unleashes the new era of e-Commerce, e-Finance, e-Insurance and e-Logistics that the world has been waiting for.
INSME: SMEs environment is changing very fast. According to you, what are the most relevant challenges to cope with?
Captain Salloum: The cost to improve operational efficiency and quality hinder SMEs’ growth, and the ineffectiveness of the available marketing channels impedes SMEs’ ability to gain market share. Add to these the complex financial regulations that minimizes SMEs’ access to trade finance and the present unreliable logistics industry which is not fully integrated into the global value chain. All are challenges that SMEs have to cope with in today’s ever-changing environment.
INSME: Edwin Land said: “the essential part of creativity is not being afraid to fail”. In your opinion, which is the most effective way to stimulate innovative thinking and unleash the creative potential of human resources?
Captain Salloum: The only way to achieve this is through a shared belief in the purpose of the mission and objectives of the organization and that benefits will be accrued to all. It is important to “think outside the box” and that teams are not intimidated by the scope or scale of the initiative. If it does not have the potential to make a difference to the world, what is the point of doing it?
INSME: Innovation is about collaboration: how did your organization benefit from strategic partnership opportunities?
Captain Salloum: Innovation may arise from many sources, often individuals and is not necessarily collaborative. However the implementation of innovative ideas and programs does require collaboration. The key to collaboration is making it clear to partners the benefits to be received by all participants and, if this can done, then alliances can be formed.
An example of this on a worldwide scale is The Global Structural Formula (GSF) devised by GCEL to include the participation of all forms of organizations - governments, Public Private Partnerships, revenue sharing organizations and the private sector - working in concert together capitalizing on each organization’s capabilities and jurisdiction. Thus introducing an independent global monitoring mechanism offsetting geopolitical and monopolistic concerns, at the same time ensuring rapid global deployment, providing benefits to all participants.
INSME: What role can international networks like INSME play to help public bodies, stakeholders and other intermediaries to foster innovation in favour of SMEs?
Captain Salloum: We joined INSME because we have many shared objectives. However we trust you agree that the global market place is now saturated with diverse International Organizations. No matter how well meaning these organizations are it has become an Industry in itself. This can be distracting, confusing and of course politics is involved. We recognize INSME as supportive of holistic partnerships that are focused on tangible solutions to benefit the SMEs of the world. INSME can distinguish itself from other bodies by identifying defined and achievable targets, a clear road map, the required tools needed to navigate the road map and the global consensus of like-minded bodies who agree on the initiative and objectives. GCEL supports this framework to foster innovation in favor of SMEs.
INSME: Let’s play a game
INSME: If I say Cooperation you say…
Captain Salloum: Sharing the benefits to secure successful outcomes.
INSME: If I say Network you say...
Captain Salloum: Better results, faster reach and the exchange of information, through the cooperation of competitors because of a shared common goal.
INSME: If I say Internationalization you say…
Captain Salloum: Connecting the strengths of the world community creating well-being across humanity.
INSME: If I say Intercultural Communication you say…
Captain Salloum: Development of universal principles for a defined common good.
INSME: If I say Innovation you say…
Captain Salloum: Innovation seizes a big part of human history and is the path that influences our future. (see the answer to the first question).
INSME: If I say change you say…
Captain Salloum: You should not change for change sake. First you must define the target, show the roadmap, provide the tools to effect improvement, secure consensus and then you can implement change.
INSME: Your innovation motto…
Captain Salloum: “Benefit to all.”
In addition to paraphrase US President Theodore Roosevelt
“Bless the soul who dares to think big for even if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”