Members of his staff call him “The Elephant” and the CEO of POS Aviation Sdn. Bhd., Mr Woo Kam Weng, loves it. After all, the term of endearment has won him a couple of bets over figures and dates which they were sure he would not remember.
“They always lose and then they have to buy me cheesecake and coffee,” he says, as lines of amusement crinkle up around his eyes.
The nickname is also a clue to how closely he and his subordinates work together. His door is always open and it is not unusual for some of the staff to hang around after the work day is over in order to ask for his advice without interrupting his work schedule.
Mr Woo, 56, joined MAS as a License Aircraft Engineer in 1980 and then moved to KLAS in 1997. “As an engineer, I had very structured and detailed logic when it comes to solutions. It was only when I needed to do marketing that I learned the various tones of grey,” he says, laughing.
What is the function of Pos Aviation?
Pos Aviation was formed when Pos Malaysia acquired KL Airport Services (KLAS) in 2016. Apart from the core business of ground handling, we also handle cargo handling, aircraft maintenance and inflight catering.
We are one of the few companies in the world with a fully integrated logistics supply chain solution which will transform KLIA into a regional cargo hub.
What are your plans as CEO?
To further enhance service levels to ensure continuation of growth in the core business. To increase automation and the use of IT to create a cost-efficient business and to position the company to tap into the e-commerce market.
What kind of growth do you forecast for Pos Aviation?
10-15 per cent growth in 2018.
What are your biggest challenges?
With continued growth, the biggest emerging challenge is the shortage of skilled manpower, employee retention and the ability of the whole organisation to adapt to the changes of the business environment and to cater to the changing needs of the market.
How do you tackle this?
The ground handling industry is experiencing a high turnover, due largely to the many opportunities available in the job market. Front-line ground handling is also not as appealing to Generations Y and Z.
We have embarked on a Human Capital Development & Retention programme which focuses on developing, nurturing and retaining talent. I strongly believe that the quality of service levels depends on aptitude skills and knowledge.
Our Intellectual Thinking programme will change the way employees think and is aimed at ensuring they are ready for change and will be able to look at problems and come up with solutions. I always tell my staff to look in the mirror for self-awareness before they decide what they want to do.
How much modern technology does Pos Aviation apply in its day-to-day business? Do you foresee robots taking over the jobs of ground handlers in the future soon?
For 2017/2018, we have embarked on an ambitious assets revitalisation, renewal and incorporation of systems and technology into our operations. The total capital investment for 2017/2018 amounts to RM162 million.
Through the adoption of IoT (Internet of Things), mobility devices systems and disruptive technology, we will transform Pos Aviation into an efficient and productive organisation. The future of ground handling lies in the successful adoption of technology to replace the human and manual processes.
What do you do to relax and de-stress?
A healthy mind comes from a healthy body and soul. I exercise a lot and I have learnt to recognise stress symptoms such as when it’s harder to fall asleep and through dreams.
We need a balance between work and leisure. I play football, futsal and badminton. I cook and I also watch television, especially programmes that make me laugh. I’m also glad my wife takes good care of the home and family (he has 3 children), especially when I have to travel.