Aston MBA And DHL Executive On Asian Tsunami
Aston MBA Yasmin Aladad Khan was in Thailand when the tsunami hit. She used her knowledge of logistics earned at DHL to help with relief efforts.
An Aston MBA who has held senior positions at JP Morgan Chase, General Electric and DHL in South East Asia has spoken about how she used her expertise in logistics to mobilise help for people afflicted by the devastating Asian tsunami in 2004.
Aston Business School has been carrying out a series of interviews with its illustrious alumni, and the one with Yasmin Aladad Khan, who completed her MBA in 1983, caught our eye.
Yasmin is now the Senior Vice President in South East Asia for DHL Express. Based in Singapore, she has had a very successful career; starting out as a Credit Analyst at JP Morgan Chase and ending up as a Vice President there. General Electric Operations Inc. spotted her potential and she was headhunted to be their Chief Operating Officer.
Yasmin says that it was on the General Electric in-house leadership development programme that she honed her leadership skills. DHL Express was suitably impressed and head hunted her to be their new General Manager in Singapore and then Malaysia, before she became the Senior Vice President for the whole of South East Asia.
Yasmin now has P&L (profit and loss) responsibility for ten countries within South East Asia.
In the interview Yasmin is asked about the event that has had the biggest impact on her career. Her response was that the event, the 2004 Asian tsunami, was also the one that had had the largest impact on her personal life.
The 2004 earthquake and tsunami struck when Yasmin was on holiday in Thailand. Yasmin was fortunate to be away from the main area of devastation at the time, but using her logistical expertise she mobilised rescue efforts at the DHL service centre in Phuket. Yasmin oversaw a relief effort of couriers, vans and aeroplanes collecting the injured and taking food and supplies to the stranded.
Following these events, DHL established a disaster relief team in many countries, training staff volunteers to respond to major disaster. DHL are now well-equipped to be able to advise governments on the logistics of relief efforts. Yasmin advised Aston MBA students that “You have to be ready to work through tough times”.
DHL Express has around 470,000 employees worldwide and, with the leadership of DHL’s Asia Pacific Management Board, they survived the economic crisis with minimal impact on revenue and profits.
They forecasted an economic slowdown and made necessary changes to costs and expenditure within DHL. These moves were unpopular but their successful implementation has paid dividends.
Yasmin Aladad Khan spoke to students as part of a special speaker’s afternoon for MBA students at Aston Business School. To see the original story click here.