We spoke with Camilo Garcia Cervera as he marks his six-month milestone since returning to IAG Cargo as Chief Sales and Marketing Officer. Having previously worked at the company for 22 years, he shares what he’s learnt during his time away, how IAG Cargo has progressed, and what the future looks like.
Tell us about your role as Chief Sales and Marketing Officer
I work closely with our teams and customers around the world, ensuring that we present our airfreight products and capacity in the best way possible, maximising their return for air cargo. I take charge of organisational development, ensuring we’re up to speed in the current market, industry, and economy, and that we’re a top-of-the-class sales team for our customers. Having worked at Freightos over the past four years, I’m now re-establishing those relationships from an airline perspective. I’m grateful for how I’ve been received back by my colleagues and customers.
What experience have you gained from your time away from IAG Cargo?
I went from IAG Cargo, a huge corporate organisation, to a small startup, where I had to adjust my mindset and ways of working. During my time at my previous company, we achieved an impressive level of growth in a short space of time, which can be more challenging to replicate in a larger existing organisation. However, what I learned was the true value of selling.
Nowadays, no matter how challenging the market is, the number of opportunities are huge. Those opportunities are going to be taken by those who are proactive and hungry for growth. I’m keen to bring these opportunities to the business, particularly in digitalisation, and I’m pleased to see the developments that IAG Cargo has already made in this area. Small and large companies also have different approaches to relationship management, and I’m eager to combine both approaches at IAG Cargo. As an industry, it is important that we all work together as these partnerships can be invaluable for growth.
Can you expand on these differences in relationship management?
A startup needs to be bold, agile, open to experimenting, as well as accept a measured level of risk. I want to add even more of this mindset to IAG Cargo, including further tailoring our customer solutions. IAG Cargo excels at building strong relationships, and a lot of this is mastered through finding great talent. When I was presented with the opportunity to come back, I knew that I would be working alongside a skilled and collaborative workforce, many of whom I had already built strong relationships with in my previous role at IAG Cargo, and this was a key incentive for me. We need to continue to multiply and stretch this across the entire organisation.
Why is digitalisation so important for the logistics industry?
When we look at our day-to-day lives, everything is digitalised. Although the industry as a whole is not there just yet, it’s extremely important to continue working towards this.
People are evolving towards a digital world, and those who don’t evolve will start finding themselves not able to find who to sell to, and not able to find companies interested in working with them. It’s not just about the benefits digitalisation brings in terms of efficiencies, which are massive, but the risks of not doing it, which are just as huge.
What is IAG Cargo doing to adopt digitalisation?
We have numerous digitalisation initiatives, from the e-AWB (electronic Air Waybill) to eBooking, which is only the beginning. We have already started trials for opening payments to digital channels for agents that cannot trade with us directly. We’re also excited to start rolling out spot rates online via our website and our API partnerships in 2024, so that the best rates will always be available online. We will continuously explore all the ways to expand our business through digital journeys.
What initiatives do you hope to bring to the company?
To consistently strive towards being the first-choice air cargo carrier for customers, to help our teams develop both professionally and as individuals, and finally, to always think and act towards growth. Every investment from both a sales and marketing perspective is going to be growth oriented.
What do you love most about your role?
I love interacting with people and I truly enjoy the challenges of being part of IAG Cargo’s transformation. A huge part of my role is travelling around our network and hubs to meet our customers and teams, which further helps us achieve growth.
Since my return, I’ve participated in several customer events, from Air Cargo Europe in Munich to CNS in the US, which has allowed me to connect with our global customers. I recently visited our teams in Hong Kong and Shanghai, two of our key markets, and hosted a spectacular evening at London’s Natural History Museum for our UK customers and a weekend in Denver for our US customers. Next up, I’m looking forward to travelling to India in Q4, and interacting with our customers in another attractive market for IAG Cargo.
What advice would you give to those looking to progress in the logistics industry?
It’s a marathon not a sprint. Set yourself both short and long-term goals. Logistics gives you the opportunity to take on the most diverse topics and challenges around the entire world. Whether you’re based in one country or another, this is an industry that is present everywhere. The impact of what you do locally will be filled globally. You’ve got the possibility to influence so many aspects of people’s lives. It’s perhaps the most exciting career (apart from being a professional golfer).
Have you noticed any changes in the company since your return?
I’m impressed by how many changes have been made. From a people perspective there has been so much investment, including most recently, a brand-new Learning Hub at our London HQ; from a facilities perspective, our hubs in London and Madrid have made great progress. A few months into my new role, we unveiled our 10,470m2 cutting-edge, climate-controlled, New Premia facility at London Heathrow, which has already seen huge volumes of cargo through its 11 rapid rise doors.
It is evident that our CEO is driving and positioning the business as an industry leader for both the present and future. I feel very excited about the direction that the company is going, and I’m thrilled to be a part of it.