Martin Rantle: TNT Bulgaria Made Giant Leap Forward

Novinite Insider » INTERVIEW | April 10, 2006, Monday // 00:00
Martin Rantle: TNT Bulgaria Made Giant Leap Forward Martin Rantle, Director Sales & Commercial, TNT International Business Unit. Photo by Yuliana Nikolova (Sofia News Agency)

TNT Bulgaria has marked a ten-year successful business in the country. The company became the country's pioneer by receiving the Social Accountability 8000 certificate. It is also the first and only Bulgarian company with the internationally recognized certificate Investor in People. TNT Bulgaria is also a member of the Bulgarian Business Leaders Forum (BBLF). The company's latest achievement is its certification under the international safety standard of the Technology Asset Protection Association (TAPA).

Talking about ten years of success, Sofia News Agency Editor Ivelina Puhaleva was keen to reveal some of TNT Bulgaria's plans for another ten years, at least, from Martin Rantle, Director Sales & Commercial, TNT International Business Unit.

Q: What is the representative card of TNT?

TNT worldwide has divided into eight business units - eight individual operating business units. Italy, Germany, USA, the Netherlands, Australia and China - are all business units. And all of the other countries are grouped together and they are called international business units.

In TNT Express there are 45,000 employees, there are also the TNT Dutch office and TNT Logistics - the total number of employees across the world is 150,000, including logistics, mail and TNT Express.

The mail deliver office, express division will collect and deliver parcels anywhere in the world.

And logistics are offering solutions to companies that will to take control over their distribution: to provide vehicles and parcels.

The logistics division, however, has been sold off this year and the main reason for that move was a desire to provide a more focused approach and to use some money to invest in the business. We use that money to invest in services for companies in China. That means it would give us far more infrastructure in China that we can hardly have.

We have a relatively small business in China at the moment. That would give us another 1,000 locations in China alone. In addition, we have just acquired a leading Spanish domestic distribution company, TG+, the acquisition took place in the beginning of this year. TG+ will again give us more infrastructure in Spain and in fact enable us to double our existing business.

Moreover, a number of another acquisitions took place last year in Slovenia, as we are speaking at the moment there are a number of acquisitions that we are currently in a process of going through due diligence with.

I can't say any more at the moment, simply that they are at some of the key markets.

Q: Where do you see the place of Bulgaria on this big picture of TNT?

A: I am impressed by the development of TNT Bulgaria. Over the last 10 years it managed to prove itself as a leading company on the Bulgarian market and to show that it is also an example of a worthy citizen.

In TNT Bulgaria, I would say we have developed mostly across the whole Eastern Europe, particularly in Bulgaria. As you know, we have just invested over EUR 1 M in our new office - we have now 200 employees in total - and all of that in a relatively short period of time.

For just ten years we have established a very profitable business here. So, the initial investments made in TNT Bulgaria are now starting to pay off and we are very keen to continue to develop, build new depots in Bulgaria in the future.

As the volumes grow and expand we will be investing in Bulgaria with new depots, new vehicles, more staff, etc.

Q: So, you plan further investments here?

A: Absolutely, yes. In both the short-term and the long-term. Bulgaria is doing very well at the moment.

In the whole scheme it is a relatively small country for us, but it forms a very important part of the chain. Using the depots of TNT Bulgaria, we would be able to collect deliveries here and distribute them to the rest of the world.

We want to expand our sales in Bulgaria.

Ivan Vassilev {TNT Bulgaria General Manager} has done a fantastic job here. I have known him for five years now and he has matured as a manager.

He has been the key for TNT's success in Bulgaria.

Q: Do you find the business climate competitive enough here in Bulgaria?

A: We do, obviously. I am not going to name them, but wherever we go in the world it is very competitive, particularly in this area where Bulgaria is located.

There are three other key players, they are all investing in Bulgaria, so TNT Bulgaria has in a way stolen a part of the market share. I could not quote exact figures of the local market share, but I believe TNT Bulgaria has made a giant leap forward and hopefully will sustain that growth.

Out of all the countries in the world, TNT Bulgaria is leading in the competition at the moment. This is based on the generation of new customers and the revenue those customers generate, so we know there are relatively four countries where in terms of productivity, they are the most productive in the sales we have worldwide.

Q: Is it the staff, the employees that you rely mostly on?

A: There's one thing I would say, travelling around the world, the team here is really that deeply involved into the unit - whether your operations, whether your sales, whether your finance, whether your administration. The whole unit is working very well together, very useful and led by a good leader.

Q: What is your greatest achievement so far?

A: The one thing that surprised me this evening is the attendance of some 1,300 people here. For me, being able to bring 1,300 people here - the staff with their families, all the guests - it speaks out a lot, it shows TNT Bulgaria has many supporters.

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