A panel discussion in progress at the event in Dubai.
Inayat Ur Rahman, Business Editor
CE-Ventures, the corporate venture capital platform of Crescent Enterprises, a leading global, diversified business headquartered in the UAE, hosted the region’s first-ever Supply Chain Tech Summit – ‘Forging the Tech-Driven Future’, held at Grosvenor House in Dubai.
Robotics, artificial intelligence, and the opportunities modern technology and venture capital hold for the future of global supply chains were discussed in detail during the Summit.
The Summit’s welcoming remarks were given by Tushar Singhvi, Deputy CEO and Head of Investments at Crescent Enterprises, where he set the stage for the day’s discussions by emphasising the importance of technology in driving transformation and growth in the supply chain industry, and the role the UAE has played in fostering an ecosystem of innovation.
“The market size and growth of AI in the supply chain have been remarkable. According to recent reports, the potential economic value created by AI in the global supply chain is expected to reach $1.3 trillion over the next 20 years.
The exponential growth of supply chain technology clearly demonstrates the paramount importance of the industry and the transformative role of technology in revolutionising it. As global trade and logistics continue to evolve, businesses are increasingly relying on cutting-edge solutions to optimise operations, enhance efficiency, and drive profitability. And while this summit is global in nature, the Mena region is a fitting host for the Supply Chain Tech Summit, particularly the United Arab Emirates, where the convergence of diverse industries and cutting-edge technology creates an ideal environment for fostering innovation and advancing supply chain solutions. The UAE’s geographical advantage, coupled with visionary leadership, has propelled this nation to the forefront of global trade and commerce, becoming a magnet for multinational corporations and forward-thinking entrepreneurs seeking to leverage the immense opportunities on offer.”
He continued: “By hosting the Supply Chain Tech Summit, CE-Ventures aims to showcase innovative tech-enabled solutions, foster collaborations, and provide a platform for industry leaders, startups, and investors to exchange ideas and drive advancements in supply chain technology.”
The keynote session, by Damion Shelton, CEO of Agility Robotics, a US based company developing robots that work alongside people in warehouses, explored the transformative power of robotics and automation, with solutions needing to be human-centric and multi-purpose. His insights into the potential impact of robotics on the supply chain industry captivated the audience and set the tone for the subsequent panel discussions.
With regards to Agility Robotics’ contribution to the field of supply chain tech, Damion said: “Our mission at Agility Robotics is to build robot partners that augment the human workforce. Our robot Digit is the first human-centric, multi-purpose robot made for logistics work. Digit is designed from the ground up to go where people go and do useful work safely in spaces designed for people, starting with bulk material handling within warehouses and distribution centres. We’re thrilled to be a part of the CE-Ventures Supply Chain Tech Summit and to talk about the role of automation and AI in shaping the future of supply chain operations.”
The first panel of the day focused on the challenges and opportunities facing legacy supply chain companies as they adapt to the changing operational and technological landscape. Moderated by Charupriya Chahal, Director of CE-Operates, Crescent Enterprises, the session hosted Abdulla Al Hashimi, Chief Operating Officer – Parks & Zones, DP World, Andrew Hoad, Chief Commercial Officer, Gulftainer, Paul J. Gallie, Portfolio Director, AP Moller Capital, and Gustavo Lacetera, Senior Engagement Manager, ALG Transport & Infrastructure, where each discussed their unique perspective that comes with a long-established presence in the supply chain industry, and insights on the key strategies and best practices for modernising and optimising legacy supply chains to meet the demands of the future. “It is truly an exciting time as we witness the digital revolution shaping the supply chain industry,” said Andrew Hoad, Chief Commercial Officer at Gulftainer. “Industries worldwide are embracing digitalization, with companies evolving into IT-focused entities that offer unique products and services. At Gulftainer, we are fully committed to our digital business transformation strategy. We are thrilled to be part of this event, which epitomises the high intensity and dynamic environment necessary to propel our transformation process forward.
Discussions during the second panel of the day revolved around exploring the transformative technological future of the supply chain, and how emerging technologies, such as artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics, will impact and revolutionise the industry. Moderated by Karthee Madasamy, Founding Managing Partner, MFV Partners, the panel included Fadi Amoudi, Founder & CEO, IQ Fulfilment, Gaurav Biswas, Founder & CEO, Trukker, Nissrine Elqobai, Co-Founder, ENY Consulting, and Puneet Kumar, Head of Supply Chain & Logistics, Roche, who gave insights into the cutting-edge trends, tools, and practices that are shaping and disrupting the industry.