Here at bazaar, we love personal success stories that stem from humble beginnings. Our special anniversary issue could not be complete without Adel Abo Hawili’s story. He started his career in shipping from working at Kuwait’s port, and even after earning so much life experience working in the field, Adel believes that the learning process never stops. Today, he is the General Manager at 360 Degrees Shipping and Forwarding, a global transport and logistics provider that operates worldwide through an extensive network of agencies.
Adel’s establishment provides unique delivery solutions, from air and sea freight services, clearance and delivery services, cargo services and a special focus and attention to all the logistics involved with planning fairs and exhibitions and fine art pieces.
Born and raised in Kuwait, Adel’s journey took him to the US and Lebanon before he settled in the same place his parents moved to during the 60s. While he remains a student of business, Adel is a lover of fine arts and the world of architecture. His modernistic office in the city is decorated with beautiful miniature airplanes, stunning hand sketches and little antiquities, all clear signs of a marked traveler. He began his story by admitting, “My first job happened to be in shipping, and I fell in love with the field ever since then.”
A family recommendation led Adel to the field, and here an addiction to this world came into play. He explained, “When people think shipping, they think chaos, containers and noise. Nonetheless, this field forms a pillar of a country’s economy. History has shown that people have fought wars over ports. For me, I see discovery, travel, an international domain that allows you to deal with people from all walks of life. I love the smell of the sea, and believe it or not, the containers! I enjoy this process to this day. Moreover, I love interacting with people, and it is this very interaction that led me to where I am today.” Even from the start of his career and to this day, Kuwait remains an integral port city. We import most everyday items to the country, and with the importance of this industry, building relationships with people is everything.
With very humble beginnings, Adel started his career as a port laborer, with a mere salary of only KD 180 in 1995. “I did it with the utmost pleasure, I grew at the company where I worked. From offloading and packaging containers, supervising shipments, I arrived to become the deputy manager at the company I worked at.” In the year 2000, Adel embarked on a venture as a profit-partner that presented even more challenges career wise. After this venture ended, Adel’s career prospects were almost impossible. “The following two years defined me. I experienced hardships unlike anything I witnessed before that impacted my personal life.”
It is the one agent based in Spain, Arab International Services, that truly changed Adel’s life, along with his relationship with a ceramics and porcelain manufacturing company that soon became his permanent client. He said, “They used to visit Kuwait frequently. We enjoyed building a friendship, and I found myself helping them with their day to day business operations in the region by helping them deal with the any difficulties they might have faced as well as all of their logistics needs. Whatever it took to help their business succeed. That is how trust is born, by never seeing the worst in people.” It was through this special relationship with the Spanish shipping agent who he considers as his guardian angel, Victor and his son Yousef, as well as his esteemed client Rami Hamzeh, that led Adel to become their sole shipping agent in Kuwait and the region.
Adel finally decided to invest in himself, along with the help of his close family members. He said, “I never looked back since.” Even though Adel’s family could have helped him from the start, he never wished to start his business with any type of handout, and if anything he wanted people to invest in his belief, relationship network and hard work. From a small office at the IO center in Kuwait’s Arraya Center, to his bespoke office space today, Adel’s journey truly entered a new era.
Adel’s perseverance paid off, and in 2004, at a time where the competition is fierce, he had to think outside of the box to succeed. With major accounts like the majestic Jumeirah Messilah Beach Hotel & Spa, to being the logistics provider at the Concourse vintage car show, his business steadily grew, and attracting the right employees became the key mission as well as diversifying his company’s services. He explained, “Everyone now knows the monetary tricks of the trade, supply is even higher than the demand, and there are huge companies that dominate the field. Not many people are up for the challenge of building long lasting relationships, or dealing with bureaucratic entities, or gaining new business.” For Adel, establishing this trust with his employees is paramount, and that is why he chooses to operate a partnership based model, where employees earn shares in the company, rather than what it offered elsewhere.
Entering the world of Fine Arts
In order to diversify and keep up with the competition, 360 Degrees Shipping and Forwarding now offers flexible services, competitive rates and most importantly quality services based on honesty and integrity. Today, Adel resorts to his passion for the art and architectural world to continue providing his expertise to Kuwait’s art scene. Fine Artists like Amira Behbehani, and the country’s most known art galleries work with Adel to facilitate all of their logistics needs. Events like Peace One Day could not have been possible without Adel’s assistance. The company is renowned for its specialized and high-end packaging services, and the logistics involved in the transport of luxury items.
360 On Ground and 360 Express
Adel also aims to expand the company’s personal shipping services and this will be accomplished through changing people’s perception of shipping. With the establishment of 360 On Ground, that offers VIP delivery services of specialty gifts, speedy delivery and prestigious packing and wrapping. With this service, your gifts are guaranteed to arrive in pristine condition, and even the delivery staff are decked out in stylish tuxedos! The service also allows customers to inform 360 On Ground to even purchase a gift they had in mind, and they will take care of the rest. Another service also launching is 360 Express, that specializes in the transport of VIP luxury items in and out of Kuwait.
By evolving the basic business model of the company, Adel is truly overhauling the perception of shipping in the eyes of customers. The best part is that getting a quote couldn’t be easier, as this can be done through the phone, or by merely using What’s App!