A rapidly growing global company specialising in advanced temperature-controlled warehousing and logistics, NewCold is redefining the design, development, and operation of automated cold storage with Abhy Maharaj as its Executive Vice President Business & Growth.
As the Executive Vice President, Mr Abhy has been spearheading the company successfully together with Founder Bram Hage and members of the leadership team – achieving a wide network of advanced automated facilities across Europe (United Kingdom, France, Poland, Germany, Italy, Sweden), Australia, and the United States. He has been with the company for 2 and a half years initially in Australia and now in the Netherlands and is responsible for Commercial, Strategy, People, and Growth of NewCold Globally. Abhy Maharaj is well established as a Business Leader, Innovator and Strategist. He has worked in senior executive roles in the wide spectrum of global brands, food manufacturing, and aviation industries prior to moving to NewCold.
More about the Initiative
Founded in 2012 by Bram Hage and WestPort Capital Partners, NewCold has its HQ in the Netherlands with locations across Europe, the US, and Australia. NewCold Advanced Cold Logistics is the fastest-growing automated warehousing and distribution global player whose world-class systems, energy efficiency, and productivity make it stand out from other conventional cold storage companies.
It operates a network of 11 cold storage facilities, with 927,000 pallet positions, on three continents and is further expanding its operations globally, building on decades of know-how in developing and operating advanced cold chain logistics solutions.
NewCold wholly-owned software subsidiaries Davanti, NewCold Automation and GL Automation provide in house Warehouse Management and Material Handling software expertise.
NewCold has been growing at over 30% CAGR a year and has strong support from its Tier 1 customers with global names like McCain, Froneri, Conagra Foods, Simplot, etc. Customers tend to be large multinationals who have developed a long-term relationship with NewCold built around trust and performance. The average contract terms are very long term in tenure and as such relationships with its major customers are more like partnerships with close collaboration built around high service standards and ground-breaking innovation.
NewCold has a significant greenfield development pipeline of asset builds and as it scales up, maintaining agility and finding the right talent is a constant challenge but also an opportunity to bring in great talent into the business. The supply chain disruptions and impact of Covid on our customers have added complexity to a number of our operations and construction projects.
What Helped Mr Abhy along the Way?
The main driving force behind Abhy’s journey is the strong curiosity to understand how things can be done differently and working closely with some inspiring leaders has helped develop him over the years.
Abhy has never been afraid of making some daring choices in his careers such as joining an airline that was close to bankruptcy and helping it turn around and become one of the most profitable and innovative airlines globally, or joining a large dairy company with a multi-billion-dollar M&A agenda or working for NewCold, a fast-growing disruptor in the automation and logistics industry. They are all very different sectors but all going through a significant transformation which is an environment that he loves to work in.
Bram Hage, founder of NewCold, has played an important role in Mr Abhy Maharaj’s success and likewise other inspirational CEOs like Theo Spiering’s at Fonterra, Rob Fyfe at Air New Zealand, and great CFO mentors like Lukas Paravicini (Fonterra) and Rob McDonald (Air New Zealand)
A Day in the Visionary’s Life
His wake-up time is typically around 6.30 am. After a quick walk with the dog, he will head off to work or if working from home review and plan his day. Days are a balance of team discussions, innovation ideas, decision forums, and phone calls from around the different geographies the company operates in.
Abhy does not have a 9-5 type job… as he is working in different time zones his meetings or calls can be either very early or late at night. He is late to bed (around 12-2 am typically) so lots of time to fit in different activities and balance work and family life.
Abhy has been a vegetarian since he was 18 years old so he always likes experimenting with different food recipes or trying out new restaurants. Traveling and seeing new places is also an important part of life and spending time with his wife Ashika, three children, and Yorkshire Terrier Alpha.
“While I am now living in the Netherlands I grew up in New Zealand and I love and used to play rugby and the All Blacks are not just an amazing rugby team but the most successful sporting team in the world. The book Legacy by James Kerr is a favourite of mine as it uses sport and the All Blacks to show how the best in the world stay the best in the world”, shared Abhy.
NewCold has a bold ambition to be “the world’s most customer-centric, advanced and fully integrated automation & logistics company.” Their growth has been absolutely breath-taking and while they are already the 4th largest in the world by size their journey is just getting started with significant new projects to come with the business doubling in size every three years… watch the space. NewCold is continuously exploring new ways to reduce energy consumption and drive efficiencies through new technologies aimed at making NewCold the most sustainable company in the logistics space; NewCold is on an exciting journey and we are simply just getting started with many more exciting chapters still to be written in our growth story.
Jewels in the Crown
- Newcold is the largest automated cold storage company globally and ranked 4th largest refrigerated warehousing and logistics provider in the world by Global Cold Chain Alliance.
- Newcold is Number 10 in 2021 Top 250 of Fastest-Growing Dutch companies.
A Piece of Advice for Female Entrepreneurs
“My mother was a senior executive and I watched her break many glass ceilings in her career… this has always stayed with me and it’s important particularly in the logistics industry that we attract female entrepreneurs and leaders”, shared Mr Abhy.
“My advice would be not to spend too much time worrying about what others think about you and have the confidence and resilience to follow your passions… eventually, the naysayers will follow your lead”, he further added.