Chung, Po / Bowie, Roger
From Startup to Global Upstart
Aims and Scope
DHL: From Startup to Global Upstart is the story of a startup that became the first worldwide logistics service organization, fighting regulation, trade restrictions, customs, and many other technical issues to develop processes that have stood the test of time to become the accepted norm in delivery throughout the world. It is a story of using "soft powers," persuasion, and ingenuity, working with, and around, emerging technologies to eliminate barriers to success. This book provides an extraordinary look into how a little startup with grit and perseverance succeeded in the face of overwhelming odds and revolutionized many of what are now accepted transportation and supply chain practices.
Po Chung, DHL International co-founder, and Roger Bowie, former DHL Worldwide Services Director, discuss how DHL paved the way for one day international package delivery and how they have maintained their global leadership position against powerful American titans.
This is an excellent book which tells an interesting story about DHL, including the challenges faced by the company and the related transformations. It highlights how the company culture, such as trust and strategic thinking at all levels, have contributed to the positive growth of the company. From the book, the readers will appreciate the "powers" contributing to success in the service sector, including a service mind-set, positive psychology (positive emotion, engagement, relationships, meaning and achievements) and the 3Cs (character, competence and care). It is a book that cannot be missed by those who are passionate about leadership and entrepreneurship.
—Daniel T.L. Shek, PhD, BBS, SBS, JP, Chair Professor of Applied Social Sciences, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University and Editor in Chief, Applied Research in Quality of Life
This is an extraordinary narrative of transformation on a global scale. In a world of exponential change, the principles of courage, collaboration, trust and foresight will continue to serve business leaders of today and the future. As we head toward a world shaped by technology in ways we don't understand, we are well served to remember the basic methods whereby global businesses are built to thrive and last.
—Dr. Leonard Lane, Managing Director Fung Academy and Senior Lecturer Strategy, Paul Merage School of Business, University of California, Irvine
Today we take for granted that we can send DHL documents and parcels easily to any place in the world. Po Chung and Roger Bowie tell an insider story of how we have come to be in this happy position. Their story is about innovation and courage, where the heroes are the pioneers who built DHL International. They wanted to change the way global business was being done—and then proceeded to accomplish it in spite of overwhelming challenges. In addition to the lessons of the case study itself, there is much to learn from the insights on the power of ideas, teamwork and a customer-focused culture that is built on values.
—Victor K. Fung, Group Chairman, Fung Group
DHL is an extraordinary growth story. Po Chung and Roger Bowie do a great job explaining how the DHL team rapidly grew the international express document and parcel business despite local political and regulatory obstacles, over a few decades becoming a large company in a huge industry. What is most impressive about the DHL story is the flexibility shown by the nascent management team to follow their customers’ documents into countries around the world, building team and infrastructure as needed. DHL was one of the first organizations to operate efficiently and effectively at the country level, regionally and globally.
—Jim Hildebrandt, Managing Director, Bain Capital
This story about the rise of DHL in effect charts the path of one of the world’s first "disruptors". It is a template for contemporary companies because it contains all the necessary elements of success—visionary leadership, persistence against adversity, an entrepreneurial culture, and the will to succeed. It charts how DHL, from its early formative years until the present day, changed the world of business, and pioneered the essential ingredient that underpins today’s eCommerce phenomenon: contemporary supply chains with fast fulfillment. DHL has led the way in demonstrating that as the world speeds up, and volatility increases, the way to counter this is to do everything at speed, across the entire enterprise.
—Dr John Gattorna, Supply Chain Thought Leader and Author