Kamal Mitoo, CEO of Time Link Cargo, must surely be one of the greatest Scania fans on this planet, and, as CHARLEEN CLARKE discovers, he has just reinforced his belief in the brand with an order for 100 trucks!
Mitoo is famous for many things. First and foremost, there’s the fact that he started his company as recently as 2005 – and it’s a massively successful undertaking today. Second, he’s famous for being passionate about the Scania brand (you’ll never see another brand of truck on the road with Time Link Cargo livery on it). Third, he’s famous for being obsessed with V8s. He is famous for a fourth reason too: he loves to accessorise his trucks.
He’s incredibly humble when it comes to the success of his company. “It’s a simple case of hard work and an obsession with customer service,” he tells FOCUS. At inception, the company operated a mere two trucks from a different manufacturer. Within a very short period of time, Time Link Cargo moved to purchasing Scania trucks only.
Mitoo says his migration to the Scania brand is something he will never regret. “From the very first meeting with Scania, it was clear that its executives understood exactly what we were looking for. We wanted a long-term relationship. We wanted to build up the business with a supplier that would partner with us. It’s a reciprocal relationship. The Scania team has always honoured all its promises, as have we. We’re very proud to be Scania ambassadors,” he explains.
What about the actual trucks? Why does he love Scania trucks so much? “It’s not just the pricing; it’s a combination of many factors. We look at anything and everything from maintenance to driver comfort, as well as performance and spares availability to financing options. We are choosing to put all our eggs into one basket based on our satisfaction with all these aspects,” he tells FOCUS.
The Scania trucks that he does buy work pretty hard. “We always have two drivers per vehicle and each vehicle does up to 34 000 km a month,” he reveals.
When it comes to his obsession with V8s, Mitoo says that these engines make sense in his business. “A V8 is, quite simply, the most balanced engine, which suits our application. The V8 offers a mix of good fuel consumption, pulling power, carrying capacity, driver comfort and safety. In our application, the V8 simply works far better than any other engine,” he points out.
Accessorising the trucks makes good sense, too, he says. “My trucks are a branding exercise for my company. A magnificent-looking truck is a marketing tool on the road. They are my moving billboards – so it’s important for them to look good. It is vital that people see a clean, well-maintained truck with good branding. People want to deal with a company like that,” he explains.
And now road users can expect to see more and more of these glorious trucks on the road. “We have signed an offer to purchase 100 trucks. A total of 25 will be delivered this year. The same will happen for the next three years,” reveals Mitoo.
This is a tangible expression of his faith in the Scania brand and also his faith in his company’s future. “If you are directly involved in your company (as my wife, Kashmir, the company’s chief financial officer, and I are) and you understand the needs and requirements of your customers, this always bodes well,” he concludes, as humble as ever.