Caroline, it has been nearly four years since you assumed the role of Head of Administration and Finance at GRENKE UAE. Could you share your thoughts on the challenges you have encountered during this time?
Certainly, taking on the role was indeed a challenge I fully embraced. , I knew it would be a new and exciting time coming ahead with different work processes of Finance and Administration topics within the leasing business of GRENKE. The variety and complexity of tasks I was handling made every day interesting. As time progressed, my responsibilities expanded, allowing me to grow both personally and professionally within the exceptional GRENKE Team.
GRENKE's commitment to growth is evident, offering continuous opportunities for learning. In your previous role, you managed financial aspects within the education sector. Can you draw parallels between those responsibilities and your current role in the leasing industry?
Before joining GRENKE, I held positions in Accounting and Finance at establishments like the German School Dubai and Sixt Rent a Car in Munich. While diverse industries, the leasing business is more complex and interesting, especially considering the management of thousands of active contracts and accounting processes. My responsibilities span managing Finance and Administration procedures, overseeing audits and taxes, and handling relationships with external stakeholders such as banks and consultants. Additionally, I'm now leading financial projects like the implementation of direct debit and preparing for the upcoming income tax. While there are similarities, the complexity and breadth of involvement have expanded significantly in my current role.
With your extensive financial acumen encompassing both UAE and Europe, where do you envision areas for improvement in the United Arab Emirates concerning our day-to-day business operations?
GRENKE's global digital tools are remarkable, yet the adoption varies across countries. In the UAE, we are witnessing a rapid shift towards embracing new legislation and technologies. For instance, corporate taxation was introduced recently. While leasing services are standard business in Europe and America due to tax benefits and potential deductions, it is still an emerging concept in the UAE, needing further clarity. Notably, direct debit, a cornerstone of GRENKE's payment system, is less prevalent in the UAE, which predominantly relies on cheques. Furthermore, the transition to E-Contracts has been gradual, despite the UAE government's enthusiastic promotion of e-signatures.
It's evident that technological advancement is a shared goal. Looking ahead, what innovations do you believe GRENKE UAE could introduce to streamline the leasing process for its customers?
GRENKE UAE is already taking significant steps towards digitization, offering new customers direct access to the customer portal. This portal provides essential contract documents like invoices and SOAs, complementing the existing email notifications. The ongoing focus is on enriching the customer experience. Leveraging the rapid digital progress in the UAE alongside GRENKE's #FAST #FORWARD initiative, we anticipate quicker decision-making processes and simplified contract administration. The ultimate objective is to offer an entirely online process same as within the GRENKE group worldwide. This would include registering supplier requests through the GO Partner online platform, undergoing credit checks, and reaching a decision in under 10 minutes, resulting in an E-signature agreement. The vision is a comprehensive contract management experience, conducted from the customer's convenience, with minimal paperwork.
Intriguing vision, Caroline. Outside of your demanding professional commitments, how do you unwind during your free time?