The founder and owner of Frankfurt-based general sales agent Cismat GmbH, Hiran Houx died unexpectedly during a business trip to his homeland Sri Lanka. He suffered a heart attack while resting in his hotel that he owned on the island state.
Sadly enough, the immediately summoned medics could not save his life and he died in the ambulance on the way to the next hospital. He was buried in Sri Lanka soon after.
The 54-year-old leaves his wife Lyutsia and their two children, living near Frankfurt, Germany.
The news of his sudden demise on 5th July did not only come as a shock to his family, close relatives and friends, but also to Cismat's 16 employees based in Kriftel near Frankfurt and Vienna, Austria. Although customers were informed immediately of his death, it is only now that the press and most members of the German and Austrian cargo industry learned of his tragic fate.
Hard to replace
“Hiran was a strong personality, always friendly and attentive, whom we valued not only in his role as our principal and mentor but also as a great human being,” says Sabah Boujerad-Jitite, Manager Finance & Administration and for ten years with Cismat. “The footprints he leaves are enormous. There is hardly anyone able to adequately replace him.”
Mr Houx understood it like no other, to build up stable business relationships with mandate airlines based on trust and profound knowledge. An example of a long-lasting productive cooperation between the GSA and a freight carrier is Portuguese airline TAP that assigned its entire freight business in Germany and Austria to Cismat years ago. A connection lasting until today that has paid off for both sides.
As CargoForwarder we met Mr Houx on several occasions in Frankfurt, discussing the role of GSAs in the European cargo landscape, current trends like the outsourcing of sales staff by cargo airlines and the transfer of the business to GSAs, as well as other issues. It was always impressive how competently this true cargo veteran spoke about market developments or the respect he showed to competitors. On one such occasion José Anjos, former Cargo and Mail Director of TAP Portugal embraced him in a sudden emotional outburst, stating “Hiran is our best GSA worldwide.”
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In search of a new MD
Despite the tragic death of company founder Houx and the ongoing grief over his unexpected demise, Cismat's everyday business continues.
Apparently, the company’s ownership is clearly defined with all property rights transferred to Hiran’s widow Lyutsia, becoming the sole owner of the company until her and Hiran’s two children come of age. According to staff information, she does not get involved in Cismat’s day-to-day business which – for the time being – is jointly managed by a trio of leading authorized representatives, among them Mrs Boujerad-Jitite. In the coming weeks, a new managing director will be appointed to run the GSA.
The memorial ceremony will take place on Wednesday, August 14, at 11:00 am at the premises of Cismat GmbH, Am Holzweg 26, 65830 Kriftel.