THE FUTURE IS IN FOODPRENEURS – SME GROWTH IN THE GLOBAL FOOD INDUSTRY
Industry leaders and pioneers highlight opportunities and considerations for budding entrepreneurs
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
The success of the Foodpreneurs Forum yesterday (Monday), one of four sell-out sessions at this year’s Gulfood Conference, highlighted the growing trend for entrepreneurship and business ownership in the food and beverage industry both in the Middle East and around the world.
Running alongside Gulfood 2012, the world’s largest annual trade show for the food and beverage industry, the highly interactive forum brought together international food-biz veterans, global brand leaders, retail gurus and celebrity chefs to guide start-ups, fledging businesses wanting to expand, and those looking to compete regionally and internationally.
One of the many highlights on the agenda was the opening address by Mr Essa Al Ghurair, Chairman of Al Ghurair Foods who outlined the remarkable journey of his company, established in 1976 as the first flour mill in the UAE. Today the company owns feed, maize, pulses, edible oils and oat plants in the UAE, flour mills in Lebanon, Sudan, Sri Lanka and Algeria and has a market presence in more than 20 countries around the world.
In his address, Mr Al Ghurair said: “Our success has been built one step at a time. We have a long term vision that drives our growth. Passion and commitment for a business is essential, but the bottom line of profitability should never be sidelined as that is what drives business and business growth.”
A power panel of successful hospitality entrepreneurs participated in an interactive discussion on building a business from scratch to success, offering valuable insights on what it takes to stay ahead, effectively manage people, process and assets, and how to avoid the most common mistakes entrepreneurs make. Participants included Marijke Lap, CEO, More Café; Mohamad Bitar, Managing Director, Just Falafel; Yael Mejia, CEO, Baker & Spice and Vinay Lall, Group General Manager, Tablez Restaurants.
Insights on business expansion from local to global were shared in a panel discussion with leaders from leading government and trade organisations, while the Dubai Municipality led a regulator’s session on regulatory frameworks locally, regionally and internationally. The session was led by Asia Abdul Wahab Al Raisi, Head of Food Studies and Planning (Food Control Department), Dubai Municipality.
Gulfood’s knowledge partner Euromonitor International, a leading provider of business intelligence and strategic market analysis, presented the latest global and regional trends in localising, modifying and building a brand, impacting and how to make this impactful for the Middle East and its consumers specifically.
Trixee Loh, Senior Vice President, Dubai World Trade Centre, organiser of Gulfood said: “The Gulfood Conference and the depth of knowledge provided to delegates have elevated the event to a truly global level. The Foodpreneurs Forum was a new addition this year, and enjoyed an unprecedented response from delegates. It is clear that the future growth in the region will be driven by business entrepreneurs and progressive global brands that are flexible enough to adapt to local markets, cultures and tastes.”
Running until 22 February 2012 at the Dubai International Convention & Exhibition Centre, alongside Gulfood, the world’s biggest annual trade exhibition for the food and beverage industry, the Gulfood Conferences incorporate four key summits: Food Leaders Summit; Foodpreneur Forum; Food Packaging & Processing Forum; and the Gulfood Workshop on Franchising.
Gulfood is strictly a trade-only event and is open to business and trade visitors from within the industry only. Industry business professionals on the day of the show will be able to buy a Four Day Pass for AED 200. Gulfood is open from 11am – 7pm Sunday 19 February to Tuesday 21 February and 11am – 5pm on Wednesday 22 February 2012.
For more information, please visit www.gulfood.com/conferences.
Organised since 1987, Gulfood is the region's largest and most important industry event of the year and a strategic platform for buyers and sellers to conduct direct business face to face. The exhibition is a showcase for manufacturers, distributors, and suppliers from around the world, representing all of the key sectors within the food and hospitality trade.
The trade-only show reported record visitor attendance in 2010 with a total of 55,379 trade professionals from 152 countries attending the exhibition.
About Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC)
As the organiser of Gulfood 2011, Dubai World Trade Centre offers more than 30 years experience delivering world-class events in the Middle East, providing local, regional and international exhibitors with unmatched expertise and in-depth market knowledge. Our team organises 18 of the largest and most successful international and regional shows in Middle East, providing an ideal platform for business development in the region.
Our commitment to ongoing innovation within the exhibition industry has supported the rapid growth and development of a wide range of business-to-business and business-to-consumer shows, and delivered consistent satisfaction to exhibitors and visitors. DWTC works with the leading trade bodies and industry associations to ensure that all exhibitions deliver full value and are built upon the real needs of their specific sector.