Dr. Dhananjay Datar, Chairman and Managing Director, Al Adil Trading
Where do you see recent changes in behavior, on the side both of retailers and consumers, enduring long after the pandemic has subsided?
Consumer sentiment and behavior has changed. There is a major shift in the attitudes and shopping behaviour. There is a change in consumption pattern with special attention being paid to food items that help to increase immunity. More than anything else, they are worried about the health of their families. Consumers have also got used to online shopping. Retailers that adapt quickly to these shifts will win big.
Corporate social responsibility has been a huge area of focus for you. What new initiatives are you happy to have undertaken?
I strongly believe that we have a responsibility to give back to the society. No organization can survive if it fails to address the needs of those who have numerous problems. I have made CSR an integral part of my organization and we have various activities designed to meet the diverse needs. The joy that comes when our CSR activities get the desired results are much higher than many of our business achievements. All my initiatives are focussed on meeting the needs of those who are in dire needs and I make sure that anyone who approaches me for help is not turned down.
Where is Al Adil at right now in its expansion plan? How many new stores do you plan to open overall in 2021?
Al Adil recently opened its 46th outlet at Zahiya Road, Abu Dhabi. We have already opened 3 new outlets this year and we are well positioned to open more outlets in the near future. Our expansion plan is very strategically planned and we open our stores after studying the market requirements. We want to ensure that our stores are at arms reach of ur customers and we will do all that is possible to meet this. The company’s major focus is on establishing a marked presence in the UAE by catering to the demands of predominant Indian expatriate community in the UAE while expanding its operations to other Middle East countries in the coming years.
Yogesh Valaulikar, Managing Director, Aqua de Fonte
How did you see the pandemic changing the water bottling industry?
Water being an essential commodity, the industry was relatively insulated from the impact of a pandemic induced lockdown. Furthermore, more customers started opting for bottled water on hygiene grounds and this kept the demand firm. The UAE Government has also been supportive to small business enterprises such as ours and ensured that we were least impacted and able to serve our customers efficiently. The pandemic has had a positive impact on sales and we saw our brand gaining substantial mileage during the last six months. We even promoted the brand at various sporting events such as IPL, lending the brand visibility.
In a category where every bottled water brand is trying to differentiate, what’s Aqua de Fonte’s strategy?
There already were established brands and players serving the UAE market when we launched Aqua de Fonte in 2017. Rather than fulfilling a need in terms of un-serviced or underserviced segments of…
Read More:Gulf Food: Titans of F&B