One of the UAE’s fastest growing food distribution companies, AKM Food Stuff Trading LLC has been included on the top Dubai 100 SME list for its swift expansion and its growth of 40 per cent CAGR (compound annual growth rate) over the last six years
Focused on quality, reliability and integrity, Dubai headquartered AKM Foods caters to the retail, food service and wholesale markets that require fresh, high quality produce to be delivered in an efficient and competent manner. The company’s products are divided into five segments: fish and seafood, meat and poultry, frozen vegetables, dairy products and appetisers, all of which are stored and delivered in a manner that ensures superior quality in both flavour and shape.
Within the company’s fish and seafood segment, available products include frozen fish fillet and fish steaks such as cream dhori fillet, rohu steaks and pangusius steaks. Freshwater and wholefish, meanwhile, includes rohu, horina, tengra, milk fish, koi and keski; squid, cuttle fish and frozen shrimps are also available as well as other fish and sea food products. Within the meat and poultry range are chicken grillers, chicken breasts, chicken leg quarters, chicken livers, Australian lamb, six way cuts, veal tenderloins and Bobby veal beef. Frozen vegetables include corn on the cob, broccoli, carrots, spinach, mixed vegetables and green peas; dairy products include blocks of mozzarella and cheddar, pure ghee cubed paneer, milk powder, UHT milk and butter. Appetisers range from French fries, onion rings, jalapeno balls and samosas to hash browns, pizzas, chicken nuggets, mozzarella sticks and breaded mushrooms.
Seeking to be the supply chain partner that its customers need through flexibility and high standards to service, AKM Foods maintains positive relationships with both customers and suppliers; in addition to this, the company also sources world-class products that it delivers via its own distribution team.
“We at AKM Foods focus mainly on frozen food products such as poultry, beef, seafood, vegetables, appetizers and fruit pulps, for example. We also have our own brands, Country Greens, Searock and Carnival, which are for vegetable, seafood and meat products respectively. Catering to the mass market, we wish to offer value for money to clients in an intensely competitive environment; to provide this service we are looking to form strong relationships with reliable partners who are making products within our business segments. We want them to supply our private label brands and grow with us in the region,” says Ajit Mishra, Managing Director of AKM Foods.
Looking back at AKM Food’s success story over the last six years, the company began operations in a rented office in Dubai and a rented coldstore in Al Quoz in 2010. In 2011 the company set up captive stores with space for 400pallets in Al Quoz, before responding to market demand by moving to a larger, fully integrated facility with 10,000 pallets spaces in DIP two years later. In 2014 the company set up AKM shipping and logistics services and went onto receive an SME 100 award in 2015; reaching number 37 out of 100, the young company was chosen by the crown prince of Dubai for its fast expansion and exciting developments.
Discussing this milestone in the company’s history, Ajit commented: “This is a great honour as it brings small and upcoming companies into focus. We are now invited to all major government initiatives and get approached frequently by local and international companies seeking partnerships following this recognition.”
The trend for expansion continued in 2016, with AKM Foods relocating to the South of Dubai, in Dubai InvestmentPark, a development that resulted in an additional 12,000 pallets capacity for frozen, chilled and ambient products. This location has temperatures varying in range, from -18 degrees Celsius to 18 degrees Celsius, which offers further opportunities for AKM Foods to deliver a value added service to its growing customer base. Features of this 65,000 sq ft warehouse include state-of-theart SCM/inventory solutions, cutting edge mobile racking, automated cargo displacement/docking and offloading facilities. This additional facility is also complemented by AKM Foods’ new office in Oman, which means the company’s presence has expanded from Dubai to Oman.
Operational advantages Enabling easier access to the perishables market for SMEs in the UAE and wide region, the new 24/7 food products distribution, repacking and storage facility is a reflection of the company’s plans to further expand its third party logistics activities. In fact,AKM Foods’ AKM Logistics division aims to add 50,000 pallet spaces by 2020; the company also seeks to expand into food related cost-effective processing facilities for food importers in the region, Moreover, the location of the facility, known as the heart of the logistics industry in the Middle East and wider region, also provides networking opportunities as it is a solid platform for companies similar to AKM Foods and AKM Logistics to connect, not only with clients and possible business partners, but also important global markets.
“This integrated facility has in-house shipping and clearing areas as well as storage and distribution locations; we also have our own distribution vans and a dedicated team ready to serve our diversified supplier base and loyal customers. These strengths, alongside our strong financial discipline, provides us with many operational advantages over our competitors,” reveals Ajit. Indeed, aware that logistics is not more merely about pallet space and four walls for storage, the company has strived to understand the total needs for new players in the market and facilitated its customers business at all levels of service. This commitment to delivering a high quality solution to customers has played an integral role in the company’s success in the market as it has developed a solid reputation for providing optimumsatisfaction.
Having established a solid platform for further growth, the futurelooks positive for AKM Foods as it progresses with plans to create new partnerships with suppliers in Europe. “Food suppliers from Europe need todedicate time and money on brandbuilding and also work with localpartners to penetrate the growingmarket,” says Ajit. “When it comes tomarket developments, the new themefor the next SME shortlist is innovation, so we are now trying to see what innovative solutions we can bring toour processes, which will thus enable us to stay ahead of the competition,” he concludes.