A family business originating in India and strong on entrepreneurship is blossoming on the shores of the UAE
Arab & India Spices (AIS), a major processor of pulses and spices, expects to realise a turnover of Dh1 billion ($270 million) following an extension to its plant in Ajman.
The company built a new unit at an investment of Dh350 million, taking the total area of the factory complex to more than 400,000 sq ft and making it possible to process an additional volume of 36,000 tonnes of lentils annually.
“With the expansion of its production facility, AIS eyes an annual turnover Dh1 billion starting from 2016,” the company said in a statement following the inauguration of the new unit by chief guest Mohammed Al Muallam, managing director and senior vice president of DP World.
Harish Kumar Lal Tahiliani, managing director of Arab & India Spices, said: “We are extremely proud to unveil the region’s largest food processing plant. This new facility is an extended version of AIS’ existing state-of-the-art food processing plant in Ajman. AIS began in a 400 sq ft facility in the UAE and now it operates a 400,000 sq ft production facility that was extended gradually, making AIS one of the largest food production and processing facility in the region.”
Tahiliani said the plant incorporated advanced technology and would drive growth in its business in the UAE and other parts of the Gulf.
“AIS has diversified its operations from milling and grinding to processing of whole spices and consumer packing. We are making investments to drive sustainable long-term growth. The extension of our plant is a crucial factor of our growth strategy, facilitating consolidation and expansion of our market share in the Middle East region,” he said.
“We supply quality products with competitive prices, timely shipments and excellent service through our offices, warehouses, factories, farms, sourcing system and processing units across the globe. With a centralised system of these facilities and operations, AIS can control the pricing from time to time to keep the market steady at the best level. The quality of our food products and the price range we offer to consumers is the reason for our constant growth and success in the market.”
Tahiliani also said the company met global standards for quality control and delivered a safe and healthy product all the way from production to markets. “The range of products from Arab & India Spices enjoys a strong customer base in all regions and ethnic backgrounds and in major hotels, restaurants and catering companies. We will continue our commitment to sustainable development, which we believe is a key driver of success,” he maintained. The official recalled that “recently AIS achieved a record of being the first company to bring in lentils in vessel loads to the UAE from Canada.”
The company’s business began as a small grinding mill in India in 1947, re-establishing in 1986 as Arab & India Spices in a 400 sq ft facility in Sharjah with a staff of four. Its first imports of spices were mainly from India but in subsequent years the company diversified its sources of raw materials, bringing in shipments from places such as Myanmar, China, Australia, the US and the UK. The farm products are processed and packed for export.
AIS owns three major rice brands, namely 777, Ameera and Nallari. These products are re-exported to various countries from Ajman. Included in its business is contract production for global brands.