From humble beginnings as one of the 15 original outlets of the Dubai Souk, opened eons ago in 1931, Baqer Mohebi Establishment (BME) has grown to become one of the region's most respected marketers of premium brands and now boasts a portfolio with stalwart house-hold brand names such as Twining's, Evian and Volvic, Kimberley Clark and Habanos Cuban Cigars.
The company's strength is undoubtedly a reflection of its founding principles - values based on integrity, courage and commitment, directed by a vision dedicated to forecasting future needs and building successful relationships.
Having carried these values and their vision through three generations, BME has introduced products and brands to the region, resulting in the advent of various niche markets. Some of the partnerships BME has formed go back as far as five decades and speak volumes of the foresight, perseverance and management planning that has gone into building the company in all its facets.
Forming part of the Zainal Mohebi Group, BME is responsible for the marketing and distribution of premier Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCGs), filling this role by continually developing and expanding its core business. This expansion has resulted in the company opening outlets in Oman and Iran - with Qatar next on the list - and sees it now serve in excess of 4000 clients with 3000 SKUs from over 30 multinational premium brands.
"We have always focused on predicting market trends, needs and requirements - and making sure our clients have what they want - when they want it," explains SH Siadat, BME general manager. "The incredible growth and development of the region makes it the perfect time for us to expand our operations and services to other markets."
Such growth can only come about through the successful development of lasting relationships and is why 60 percent of the company's workforce is dedicated to sales and marketing. "We don't look at it as marketing products, more like developing relationships," adds Siadat. "This is through taking the time and devoting the resources to really understand our clients and customers, as well as our partners. Each has its own needs and requirements and we make every effort to meet these, day in-day out."
In maintaining this philosophy, BME has earned numerous accolades and reached landmarks that include recently celebrating 40 years of partnership with Habanos of Cuba and leading GCC sales for Puratos, Pal International and Kimberly Clark.
As well as FMCGs, in which BME distribution reaches all hypermarkets, supermarkets, wholesalers and a large number of groceries, the company has other areas of operations too.
BME is a major supplier of institutional products to catered hotels, cafes, restaurants, bakeries, catering houses, ship chandlers, seaports and airports throughout the region. The company is also expanding the high quality, exclusive products of its tobacco portfolio. The exclusive 'La Casa Del Habano' retail franchise has become a major venture in its own right, with BME operating seven boutiques in three countries, making the company the largest operator of the franchise worldwide. Aimed at the discerning consumer, 'La Casa Del Habano' also complements BME's other retail operations such as 'Le Tabac' (neighbourhood tobacconists) and 'Baqer Mohebi Supermarket.'
Furthermore, and in line with the region's growth and development, BME is continually strengthening and improving its core capabilities. This includes developing new logistics and distribution networks, strengthening operations, increasing international marketing and partner solution, implementing high level management training and recruitment and continued investment in technology and communications coupled with intelligent financial management.
From humble beginnings, BME has flourished into one the leading distribution/retail outlets in the region, highlighting just how much an Arab family company can achieve with the right vision and the proper skills.