Company: Al Maya Group
Country: United Arab Emirates
Pagarani has managed to steer the UAE and Omani supermarket chain through the global recession with little impact on the company’s finances. This is down to its solid fundamentals in the food and consumer sector, which is reported to make up 70 percent of the group’s business. The rest is covered by wholesale operations and franchises like the British retailer Bhs and Borders the bookstore. As chairman Pagarani, who has just celebrated his 80th birthday, has less of a role in the company’s day-to-day running, but that doesn’t mean he has any less influence. In his youth, Pagarani set up a food business in Sierra Leone, then moved away from Africa to London in 1964, before setting up a permanent base in Dubai in the early 1980s. Now Al Maya supermarkets have 30 outlets in the UAE and another four in Muscat, Oman.