Petrochem Middle East
Yogesh Mehta has a lot to smile about. Petrochem is the largest chemical distributor in the Middle East and Africa and 11th in the world. With offices worldwide and state-of-the-art chemical storage terminals in the UAE, Egypt and Saudi Arabia. The company grew from strength to strength, and it’s now a billion-dollar company that exports more than 1,000,000 metric tonnes (MT) of products worldwide, with revenues in excess of $1.4 billion in 2018.
No mean achievement for a person who came to Dubai in 1990 on “A hope and a prayer” as Mehta likes to share with all those who ask him about this journey and the success he enjoys.
“Hard work always pays but that is never enough, one needs total dedication and an evolving strategy to stay ahead in the everchanging landscape,” he says.
Mehta, a Harvard Business School alumnus and popular on the speaker circuit, both in the UAE and internationally, says that there is a huge oversupply of everything in the world now, coupled with hostile competition and volatility in the international market. “One needs nerves of steel and must draw from past experience as well as keep patience to stay relevant and keep one’s head above water!”
Very modest for a man who is on a winning streak despite the upheavals and vagaries of the market. Petrochem has now expanded in Egypt and Saudi Arabia with logistics and chemical storage terminals to spread their wings and enter new markets, thereby expanding their portfolio as well as creating economies of scale.
“2017 and 2018 have been our best years so far,” Mehta declares. “I believe that we have a great team of people at the company who work harder than me and are an integral part of the company and the reason for its success.
Recently, the Mehtas acquired 100 percent shares in the company and Petrochem is now family owned, with his son Rohan (31) who is a chip off the old block and works alongside his father to take Petrochem to new heights. Educated in the US and having worked two years in a chemical refinery in Texas, the young scion seems set to take over the reins of the vast empire Mehta has created.
Mehta’s philanthropic initiatives continue with the construction of the first official most iconic Hindu Temple in the UAE where he is a trustee, alongside working with the Vatican and the Pope efforts to abolish human trafficking.
“I feel that the UAE is a land of opportunity and there is enough for one and all providing one has the right education and skill set for the enterprise they set out to do,” Mehta sums up. “With the world getting smaller and smaller one will need new and smart skills to be on top of their game.”