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Indian Power List 2019

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Harish Tahiliani

Harish Tahiliani

Company:

Arab & India Spices LLC

Designation:

Managing director

Established in 1986, Arab and India Spices has the distinction of being one of the first miller of spices, pulses and condiments in the Middle East region.

Hailing from Gujarat in India, Harish Tahiliani’s father Kumarlal first saw the potential for the processing of Indian food stuffs in the Middle East during the mid to late 80s.

Harish Tahiliani’s journey with the company started in 1989 when he began to help out with company operations, shuttling between the United Arab Emirates and India on a regular basis.

The following year, the elder Tahiliani decided to start the first processing plant for pulses in the UAE.

While he was warned by many leading food providers in the region of the great hurdles he would face starting such an undertaking in the UAE, he was determined to persevere.

In 1994, Tahiliani was summoned from India to the UAE. He quit his studies and took up the reins of the company and, within a few years, helped expand the processing capacity in Sharjah from a 5000 square foot premise to a 40,000 sq ft site with five processing plants.

Less than ten years later, he purchased 352,000 sq ft of land in Ajman – which was the first emirate to give ownership of commercial plots to expats – and Arab and India Spices moved to its Ajman base in 2007, where it expanded to eight state-of-the-art production lines producing 325 metric tons of produce per day.

By 2011, the company was the first firm from the food services sector to be awarded as part of the SME Exporter of the Month initiative launched under the supervision of the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Arab and India Spices now has one of the largest distribution chains in the UAE, with a fleet of more than 100 vehicles on the roads.

“We have diversified our operations from milling and grinding to processing whole spices and packaging. We are always making investments to drive sustainable, long-term growth,” he told Arabian Business.

The company has around 700 employees and distributes to markets in the Far East, Middle East, Africa, Asia Pacific, Europe, the USA, Canada and even Australia.

Looking to the future, the company is planning that by the end of 2019 it will have built a pulses storage facility which can accommodate 52,000 metric tons of produce, by far the largest unit of its kind in the region.