Dubai's 'King of Spices' eyes European expansion

Dr. Dhananjay Datar currently operates 41 retail stores across the GCC
Dubai's 'King of Spices' eyes European expansion
Dr. Dhananjay Datar, managing director of Al Adil Trading
By Shane McGinley
Mon 17 Jun 2019 09:44 AM

Dubai-based Indian retail chain Al Adil Trading is aiming to expand into Europe within the next year, the company’s managing director told Arabian Business in an interview.

The company, which was founded in Dubai in 1984 and stocks around 9,000 Indian food products, including spices and other ingredients, currently has 41 stores based in the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Oman and Saudi Arabia.

It has plans to expand into Kuwait in the next six months, but it also has plans further afield outside the Gulf area.

“We’ll go to Europe… maybe next year,” Dr. Dhananjay Datar, managing director of Al Adil Trading and known across Dubai by his customers as the ‘King of Spice’ or the ‘Masala King’, told Arabian Business on Thursday.

Datar is planning to open at least six more stores this year, he said. His most recent store opened in Silicon Oasis and the next launch will be in Sharjah, with growing population centres like Business Bay, Jumeirah Lake Towers and Dubai Marina on the company’s radar.

While some commentators have said the Gulf is in a slowdown, Datar is optimistic. “Some economic researchers are predicting a sluggish growth ahead for the global markets, based on indicators like current trade conflicts between big powers, rising inflation, as well as hike in interest rates. Some are even warning about a slowdown in global economy and a possible recession at the doorstep. To be honest, I can’t speak authoritatively and with full confidence about the future scenario. I am a trader businessman and have learned from the past experiences that there is nothing to worry.

“Markets are always volatile and pass through ups and downs. But it is also true that nothing remains constant. The tutelage of time is that change is the only constant. Personally, I fully believe in that golden truth and try to adjust myself according to the situation," he added. "As of now, I don’t see any sluggish trend… Inflation might affect consumer’s decisions to purchase some luxury items temporarily but there is no danger at all to the commodities and FMCG (Fast-Moving Consumer Goods) sectors.”

Read the full interview with Dr. Dhananjay Datar in the next issue of Arabian Business on June 23.

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