Al Nabil Food Industries Company Ltd. is widely regarded as a major player in the food and beverage industry, being one of the main suppliers to the market leaders such as McDonald’s, Papa John’s Pizza and Subway. By meeting international standards and using only the best GMO-free ingredients, CEO Ahmad Sallakh believes it is the company’s commitment to high-quality food that gives it a competitive edge.
“We boast state of the art facilities, the best expertise and staff, and we always produce a consistent, high-quality product,” says Sallakh. “Over and above, we encourage continuous improvement through our product development which helps us to stay at the top. Our brand equity is an integral aspect of our business and it is paramount to the success of the company."
Satisfying the tastes of both local and international markets alike, Al Nabil offers food products to key stakeholders such as hotels, restaurants, universities, and the retail sector. As a result, all of Al Nabil’s products are 100% Halal and manufactured to the highest international standards. Whilst the company already has a tight grasp on the international food and beverage industry, selling products in over 20 countries, Sallakh is keen to take the company’s global footprint further.
“Our core mission is to serve our people and our community with high-quality, cost-effective products for each and every meal,” notes Sallakh. “However, my main concern as CEO today is increasing international export sales. We have recently opened a new international sales office in Dubai which will allow us to transcend new markets and expand our international reach.”
The Rassam Family established their business in Baghdad, Iraq, in 1945, moving to Jordan in 1988. Operations at the company began with approximately 28 employees and a handful of lines and products. Today, the company boasts more than 850 employees, nine production lines and an electric range of over 200 products. As a result, improving efficiency and productivity is an integral part of Al Nabil's mission.
This efficiency is largely driven by the company’s appreciation of technological ingenuity, which has been passed down generation after generation. “We are significantly increasing our investments in technology at all levels,” notes Sallakh. “For instance, this year we are implementing a new ERP and CRM system. This is important because it’s making our decisions faster, our data more accurate, and it's improving our customer relationships. We're continuing to invest in our customer supply chain, CRM and other supply chain management because these are driving factors towards efficiency, agility, and fast reaction to the market.”
Al Nabil has brought the latest technologies and techniques to the food and beverage industry, however, despite this, Sallakh asserts that it is the company’s expertise and talent which are its most valuable assets. By using key performance indicators, Al Nabil identifies and rewards high achievers in the company and actively encourages innovation.
By taking staff to regional and international conferences and exhibitions, Sallakh is keen to offer his staff the latest industry knowledge and knowhow. Through this, the company strives to retain only the best talent and expertise.
Maintaining talent and expertise
“The most important asset we have is our people,” notes Sallakh. “If you have the best expertise you will always be at the top. If you invest in your people, you will always lead in your industry. If you train good people and invest in them, it is the biggest asset you can have. As CEO, I can say with real pride that persistent, passionate and innovative minds have driven the company to where it stands today and I hope I can build on that.”
Sallakh has been at the helm of Al Nabil for 18 months now, overseeing the company’s successful operations as CEO. But in an industry that is ever-evolving and ever-changing, what does the future have in store?
“I think the food and beverage industry will continue to grow and competition will become more aggressive,” reflects Sallakh. “In my opinion, I also think that more mergers and acquisitions may take place which will change market dynamics.”
With tightening food regulations and changing consumer habits, the food and beverage industry is a competitive market. However, Sallakh remains confident that by upholding its commitment to quality food, staff and facilities, Al Nabil will continue to succeed and remain at the top.
“Competition is becoming tough,” notes Sallakh, “but competition is healthy. It’s essential because it keeps you on your toes. It motivates you to be lean, to optimise and utilise your assets, and to keep innovating.
“In my opinion, our priority is to maintain our commitment to providing the highest quality products in the market. It’s a challenge because when you’re known for being great, you have to challenge yourself to be greater.”