Hareeish Kumar, CEO and Chairman at Millenium Group of Companies / MEFCO Food (Middle East Food Co) explains how the company caters to the UAE and the Middle East market
Millenium Group of Companies, covering food, pharma, cosmetics and industrial chemicals, segments an ISO /HACCP certified company with a strong presence in the region and has positioned itself as one of the market leaders in the F&B segment and speciality chemicals with the capabilities of trading, storage and distribution of food ingredients, raw materials for cosmetics, pharma and speciality chemicals in the UAE and the Middle East. Most of the credit for the success of the brand rests on the shoulders of Hareeish Kumar, who has been the Chairman of Millenium /MEFCO Food since its inception in 2013.
An inspiring leader, Kumar is a strategist, mentor, and motivator with a passion for excellence who harnessed the efforts and resilience of his co-workers to make Millenium and MEFCO a role model for others. Under his leadership, Millenium and MEFCO have received many awards and accolades. These include the Best Supplier 2019, EKFC Service Excellence Award, Etihad Airways Service Excellence Award, Best Practice Award from Baladna Qatar and Best Supplier Partners appreciation and award and MEA Award for the best trader. The company has been certified grade ‘A’ by Dubai Municipality Food Watch, ISO 22000, HACCP from TUV and others.
Speaking about the main offerings, Kumar said: “We do all speciality, processing, functional, upstream chemicals and also for specific industries like food, cosmetics, perfume, pharma, paint, water treatment, construction, oil and gas industry.”
Making A Mark
Looking back on his journey, Kumar said that getting into the chemical business and later into the food and beverage industry was not a planned move it was difficult to focus on building clientele and customer base at the start. “However, once we were able to make our own space, things got better,” he added, saying that the chemicals industry is like an ocean and the market is wide open and very competitive.
“While we were streamlining and re-engineering our internal systems, the industry-wise approach process and focusing on getting more customers, resulted in getting many enquiries for different industries, including F&B and related industries, and that thought led to us launching MEFCO (Middle East Food Company) food and beverages as a new and independent entity, which aims to fulfil all portfolios in F&B basket, further classified into different segments such as ingredients and additives for food processing like the meat industry, bakery and confectionery, dairy, beverages, culinary, snacks, spices and many more. Today, we are one of the top companies in the UAE, supplying high-quality food ingredients from different parts of the world to the F&B industry for the whole GCC and Middle East markets,” he said.
Kumar said that to be a market leader in the industry, one needs to have a strong operationally efficient supply chain, logistics team, storage and distribution systems in place and a strong market presence with all products in stock always, which allows the company to be the exclusive distributor of elite manufacturers of internationally renowned big names from USA, Europe, such as KERRY ingredients and Flavors UK, Red Arrow USA, KMC Denmark, Celanese Germany, British Salt UK, BUNGE USA, Deutscheback Germany, Sensient Cosmetics, BIOZYMES, LG and many more. “We managed to get these achievements successfully in a short period with the support of our committed, experienced and handpicked qualified staff that includes in-house food technologists, industry specialists and others,” said Kumar.
He added that the other challenge was that of space and storage within a good geographical location for a seamless and convenient distribution. This was resolved when the company decided to expand its warehouse operations to multiple locations in the UAE. Reflecting on the pandemic, Kumar said: “In fact, we were slightly diversified, with our chemical division (oil and gas/construction chemicals) switching to the health and hygiene segment where we had a lot of challenges and opportunities like taking up multiple contracts for the supply of raw materials for unit sterilisation/sanitisation.”
Kumar cited that winning new bids, winning awards and appreciation from premium customers for being the best-approved vendors/supplier was also a great achievement and continues the same.
“At present, we are present in the UAE, Oman, Kuwait, Qatar, and KSA,” said Kumar, adding that there is a ready plan in place for further expansion in the UAE, KSA and Jordan shortly. “In the UAE we are in the final stage to launch our brand as made in UAE and a bigger stock and sale model at KSA.”