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KW23_IN_DelMonte_AkramKamal_PORTRAIT

KUWAIT - Health & Education

Akram Kamal

General Manager, Del Monte

Bio

Akram Kamal works for Del Monte Kuwait as General Manager, managing the operation with a team of professionals. He has been working in the FMCG sector for the past 27 years, moving around the region and traveling worldwide. His primary objective is the setting up distribution channels and fresh-cut facilities. His passion for fresh produce, distribution, and retail has taken him around the world, working with many teams and improving his managerial skills.

"We opened our sales office in 2017 and leased the storage facility in 2018."
What have been Del Monte’s milestones since entering Kuwait, and how did the company overcome the pandemic?

We opened our sales office in 2017 and leased the storage facility in 2018. We had our fresh-cut facility constructed and ready to operate in October 2019. Our business, however, does not solely depend on fresh cut. During the pandemic, when restaurants were closed, we could not operate the fresh-cut line, which is why we focused on our fresh produce business instead. We reopened as soon as the opportunity to operate arose, and we could bring our team to the facility while ensuring their safety. When focusing on our fresh produce business, we encountered numerous glitches but were able to supply retailers and wholesalers alike. Certain team members were requested to work from home. In such circumstances, we used Zoom and Teams to communicate with our corporate, main, and regional offices.

What is the reason for opening your fresh-cut facility in Kuwait?

Del Monte’s strategy is to expand the fresh-cut business worldwide. This trend started in the US, North America, and Europe. People often depend on ready-to-eat food, healthy meals, salads, low-calorie sandwiches, and fresh juices, and Kuwait was one of the markets in the region that we were planning to expand into. Earlier, we had opened in Dubai in 2007 and Saudi Arabia in 2009. We were already planning to open in Kuwait in 2008, but the economic slowdown that year delayed the move, and we opened in Kuwait a decade later. We have two such fresh-cut facilities in Saudi Arabia in Riyadh and Jeddah and another facility in Dubai that supplies the UAE. We have an up-and-coming facility in Qatar and another in Jordan. Hopefully, in 2023 we will be present in Oman as well. We are expanding this line of business in the region and are the only international company that operates without an agent in Kuwait.

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