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Youssef Ezzikhe CEO, Oman Refreshment Company (ORC)

OMAN - Industry

Youssef Ezzikhe

CEO, Oman Refreshment Company (ORC)

Bio

Youssef Ezzikhe is a senior C-Suite executive with extensive experience in GCC & MENA regions, holding key positions in his former roles with leading FMCG companies, including Procter & Gamble and PepsiCo. He joined Oman Refreshment Company in 2010 and since then has led the team to ORC’s growth trajectory over the past decade.

"The company was established in 1974 as a joint stock company from humble beginnings as a single returnable bottle (RB) line."
TBY talks to Youssef Ezzikhe, CEO of Oman Refreshment Company (ORC).
ORC is one of the pioneers of Omani manufacturing sector. How has the company evolved since its establishment?

The company was established in 1974 as a joint stock company from humble beginnings as a single returnable bottle (RB) line. Since its inception, the organization has gone through multiple phases of expansion, including investments in 1995-2007 in PET, juice, and water and acquiring the rights to distribute salty snacks, namely Lays, Doritos, Cheetos, and Sunbites; acquiring Arabian Vending LLC in 2014-2019 to provide quality vending solutions to institutions across Oman, becoming the sole distributor of Lavazza coffee, ODK, and Tchaba tea, and manufacturing premium juices (Topfruit and Tropicana) and value-added products (Gatorade, Lipton ice tea, Balade, and more), along with the distribution of Quaker cereals, Eurocake sweet snacks, and Froneri ice cream, among others; and in 2021 acquiring Atlas Bottling Corporation SPA, a bottling operation in Algeria under aegis of PepsiCo. Algeria is the largest African country, home to more than 44 million people, and post-acquisition, Oman RefCo. was able to diversify and transcend the geographical limitations of its home market. Its biggest endeavors have been to streamline and overhaul the newly acquired businesses and add value to its consumers’ lives.

ORC aims to be the leader in beverage and food sector. What competitive advantage does it bring into the market?

In Oman, we are currently leaders in carbonated soft drinks, sports drinks, and iced tea, and ORC is among the top three players in juices, water, and snacks. We work hard to maintain our achievements with consistency to reach and remain at the peak in leadership, with all the other categories. Our competitive edge relies on five key factors that set us apart: our highly skilled and dedicated employees who are our partners in success; partnering with all retail selling point across the entire Sultanate, powered by our sales and supply fleet, considered one of the biggest in Oman, and our 10 distribution centers strategically located across the country; our brands’ resilience and image recognition among consumers in Oman; access to the latest technologies in manufacturing that allows us to produce the highest-quality products at competitive costs; and being always relevant and consumer-oriented with our new product innovations, activations or promotions.

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