Pinnacle of Excellence

Hareeish Kumar, CEO at Millenium
Hareeish Kumar, CEO at Millenium

Discover how Hareeish Kumar built an empire in the international F&B segment in the UAE and the GCC region without compromising on quality

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Published: Mon 15 Aug 2022, 12:00 AM

Millenium, the UAE-born brand has made a name for itself as one of the leading official distributors and sole agents of the internationally renowned food and beverage ingredients in the GCC. The brand has always prioritised ease for clients and promoted innovation as a leading brand in each of its domains.

Speaking about the diverse range of products, Hareeish Kumar, CEO of Millenium, said the company wants to be a market leader in the trading and distribution of food ingredients, raw materials and chemicals, connecting manufacturers and end-users throughout the UAE and GCC region. An organisation that takes pride in upholding international standards and safety norms globally, the brand boasts a clientele of more than 500 devoted businesses. Armed with the tagline ‘Responsibly serving your needs', the brand operates on a diversified portfolio, coupled with value-added variety across the socio-economic segments, which adds to its uniqueness.

Master of Meat and Flavours

The largest number of participants in the food and beverage sector are served by MEFCO, a division of Millenium with direct operations throughout the GCC. "We rank among the GCC's top importers and exporters and are very strong in meat ingredients and functional applications," said Kumar.

According to him, MEFCO has evolved into a global brand for several foreign food processing companies from the US, UK and other European countries operating in the UAE and the GCC.

Today, the F&B industry is booming, with fast food chains and elite elevated dining and restaurants and renowned food franchises popping up everywhere. With this increase in competition between various brands, restaurants need to gain the customer's trust through serving good quality food. Thus, there is a need to choose the best food ingredient suppliers in the market. One of the significant factors that influences MEFCO to be a giant player in this segment is its collaboration with some of the most prestigious F&B brands. In addition, it is the exclusive food ingredients distributor for international brands such as McDonald's, Burger King, KFC, HEINZ, Unilever, NESTLE among others.

The MEFCO portfolio currently consists of brands such as KERRY , Red Arrow , CELANESE, OLAM, British Salt, Sensient, KMC, BUNGE, and others. Being the sole distributor of these brands in the UAE, Kumar says that the brand looks for quality over quantity. “We are representing Kerry Group's ingredients and flavours in the GCC region. It is a well-known name in the F&B segment and is famous for its golden dip coating breadcrumbs. As a global food and beverage leader, Kerry crumbs and coating system has always stayed ahead, creating new fusions, and we are proud to be the authentic supplier of the brand to the major fast food chain players like KFC, McDonald's and Burger King in the entire GCC region.”

The UAE is the largest US consumer food export market in the Middle East and the 16th largest overall. Sensing this, Kumar focused on the local market in the UAE, exploring opportunities for suppliers and manufacturers. His efforts paid off when he introduced some of the famous international brands to the region. Speaking about the wide array of products that MEFCO offers, Kumar said: “It’s all about finding the right partnerships. There are a lot of factors that come into play when getting a product ready to enter the market. Service is 100 times better when you know what you are selling and whom you are targeting, and so far, our partnerships speak a lot about our market study.”

Targeting the taste buds of the multicultural locals in the region, Kumar talks about the various partnerships that MEFCO has forged over the years. “A perfect brand harmony is created when you meet your customer's need. Our partnership with Red Arrow exemplifies that. Red Arrow makes a wide variety of smoke condensates that are widely used for smoke flavours, barbecue sauces, snack foods, and other flavouring needs. We are the distributors of Celanese and British salt as well. The USP of British salt is its pure form. It is a vacuum dried salt with zero black particles.”

He further added: “There is Olam Spices, a US company, in the category of spices. They prepare spices including garlic, onion, parsley and other flavours. Another Danish company, KMC, produces various types of starches with potato base.”

Chemical Connections

Apart from its legacy in the F&B sector, Millenium has created a reputation for being the supplier of choice by delivering the widest range of speciality chemicals. The technical and sales teams work closely with chemists and R&D professionals to identify market needs and develop new products. “We have a strong presence of industrial chemicals in water treatment. We represent Toyota Chemicals, which is one of the major players in the chemical division in the entire GCC region. Our product Hi-Chlon is a massive hit. We are the suppliers to high-end customers such as Jumeirah Group and Yas water World, among other clients.”

Smooth Supply

The food and beverage industry depends on the smooth and timely supply of raw materials. Since the ingredients required by food industries come from many different geographical locations, sometimes halfway around the world, transportation and logistics play an important role in ensuring the success of the industry. As food products are susceptible to rotting and putrefaction, Kumar has made sure that the company adopts a high-profile distribution centre for goods.

“We have a 100,000 sq ft storage area in Technopark, which is temperature-controlled where we store all the materials. We supply to all the brands from here who are into the food processing business, such as Sadia, Americana, NESTLE, AlKabeer, and LuLu.”

Roadmap for Success

The CEPA with the UAE was inked on 18 February and came into force on May 1. It is India’s first complete free trade agreement to be signed with any country in a decade. Being in the trade and distribution industry for quite a long time, Kumar says the agreement will prove to be beneficial for both countries, as it will provide a seamless experience for the business people. “This agreement will provide a strong boost to the Indian trade industry because of the reforms that have been taken by both the countries. There would be no duplication of the business, which will lead to the growth of the entire business fraternity.”

Message for Indian diaspora

Today, India as a country has not only shown immense development and introduction of new growth avenues, but it has also managed to tap new horizons in a really short time. As an Indian, it gives me an immense honour and pleasure to stand proud as the citizen of the largest democracy with the world’s fastest-growing economy. I salute the true spirit of oneness among the Indians here in the UAE and around the world who continue to bring pride to the name of the country on different podiums.

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