Dubai: They are witness to the transition of their family business from a small grocery store to a business empire in the UAE. Yet, Hrishikesh and Rohit Datar - sons of Dhananjay Datar, founder of Al Adil Trading - know better than to take success for granted.
The brothers, now the third generation of the family at the helm of the multimillion-dirham business, first established in 1984, said they have worked their way up the ladder at Al Adil Trading - they were not just handed the top roles.
Hrishikesh, who is purchase director now, said he and his brother Rohit, who is marketing director, started out as cashiers at an Al Adil Trading store.
“We did summer internships in our stores where we learnt soft skills like customer service, anger management, or how to deal with customers. My father insisted we learn the business from bottom up,” he added.
Hrishikesh has since gained expertise in sourcing “high-quality” food products from different parts of India. The company today sells more than 10,000 products including spices, pulses, grains, and snacks, all sourced from the length and breadth of India.
“We take pride in the products we have. We sell unique products that are close to the hearts of Indian expats. At Al Adil, we help bring authentic Indian cuisine to the homes of expats. A lot of research goes into finding unique products that Indian expats from across the sub-continent use in their home-cooking.”
Sourcing products from India
A graduate of Business Administration from the University of Mumbai, Hrishikesh added: “In the years, my experience in procurement and supply chain management has helped establish network and connections with leading food trading companies in India and the UAE. We are able to get competitive pricing for food products, which we are able to pass it down to our cherished customers.”
Rohit has been instrumental in designing and implementing the company’s digital marketing strategies. He has a degree in Marketing and has worked with some of the leading digital marketing agencies in India and the UAE. He is constantly looking for new and innovative ways to promote the company’s brand and products to a wider audience. Rohit has been instrumental in developing the company’s online presence and has launched several successful digital marketing campaigns that have helped the company to expand its customer base and increase its sales.
Rohit said: “My brother and I had a very humble childhood. Our parents made sure we were grounded. We saw my parents and grandfather work hard. The magnitude of the growth we had achieved touched us much later in life. My mother shielded us from a lot of the business growth as she wanted us to be grounded and focused on our academic pursuits.”
He recalled a chance encounter with a staff of Al Adil who mentioned about a new store in Dubai. “That was our first realisation that Al Adil Trading was growing. Then we started witnessing more store openings. Celebrities were invited to the openings and that is when we knew we were getting bigger in the business.”
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Rohit also recalled that for many years the family lived in an ordinary apartment. “Those were the best years of our life.”
Hrishikesh could not agree more.
“We are still in touch with our old neighbours and friends from the community. I for one am happy to live in small residential units. So when my parents said we were moving to a villa years, I was disappointed. I still miss my life back in the humble apartment where we lived,” he said.
Together, Hrishikesh and Rohit have brought a fresh perspective to Al Adil Trading and have helped the company to stay ahead of the competition. They have introduced new technologies and processes that have improved the efficiency and effectiveness of the company’s operations. Hrishikesh’s expertise in procurement and supply chain management has helped the company to source high-quality products at competitive prices, while Rohit’s innovative marketing strategies have helped the company to reach new customers and markets and foray into the e-commerce industry.
“One of the main things we are working at Al Adil is modernising its operations and management. Technology, e-commerce and Artificial Intelligence [AI] are some major introductions we are making in the company. The idea is to minimise manpower and replace it with technology,” said Rohit.
Apart from their professional achievements, Hrishikesh and Rohit are known for their philanthropic work. “My mother has always instilled this thought in us. We are actively involved in various charitable organisations that work towards the betterment of society. We feel grateful for the life we have been given and want to empower the community and support initiatives that give back to the community,” said Hrishikesh.