Interview with Mr. Rafiq Rangoonwala — CEO Quick Food Industry (Mon Salwa)
PAGE: Tell me something about yourself, please:
Rafiq Rangoonwala: I started my career in Houston, Texas in 1980 with KFC, USA. Presently I am working as CEO of Quick Food Industry (Mon Salwa). I have extensive experience of over 40 years in creating, building and leading key Fast Food Brands in Pakistan and across the globe including, KFC, Burger King, TGIF, Hardees, Pizza Hut, Wendy’s and Harry Ramsden, etc. Currently, I am on the Advisory Board of Ijara Capital, Advisor to Bahria University Karachi, a Member Scientific Panel at Sindh Food Authority and also the founder member and President of Pakistan Food Association. I was elected twice as the President of the Marketing Association of Pakistan, President of Memon Professional Forum, and Vice President of Karachi Business Forum and Think Tank. I have also contributed to philanthropy as Founder and President Emaan Welfare Society, Chairman Advisory Board of Help International Trust and Trustee Sina Health, Education and Welfare Trust.
PAGE: What is your perspective on packaged food products and their demand in Pakistan?
Rafiq Rangoonwala: Due to the burgeoning population, changing trends and eating habits, product innovations should result in strong growth, but hyperinflation, which would put pressure on disposable income could and would slow it down in the coming months. Nevertheless, the demand would grow back again once things are settled down.
PAGE: Could you tell us about the spike in the prices of packaged food products and the reason?
Rafiq Rangoonwala: It is not just packaged food, prices have jumped for everything. The cost of cement per bag today is much higher than it was a year ago. Paper, petrol, and electricity all have gone up by leaps and bounds. The prices of raw materials in many cases have increased more than 50%., adding increased utility costs, labor, transportation etc. It is becoming very difficult to keep the prices low. In my opinion, the prices will go further up till things are brought under control.
PAGE: How would you comment on the export of food products from Pakistan?
Rafiq Rangoonwala: In order to compete and bolster the export, we need to have competitive prices which is becoming increasingly difficult to offer to the importers. We are slowly losing ground to our competitors from India, Malaysia and Bangladesh to mention a few. Unless and until our government realizes the potential and growth opportunities in packaged food, we will always be struggling for survival and never realize its potential.
PAGE: Could you share your standpoint about the problems being encountered by investors?
Rafiq Rangoonwala: High-interest rates, hyperinflation and the constant struggle to deal with government departments, the rising cost of goods sold, increases in cost on all fronts can turn any investor off. Why would one take a risk by investing while you can sit at home and for example make a 15% return on a fixed deposit. To encourage the investment, we will have to make lots of things right.