Challenges in the food sector admidst soaring raw material costs
Frozen food processing sector has tremendous opportunity to grow
Interview with Mr Rafiq Rangoonwala — CEO, Quick Food Industry (Mon Salwa)
PAGE: Tell me something about yourself, please:
Rafiq Rangoonwala: I started my career from 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; 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 Marketing Association of Pakistan, President of Memon Professional Forum, Vice President Karachi Business Forum and Think Tank. I have also contributed in philanthropy as Founder President Emaan Welfare Society, Chairman Advisory Board of Help International Trust and Trustee Sina Health, Education and Welfare Trust.
PAGE: Prices have gone through the roof in the wake of global political uncertainty, etc. What about the spike in raw material cost for food sector?
Rafiq Rangoonwala: Raw material prices have gone through the roof in Pakistan as well because of exchange rate, higher utility cost, increased petroleum prices, higher Kibor cost, etc. The challenge in Pakistan is that once the prices go up, they don’t come down. Even these days when Pak Rupee has gained strength, traders and suppliers are not reducing the prices citing ever increasing utility and other related costs, which is resulting big times pressure on bottom line. It is also making us uncompetitive in export markets.
PAGE: The food processing industry is the 2nd largest industry of Pakistan. Could you dilate upon it?
Rafiq Rangoonwala: It is, but it doesn’t get the support from the Government of Pakistan as other sectors. Super high inflation has squeezed disposable income and people are forced to stick to basic necessities. This situation will affect the growth potential negatively.
PAGE: What is your take on foreign investment in food sector of Pakistan?
Rafiq Rangoonwala: Pakistanis because of uncertainties and ever increasing difficulties in running business are reluctant to invest these days. What makes us think that foreigners would be interested to invest here?
PAGE: What is your standpoint on frozen food processing sector in Pakistan?
Rafiq Rangoonwala: Tremendous opportunity to grow locally and export but we are becoming uncompetitive in price against India and Bangladesh. Our government should pay attention and support frozen food industry.