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Panache Packs A Punch

Vishaal Shah, CEO, Panache International, explains how the company achieved a 48% YoY growth to 2015

Generally speaking, how is the Packaging industry currently faring in the Middle East and what is your take on its future potential?

The packaging industry is growing at a rapid rate. The market is maturing as more and more food outlets open and everyone wants to be different, thus a high pressure on manufacturers to keep on innovating and bring news offerings for the consumers.

How would you characterise the growth of Panache since its inception and how did the business perform in 2015? How did that compare with your performance for the corresponding period in 2014?

We also have been on extreme high growth and have drastically increased our offerings in terms of product range. Our volumes have increased in revenue by more then four times in the last five years and we still keep on seeing that curve going higher. 2015 we had grown by 48% compared to 2014 and 2016 is even looking more interesting and lots to achieve.

What are the expansion plans for the Middle East region?

We are strongly working internally on how to better our service levels, market reach, product quality and product innovation. Currently as far as infrastructure is concerned, we shall carry on focusing expansion with more capacity in Dubai itself.

What is your short and / or long-term vision for Panache?

Our long term vision is to be doing a global revenue of $900million by 2050 and covering every populated part of the globe with our own representatives. Short term vision for Panache is to be doing $70million revenue by 2020.

Do you plan to boost current capacity at your manufacturing or open a new manufacturing complex?

We certainly have the plans in place and should be up and running very shortly with new additional production capacity, which will double our output from what we have currently. A new manufacturing complex is not yet on the cards.

How is Panache faring on the export front?

We are proud to have our product presence in more then 27 countries across the world with the latest one being added late in 2015; the Seychelles. We export all the way to Canada, UK and down to Madagascar.

Briefly, what are Panache’s USP?

An extremely highly passionate team whose focus remains “customers for life”. We are not focusing on selling what we have but we are focusing on offering what our clients want, what our clients can save money with and what will make our clients distinctive.

Please describe your customer profile and what are your fastest-selling product categories?

Our vision is “to advance convenience, hygiene and luxury at best value for all’’. With this vision in mind, we have products to fit all pockets and thus customers vary from airlines to food producers, retail outlets, restaurants and hotels.

Our fastest moving products are the plastic cups, containers and plates due to the time we have been in the industry and strong brand loyalty towards them from our clients.

What did you showcase at the recent Gulfood Manufacturing 2015 and what is your assessment of the exhibition?

Gulf Food 2015 helped us showcase an entire new range of products under the Raha and Anaasa brand as well as the Mozaik range which is more of the luxury stainless steel / glass looking products but believe it or not they are plastic.
We felt the exhibition for us was a huge success and we already have had good conversions. Whilw we are looking forward to the 206 event, as always, the hard work doesn’t begin until after the event.

Panache has launched its upscale ‘Mozaik’ range in Carrefour and Geant supermarkets. What has been the response to date?

The response for these products have actually been better then expected. We have done decent volumes with them and this has also opened doors for us in international retail outlets, for which the shipments are just on the way.

In October 2015, Panache was awarded ISO 9001: 2008. What are the implications?

We have always been a company which values quality, strong processes and belief in continual improvement. The certification completes the authenticity of the same and also allows us to work with customers who need that extra confidence. With all this in mind we also ensured that we get the certification from the best bodies which also shall help us improve further with their critics.

How logistically well-resourced are you for Panache’s marketing and distribution functions?

We are working very closely with a world class logistics company which helps us scale up our distribution function and let us focus on our core which is production and marketing. We have an in-house team of graphics, photographer, product development and marketing personnel which help us execute effortlessly.

Given strong environmental concerns, how can the packaging business be made more eco-friendly and sustainable?

This is always in our mind and thus we continuously look at improving our products with additives or substitutes which allow us to also offer eco-friendly and sustainable products.

What are the opportunities and challenges facing the packaging industry today?

The faster everyone’s life becomes, the less they have time to cook at home and thus more and more demand for ready to eat meals, more demand for fast food and fine dining, as well as takeaway. This gives us a large opportunity of sustainable growth.

Challenges shall always exist in different forms and these challenges only help us to improve and become better, thus I would rather convert these into opportunities and move forward.

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