Bhatia Traders’ expanding horizons
- April 11 2017 02:10 PM
With eight seamen’s clubs, 10 duty free shops and multiple bonded warehouses at seaports across the UAE, Sharjah-headquartered Bhatia Traders is taking a strategic approach to building its business. Since its inception in 1969, the company has grown to become present in almost all the major seaports of the UAE, with the exception of Dubai, yet it is currently focusing on strengthening its internal operations with a view to future expansion.
“We are in discussions with players in the industry for joint ventures and acquisitions,” revealed Managing Director Rajeev Bhatia. “We are also in conversation with the port authorities to provide additional services, such as cafés and restaurants, to port employees and visiting seamen.”
Further to this, the company is seeking to grow outside the emirates in the near future.
“We see ourselves expanding into territories outside the UAE,” said Bhatia. “Our seaport facilities are firmly in place with a continuous improvement process, which gives us time to expand into seaport opportunities within the wider GCC and seize any other duty free retail opportunities.”
A significant development for the company was the opening of a 500-square-metre duty free shop and seamen’s club at Mina Zayed, Abu Dhabi’s oldest commercial port, just before Ramadan in 2016. Just like the company’s existing locations, it offers multi-cuisine dining, entertainment in the form of a live band, complimentary Wi-Fi, two pool tables, table football and an outdoor patio set-up for live barbecue stations during the winter. The associated duty free shop also follows the existing format, offering more than 5,000 products from various categories.
“This has been our most strategic step so far,” said Bhatia. “Mina Zayed is a busy port and it has added good revenue to our existing business. There are plans from the port authorities to further enhance the port, which will bring an added advantage to our services.”