Unilever launches unique Oman programme
Muscat, October 22, 2012
Unilever, a leading FMCG company and owner of global brands like Dove, Vaseline and Lipton, has launched a unique programme in Oman which seeks to enhance livelihoods by building the capabilities of small grocery owners and entrepreneurs.
The Baqala Programme has been launched to meet the company’s global vision of enhancing the livelihoods of hundreds of thousands of people around the world by 2020, as outlined in its Sustainable Living Plan, a statement from Unilever said.
The initiative has been piloted to cover 11 Omani baqala owners and entrepreneurs with the aim of reaching 1,000 by the end of 2013.
The programme was initiated after a country-wide nationalisation drive that required expatriates running the small grocery business to hand over management and ownership to Omanis.
Khalil Yassine, country director Oman, Kuwait, Qatar and Bahrain Unilever, said: “We wanted to work hand-in-hand with small business owners and budding retail entrepreneurs by providing them with the right training and tools to set up and manage a Baqala store successfully.”
“This will help strengthen the grocery channel and benefit both ends. We have just finished conducting a very successful pilot of this initiative and are looking forward to a nation-wide expansion by the end of 2013.”
“The programme offers an integrated quality improvement programme (IQIP), which includes a practical toolkit, training module and post training follow up. These tools will enable the grocery owners to run their business in a sustainable and profitable manner. We see it as a gateway to new retail opportunities for grocery owners and entrepreneurs in Oman,” added Yassine.
Groundwork for the programme started almost a year ago, where more than 100 groceries were interviewed to prepare an extensive business model. A robust business case was developed by the project team, who has since overseen the smooth delivery of the programme.
The Baqala Project is one of many projects devised and executed by Unilever around the world to enhance livelihoods, the statement said. – TradeArabia News Service