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Freshly Frozen Foods January 10 www. bus- ex. com 71 service- as we cater to all these multinational chains, why not establish our own chain of restaurants?" And thus, Bayleaf was born. The restaurants are fine dining and serve Indian food, with a twist. " We wanted our restaurants to reflect the ' passage to India' rather than what you would normally find in an Indian restaurant," Quadros explains. " There are 72 distinct types of regional cuisine in India. Most Indians will have tasted at the most three, so we wanted to give them a chance to experience a wide range of cuisines from all over their country." Two Bayleaf restaurants were established in 2009 with four more to open in 2010, in Abu Dhabi, Sharja and Dubai. In 2011, the company intends to extend the brand into the UAE and the neighbouring countries of Oman, Bahrain, Qatar, Jordan and Saudi Arabia, bringing the total number of Bayleaf restaurants to 20. All the sauces for the restaurants will be produced in the company's plant in Dubai with the supply chain being controlled centrally, to ensure uniform quality in every restaurant. A reliable supply chain is of great importance to the company and is necessary to ensure its clients receive the high level of quality they expect, Quadros explains. " Dubai is a very arid country, so we cannot source ingredients locally. Instead, we have to import our raw material from countries like Brazil, Vietnam, Thailand and the UK. It would be very difficult for us to monitor quality by ourselves. Our solution has been to work with partners based in each of these countries. These partners run monthly audits to ensure that the quality of the raw materials we receive remains consistently high." The company has also spread its interests in recent years, acquiring a poultry processing plant in Pune, 120 kilometres outside Mumbai, in October 2009 and becoming a major shareholder of a tuna and sardine processing plant in Oman. The tuna plant can already process 100 tonnes of tuna per day- the largest capacity in the region- and the capacity of the plant in India is to be raised from the current 10,000 birds per day to 40,000 over the next three years. With the company's continued diversification and expansion in the region, it is clear that Freshly Frozen Foods will be providing quality meals and services in the Middle East for many years to come. - Editorial research by Richard Halfhide The company is still operational within Europe and the US, although this aspect of Freshly Frozen Foods' business only makes up 10 per cent of its £ 25 million revenue. Food service- supplying frozen products to canteens and fast food chains- is the company's main area of activity, comprising 60 per cent of its total business in the Middle East. " We provide finished meals, or parts of meals, to these outlets," explains Quadros, " so that when a product is needed, the member of staff at the restaurant only needs to put the food item in to cook. They do not need to do any extra preparation or finishing." The business works with its clients at the development stage, enabling them to reduce costs and ensure that they maintain the ' fast' element of their operations at the customer- facing stage. The retail sector makes up the remaining 40 per cent of the company's business activities. " This segment consists of supplying high- end prepared meals to supermarkets for sale under our own brand, namely the Freshly and Senora brands." Freshly Frozen Foods also has a ready- to- eat fresh meals operation, which is available to both the retail and food service sectors. " We supply pre- packed, fresh meals to service stations, hospitals, schools, canteens in businesses and banks," says Quadros. " We are hoping to grow this area, with a production target of 20,000 meals per day by the end of 2010. There are limitations to how far we can expand this project, though. As the items have a short shelf life, we cannot export them outside of the UAE. Nevertheless, there is great potential for growth. We are the only company in the region that is doing business in this area- we are completely without competition. As we only started to produce fresh prepared meals in 2009, demand still significantly outstrips supply, and we are working to fulfil the needs of our clients and their customers." The variety of cuisines found in Freshly Frozen Foods' products is a reflection of the diverse nationalities found in the UAE and surrounding area. The company's meals are inspired by cooking from the Middle East, the Indian sub- continent and Europe. The experience of having catered with these different flavours prompted another recent diversification of the company's business. " We saw an opportunity based on our experience within food " We supply pre- packed, fresh meals to service stations, hospitals, schools, canteens in businesses and banks"