SFDA conference draws 200 companies, 20,000 visitors

SFDA conference draws 200 companies, 20,000 visitors
The event, which ran from Sept. 30 until Oct. 2 at the Riyadh International Convention & Exhibition center, attracted 20,000 visitors from 35 countries.
Updated 05 October 2019

SFDA conference draws 200 companies, 20,000 visitors

SFDA conference draws 200 companies, 20,000 visitors

The third Saudi Food and Drug Authority (SFDA) Annual Conference and Exhibition 2019 concluded recently. The event was held under the sponsorship of Minister of Health Dr. Tawfiq bin Fawzan Al-Rabiah and SFDA CEO Dr. Hisham Al-Jadhey. 

More than 200 companies and 80 international exhibitors representing a total of 3,500 brands participated in the exhibition. This included the participation of 20 countries and 220 investors from countries such as Denmark, Pakistan, India, Jordan, Bangladesh, Australia and Sudan.

The event, which ran from Sept. 30 until Oct. 2 at the Riyadh International Convention & Exhibition center, attracted 20,000 visitors from 35 countries. 

The conference presented 68 scientific workshops in addition to discussion sessions, during which 120 speakers specializing in different disciplines participated.

Al-Jadhey said that the scientific program presented this year aims to activate the role of the consumer in protecting society, in line with the objectives of the SFDA.

Mazen Al-Ismail, chairman of the organizing committee, credited the partnership between the public and private sectors for the success of the event.

“What distinguishes this year’s conference from the previous years is the huge media coverage, which in turn contributes to its marketing globally, and in increasing the number of local and international participation,” he added.


LuLu hands over 16 Mini Coopers to ‘Super Fest’ winners

LuLu hands over 16 Mini Coopers to ‘Super Fest’ winners
Updated 05 May 2021

LuLu hands over 16 Mini Coopers to ‘Super Fest’ winners

LuLu hands over 16 Mini Coopers to ‘Super Fest’ winners

Regional retailer LuLu awarded 16 new Mini Cooper cars to winners as part of its anniversary promotion “Super Fest.” The handover ceremony was held consecutively in three of the Kingdom’s cities — Riyadh, Alkhobar and Jeddah.

Shehim Mohammed, director of LuLu Hypermarkets Saudi Arabia, said: “Super Fest is our biggest promotion yet. The success of this anniversary promotion reflects the utmost support of our loyal customer base. This is such a perfect opportunity for us to give back to them for continuously trusting us over the years, together with our brand partners. We are excited to launch more enjoyable events in the coming months.” 

The winners are: Saddam Ahmed Ahamed Alrawei, Khuram Parvez, Abdullah Bader Alessa, Khaled Saad A. Alshuhaib, Muhammed Ezhukandy, Rasheed Khan, Jwan Alsadoun, Hassan Barakat, Abdul Aziz Almalki, Modi Al-Tuwairb, Sanju Pettathanam Soman, Ahmad Aljehani, Muhammed Ankah, Muhammad Arfat Aziz Abdul Aziz, Mutlq Fahad M. Alafari and Aqnaz Monaco. 

 Over the years, LuLu’s Super Fest is a much-awaited promotion that has showcased exclusive product offers and exciting in-store activities. With 209 stores operating worldwide, LuLu has always been committed to offering the highest quality products from around the world, along with a dynamic shopping experience through monthly festivals and special events.

Serving more than 1,600,000 shopping patrons every day, it is the fastest growing retail chain across 10 countries that include the GCC, India, Egypt, Indonesia, and Malaysia. Founded in the early 90s, it has successfully expanded to different parts of the world and currently operates with a staff of more than 57,000.


Saudi firm Basamh driving GCC’s $253bn retail market

Saudi firm Basamh driving GCC’s $253bn retail market
Updated 05 May 2021

Saudi firm Basamh driving GCC’s $253bn retail market

Saudi firm Basamh driving GCC’s $253bn retail market

Basamh Trading and Industries Group, one of Saudi Arabia’s most successful purpose-led fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) businesses in the Middle East and Africa, has announced that its digital transformation is driving the GCC’s multibillion-dollar retail market.

Thanks to robust population growth, the rise in e-commerce, and multinational brands entering the region, the GCC’s retail market has topped $253 billion, according to Alpen Capital. 

Basamh, with top brands such as Goody, Cofique and Treva, and as a distributor of a range of quality brands such as Perfetto, Betty Crocker, Nature Valley, Bugles, Best Mix, Glade, Raid, Pledge and Windex, is supporting FMCG innovation with its five-year digital transformation strategy LEAP, with global technology company SAP. Central to the strategy is the Leap to Digital (L2D) program that is enabling sustainable profitability. 

With a world-class enterprise resources planning system, Basamh has standardized, streamlined, and integrated business processes across finance, procurement, sales and distribution. 

Basamh’s solutions cover nearly 1,200 employees in 12 branches in Saudi Arabia and the UAE. 

“In the highly competitive fast-moving consumer goods field, Basamh needed to improve our on-time delivery, increase our salesforce efficiency, and automate reporting and employee self-services to enhance business competitiveness,” said Khalid Temairik, group CEO, Basamh Trading and Industries Group. 

In response, Basamh implemented the SAP S/HANA real-time business suite and SAP SuccessFactors human experience management suite with channel partner LABS. Basamh also implemented the SAP Extended Warehouse Management solution with channel partner Westernacher, and various enterprise solutions with the channel partner Vistex. 

“Thanks to our digital transformation with SAP, Basamh has improved management decisions and business planning,” said Maher Barrayah, group CFO, IT and procurement. “We’ve also standardized business processes, enhanced customer and supplier experiences, and can scale up for future business growth.” 

Recognizing its success, Basamh has won an SAP MENA Quality Award — Gold in the category Business Transformation — Middle East North. Judges praised Basamh for successfully managing the complex project by taking three key actions: Changing management and constant communication with employees, training employees on digital skills, and organizational change in restructuring companies. 

“This is just the start of our journey to digitally transform Basamh, and we are commitment to continually delivering with quality to enable further digital innovations for the group,” said Osama Islam, group IT director.

“Basamh’s award-winning digital transformation shows how intelligent enterprises can leverage a strong digital foundation to drive business growth and innovation,” said Ahmed Al-Faifi, senior vice president and managing director, SAP Middle East North.

“As a Saudi digital leader, Basamh is implementing high-impact digital opportunities that are enhancing customer experiences, enabling seamless operations, and empowering high-performance digital teams.”


Ramadan scents: Bakhoor among region’s most-loved gifts

Ramadan scents: Bakhoor among region’s most-loved gifts
Updated 04 May 2021

Ramadan scents: Bakhoor among region’s most-loved gifts

Ramadan scents: Bakhoor among region’s most-loved gifts

Swiss Arabian, a leading fragrance house in the region, has curated a selection of bakhoors (incense) for the holy month. Boasting perfumes and essential oils of the best quality, the range evokes majestic, elegant vibes to suit every need. Some of these fragrances include Dukhoon Al-Jazeera, Dukhoon Al-Haram, Dukhoon Al-Naseem, Oud Muattar Angham and Dukhoon Al-Karam. 

In the Arab world, Ramadan traditions range from family gatherings to gifting, which embodies the giving spirit of this very special time. A tradition which has been passed down through generations, gifting perfumes is the most cherished of all. 

Perfumes and fragrances, especially that of bakhoor, which is believed to have been used regularly by Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and his companions — and in even larger quantities on Fridays — have always held a pride of place among gifting traditions during the holy month. 

Moreover, the fragrant tradition of burning bakhoor for various occasions became an essential part of Ramadan. As pieces of wood are placed on top of flaming coal, a relaxing, Arabian fragrance fills the air with a warm, rich scent. A beautifully decorated incense burner, with carvings and embellishments, namely the mabkhara, releases smoky hints of nostalgia and tradition. 

Inside a mabkhara, the sizzling bakhoor is made of agarwood chips, which had been soaked in jasmine or sandalwood for softer and sweeter scents or amber and citrus for crisp, rougher notes. Compressed and shaped before being packaged into flat, square blocks of equal size, the chips are then burned to release plumes of smoke. 

In the Middle East, bakhoor is widely used — not only for perfumes — but also in everything from five-star hotels to residences. Its history is as rich as its fragrance; used for thousands of years, bakhoor first originated within Arabia’s nomadic Levantine tribes who, upon setting up camp, would burn the chips for fragrance to repel insects. 

Greeks and Romans are known to have used bakhoor in religious rituals; it would be transported over thousands of miles up to the Mediterranean before it could be traded in Europe. Bakhoor was also used in vast quantities by the ancient Egyptians.

Moreover, it is associated with religious sites; for example, around 60 classic mabkharas are used daily in Saudi Arabia to perfume the Holy Kaaba and its surrounding areas, with the aim of promoting serenity and well-being. 

There are many kinds of bakhoor, with applications depending on the occasion and whether it is for a man or woman. The latter often like to make their own perfumes by mixing various ingredients and drying them in the form of small disc-like tablets called dukhoon. Bakhoor may also be used on clothes, as the scent permeates fabric, too, giving it a pleasant smell. 

Many homes and spaces prefer burning bakhoor over lighting candles or using sprays. Moreover, house guests in a majlis (group gathering) tend to pass it around as a gesture of hospitality. During Ramadan, bakhoor reigns supreme, with many Gulf homes and commercial spaces opting for the mesmerizing fragrances of this magical ingredient at the times of iftar, sahoor and beyond.


Quantum, Careem partner to facilitate access to target audiences

Quantum, Careem partner to facilitate access to target audiences
Updated 04 May 2021

Quantum, Careem partner to facilitate access to target audiences

Quantum, Careem partner to facilitate access to target audiences

Quantum, a marketing company specialized in data, has signed an exclusive strategic partnership agreement with Careem Saudi Arabia, with the aim of facilitating the access of different brands to their target audiences in an innovative and creative way.

Quantum is a data-driven marketing company and electronic platform that specializes in distributing promotional samples in a targeted manner, by making sure that each person receives a sample based on their interests. If you are a coffee lover, for example, you will receive product samples from coffee companies.

Quantum’s mission is to assist brands and marketing managers in reaching the goals of the new customer acquisition plan, as the platform helps in attracting new customers to brands and marketing their products. After being named the best startup company in the Middle East and North Africa region in a global competition, Quantum has gained the trust of more than 60 national and international companies in the Kingdom and has successfully distributed more than 8 million free samples in the past two years. 

Careem was chosen for its prominent role in supporting the growing economy of the region by providing a distinctive package of services that people need to move, order things and transfer money through a unified application for smartphones. 

The two companies began their relationship in April 2020, with the onset of the coronavirus pandemic. Quantum began distributing samples to target groups through Careem Captains and the Careem food delivery platform. 

Ahmed Orabi, general manager of individual transportation services at Careem Saudi Arabia, said: “Through this cooperation, Careem is keen to enhance the added features that the company has for Captains by allowing them to increase their revenues if they wish to display free samples in their cars, which is also a distinct opportunity for advertisers from companies to reach different segments of Careem’s customers.”

Tamim Al-Ghunaim, chief operating officer at Quantum, said: “Our partnership today with Careem opens up valuable doors and opportunities for both parties, the most important of which is the great return for our customers by marketing their products to their target groups through the Careem platform, in addition to providing more opportunities for young people to obtain additional income with every sample that is distributed through them.”


Accenture to boost Oracle with AppsPro acquisition

Accenture to boost Oracle with AppsPro acquisition
Updated 03 May 2021

Accenture to boost Oracle with AppsPro acquisition

Accenture to boost Oracle with AppsPro acquisition

Accenture has entered into an agreement to acquire AppsPro in Saudi Arabia, one of the leading Oracle Cloud implementation service providers in the region. The acquisition further bolsters Accenture’s robust Oracle Cloud capabilities globally, with the aim of delivering additional value to clients in the Middle East on their journeys to the cloud. The financial terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

Headquartered in Riyadh, AppsPro is a Platinum Oracle Partner with extensive experience in both the public and private sectors in the Kingdom. AppsPro’s more than 240 professionals will join Accenture’s Oracle Business Group, combining Accenture and AppsPro’s deep industry knowledge in cloud and digital transformation to help Middle Eastern clients unlock greater value as they transform their businesses. 

“Cloud technologies are a crucial stop on the digital transformation highway and businesses with a strong digital foundation are better able to scale, operate at speed, and outmaneuver uncertainty,” said David Deschamps, Accenture technology lead in the Middle East. “Joining forces with AppsPro will expand our established global credentials across the Oracle Cloud portfolio, while helping our clients in the Middle East accelerate their path to value and emerge as leaders in the next waves of technology disruption.”

Abdul Aziz Al-Salloum, CEO of AppsPro, added: “With Accenture’s in-depth capabilities and global scale, we are confident that AppsPro will reach new heights and deliver substantial value through cloud transformation to its clients.”

Accenture has unmatched global expertise across a full range of Oracle solutions with thousands of Oracle-skilled consultants worldwide who help accelerate digital transformation by implementing Oracle-based business solutions and new business processes that develop and evolve as their digital business grows. Accenture has teamed with Oracle for more than 30 years and is a Global Cloud Elite-level member in Oracle PartnerNetwork.