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Mohammed Al Hatem, general manager of Golden Paper Cup Manuf, Ajman in conversation with Venkat Raghavan, shares his opinion towards the current industry trends and what made them to start the business

Born and raised in Iraq, Mohammed Al Hatem has completed the schooling in his hometown. Since, his father moved to United Arab Emirates so he too moved along with them. Later, he started to pursue his degree in Architecture at American University, Dubai. He was passionate in their family business that made him to join the board to venture the business.
Talking about the Paper Cups, Mohammed Al Hatem, commented, “We have been manufacturing biscuit cone for ice creams in Iraq for a long while and due to the logistics and other issues we have decided to start our business in United Arab Emirates. Although, the Paper Cup business idea was sparked in 2008 but we started it only on 2009. Initially, we started the business as a small factory with 9 employees and few machines. After sometime, we decided to diversify into PE coated paper and initially we were bringing the materials from European countries. Later, the price has become expensive and the business doesn’t seem to be affordable so we decided to bring the materials from USA and Canada. We use to bring them in Jumbo rolls and slit it according to the customer requirement. We were doing this business across Middle East and Africa. Again, in 2014 we decided to diversify and focused towards the private labels and customized order. We were doing the business in countries like Oman, Qatar, UAE, Kuwait, and few more. Our products range from cupstock for hot and cold beverages, fries cups, ice cream cups, bags, gloves, straws, and an assortment of food packaging. These products are packed hygienically in modern and attractive designs. We use latest printing techniques depending on our clients order and affordability; whether it is offset, flexo, digital and rotogravure. Our single wall paper cups for hot beverages sizes range from 2.5 oz. through 22 oz. in any ready stock or custom design and the double wall paper cups hot beverages sizes range from 4 oz. through 16 oz. in any ready stock or custom design. Our management has adopted policies aimed at developing and enriching the potential of each of its employees who work in the different facilities of our business. Apart from this, we have gained recognition from the most valued institutions such as SGS, TUV, and Bureau Veritas because of our reputation for supplying high quality products in competitive price structure with outstanding service.”

Highlights
● The company imports the papers from USA and Canada
● The company was started with 9 employees and now it has around 50 employees

Talking about the machines and trends, he added, “ We have started the press with four machines and one offset machine. Currently, we are facing around 36 machines which is inclusive of flexo, offset, and digital machines. Initially, we have invested in only one Konica Minolta’s digital machine and after seeing their ability we have invested in one more. During 2009, there was only few companies who have the UV printing machines which can produce better quality but the machines like Konica Minolta are producing the similar quality without the need of plates and others.”
Speaking about the employee benefits, credit period, and company plans, he further says, “We strictly adhere the United Arab Emirates rules and regulations which is why we are offering services like accommodation, insurance and other benefits for all the employees. Our employee are much happier with us and that is why we have reached this good position along with them. In addition, we regularly have some incentive programs for the staffs which encourages them a lot. The credit period is the one critical point to be considered and we always do not prefer to give them to all the customers to avoid risk. In the current market, we have been pushed by the industry to give them 60 days credit but for unknown customers we don’t offer credit. We have many plans to expansion and we always prefer to do one by one. In the near future, we will be investing in the box making machines, paper bag machines, and few more.”
Talking about the current market, “In the current market, we are facing issues from the Chinese products. Although, the Chinese products are not good in quality, people prefer to go them for their cheap price. Since, there is no import tax for the Chinese products, they are doing good and this can be prevented only when the import tax applies. However, we are doing well with the quality and standards of our products. We all are expecting a good note from the Expo 2020. We strongly believe that it will open many doors for all the industry and especially the service industry like us.”
Signing off, he requested the companies to produce better quality products which would allow them to run their business safely.