Believe it. Live it! The middleman of success by Christopher Charters

BMMI’s Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) business, run by its Consumer division in Bahrain, under the name Nader Trading, has witnessed many changes over the past couple of years.

The team is responsible for bringing the brands and products that consumers love to Bahrain, shipping them, storing them and ultimately selling them. “We do a good job at making sure that our principals across the world get exactly what they expect for their product," said Christopher Charters, Vice President of FMCG. "It is all about us fulfilling our obligation to them and to their brand, while ensuring we make the best products available to consumers here."

Impactful changes

To achieve their goals, the Consumer team has worked hard to ensure that they offer the best service to their principals. The first step was starting from within, since Christopher began heading the department in 2015, he began working on breaking down any existing silos, both within the department, but also with the rest of the BMMI Group as a whole.

“I always encourage my team to work together across divisions, whether for example they are responsible for food items, or cosmetics, in addition to liaising more with the support services available to us as part of the BMMI Group,” said Christopher.

This approach successfully helped the team become more involved with one another, opening up avenues for better information sharing and working together across products and brands to cross promote. Furthermore, it enhanced a sense of inclusivity and belonging in the team, who began viewing the success of the Consumer department as a whole as the ultimate goal, rather than just the success of their own agency or brand.

Involving all stakeholders

The team also took a shift in approach when it came to dealing with their external stakeholders. Whereas previously they focused on the terms of the retailers that eventually carry the products, the team has now gotten the principals much more involved as well.

The changes have resulted in positive outcomes, with a higher retention and satisfaction rate of principals, as well as principals switching over to BMMI from existing competitors. “At the end of the day we are looking after their products, and they must know they can trust us and be comfortable with how we conduct our business, and this is exactly what they get,” said Christopher. "We still give the retailers a lot of attention as well, ensuring that everything is balanced and that both stakeholders’ needs are met.”

But perhaps the most important thing is that the Consumer division always displays our Winning Hearts culture. By truly reinforcing the ‘honesty’ pillar, this has allowed the team to successfully develop relationships with their stakeholders. “We can overpromise principals left, right and centre, but that’s not what we are about. What we try to do is make very honest predictions and forecasts to how the business will be and then we try our best to over deliver,” he said.


Eye to the future

Nader Trading has been recognised for its success. In 2016, while a team member in Nader Trading received a Certificate of Recognition on behalf of the Mars and MSP Gulf Management team for his outstanding performance.  Furthermore, Nader Trading was awarded with the Henkel Arabia award for 2016 Sales Performance of the year and the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) Distributor of the Year.

BMMI continues to invest in its FMCG businesses, reaping the benefits of its established reputation, superior offerings, exceptional customer service and lucrative networks. The team has also been approached by brands who are looking to switch over to BMMI as a distributor, after they witnessed the team’s approach and work ethic, further bolstering business prospects.

A door-to-door survey, which is being organised by a third party, is currently underway. Representatives will conduct this market research by going down every street in the country. “The purpose of this is to count the accounts,” said Chris. “At the moment we don’t know where the opportunities lie, and by going down every street in Bahrain we can enhance greater proactivity to seek out new markets.”

Moreover, the team has welcomed digitalisation. With the introduction of handheld technology across the team, this will allow for more organisation, as well as enhance the sales process, customer service and principal feedback.

“It can be a cutthroat environment, but thankfully we work for a really good company that provides great structure, a set of values and a strong ethical framework and corporate governance,” said Christopher. “We never overpromise, we try our best to over deliver and make sure to be inclusive on all sides. This is why we are a success and why we continue to grow, and this is why we make an ideal partner in this industry.