With over 30 years of experience, Shakeel Group is known for quality products such as stationery, toys, household items, fresh foods and furniture sold at competitive prices. This is further backed by the vision of the Chairman of the Shakeel Group, Mr. Shakeel Ahmed, who on the occasion of the 72nd Republic Day of India extends his best wishes to the Indian community.
We spoke to Mr. Ahmed about his vision of continued business expansion, exceptional customer service and consistent support for social and multicultural activities in Bahrain.
What would you like to say to the community on the occasion of the Republic Day of India?
We are proud to celebrate the glory of India with you. We salute the visionary leaders of India and this great nation for their leadership - creating a significant legacy of unity for the good of the generations to come. Let’s renew our pledge to always uphold our national unity so that we can live together in peace and harmony.
Could you give our readers a brief on your company and its growth over the last three decades?
Under the umbrella of the Shakeel Group is the Shakeel Trading Company, Bahrain Pride Trading Centre, Home Pride Trading, Technographics and Shakeel Ahmed General Trading Company(UAE).
Shakeel Trading Company was established in 1985 and was primarily involved in the wholesale distribution of stationery. Today, it deals in both retail and wholesale supply of stationery and other consumer products to small, medium and large-scale supermarkets and showrooms across Bahrain.
Bahrain Pride Trading Centre was established in 2003 as a one-stop shop offering a wide range of goods at the best prices. The company has eleven retail and wholesale outlets situated at prime locations across Bahrain.
At Home Pride Furniture you can furnish your home and office interior for a great price along with quality products made in Turkey, Malaysia and Thailand. Techno Graphics Publicity and Advertising Company, on the other hand, was established in 2012 and operates in the Media Agencies sector.
The Shakeel Group has its own brand of products including SADAF (Stationery), EMAN (Food),Home Care (Household) and Mai Bahrain Pride (Water). It also enjoys strong support from suppliers and manufacturers from around the world and is an exclusive agent of many well-known international brands like CASIO from Japan, Helix from UK, UniBind from Belgium, Nataraj and Kangaroo from India, Intex, Lineplus, Dong A, paper products from top Indonesian brands, and many more.
You run a highly successful wholesale, retail and distribution business. What would you consider your key to success?
Shakeel Group’s success is linked with professional, highly committed, skilled, and trained staff with a vast network of distribution. We currently have around 350 staff members. Shakeel Trading strives hard to offer customers, a diverse and comprehensive portfolio of superior quality stationery products from world-wide suppliers. The company’s business extends to the UAE as well; Shakeel Ahmed General Trading Company W.L.L. is an acclaimed name engaged in providing our valued clients with a superior quality and range of school and office stationery.
After 30 years of business in Bahrain, what would you say your thoughts are on the business environment and its progression over time?
Bahrain is committed to providing and bolstering the advantages that it already has in order to become the most attractive business and investment hub in the Middle East. The Kingdom of Bahrain has a rich culture, heritage and traditions too. The people of Bahrain are very friendly and greatly respect other cultures and religions- with this Bahrain adds real value and competes on a global level. On the other hand, the Bahraini workforce is well educated and experienced. Lastly, the Government of Bahrain provides immense support to start ups and other entrepreneurs to grow and flourish.
How do you ensure the quality of stationary and other products which you supply to consumers?
We import from all over the world from over 20 different countries. We are the sole agents of many top international brands, hence the quality of our products.
Has the outbreak of COVID-19 presented any challenges to your business? If yes, how did you overcome them?
Every business around the world has had their own set of challenges during the current pandemic, but due to immense government support in the kingdom we received a lot of provisions which helped us during this tough time. The stationery sector was badly effected due to schools being closed for almost a year now. Nonetheless, we are very proud of our country and the government for ensuring the safety and continued prosperity of its people, citizens and businesses.
Are there any plans for further expansion in the coming years?
We look forward to expanding and opening many more branches in the near future when the time is right.
Do you have any advice for young entrepreneurs entering the market?
Find your place of passion, stay focused and optimistic, work hard with honesty and faith, enjoy the journey, and you will succeed. The power to mould the future of the Kingdom will be in the hands of the upcoming generations.
Is there any other information you would like to highlight?
Yes, we also run a literary and cultural organization under the name of ‘Majlis-e-Fakhr-e-Bahrain’ exclusively for social and multicultural activities in the Kingdom of Bahrain.This is a platform that organises several events that actively promote Indian art and culture. Every year, the society organizes a national seminar in India as a part of its annual series of felicitating a renowned Indian literary figure followed by a grand Urdu poetry recital event in Bahrain which brings together many famous scholars, poets and luminaries from India and the other GCC countries. It is my vision to continue and spread the beautiful language of Urdu. The KaviSammelans have played a pivotal role in nurturing Urdu and the Hindi language for a number of decades.