Dubai, United Arab Emirates; March 1, 2017: Hundreds gathered in Dubai this evening to celebrate the life and legacy of one of the Gulf’s most prominent businessmen, Sheikh Adel Aujan.
Sheikh Adel, who passed away in January, was the Chairman of one of the largest Middle Eastern beverages conglomerates, Aujan Coca-Cola Beverages Company (ACCBC), formerly known as Aujan Industries, which is widely regarded as one of the region’s top home-grown success stories.
In commemoration of Sheikh Adel’s contribution to both business and society, the company organized a prestigious gala dinner at the Oberoi hotel on March 1, inviting 250 members of the ACCBC family, including members of the Aujan family, past and present employees as well as suppliers and partners.
The centerpiece of the event was the Adel Aujan Awards (AAA), which will be held annually, and which will honour a select group of ACCBC’s best-performing suppliers for outstanding performance in five categories – innovation; quality; service; value addition and partnership.
In addition, Abdulla Adel Aujan, Chairman of ACCBC, welcomed the guests and gave a speech in memory of the late Sheikh Adel. He said: “I have every confidence that ACCBC will deliver on the vision of my father and its shareholders through our portfolio of strong brands, robust investment plans in both capacity and capability and the high calibre, experienced management team.”
A panel discussion involving friends and former colleagues of Sheikh Adel also looked back on the career of one of Saudi Arabia’s most remarkable industrialists.
Tolga Sezer, Chief Executive Officer of ACCBC, said: “In order to recognize our valued relationships with business partners, distributors, suppliers and to maintain our commitment to improvement and innovation, we decided to inaugurate the very first Adel Aujan Awards in honor of the loving memory of our late Chairman, Sheik Adel Aujan. The annual awards will in future allow us to recognize business partners that contribute the most to ACCBC’s success, by sharing our values and our commitment to excellence, delivering sustainable performance and surpassing expectations.”
Over a 48-year career with ACCBC, Sheikh Adel grew the Dammam-based business into a multi-billion-dollar drinks giant, thanks to the innovative marketing of existing brands such as Vimto and homegrown brands like Rani and Barbican.
The Saudi businessman was also the visionary behind the largest ever consumer goods partnership in the Middle East with The Coca-Cola Company creating a joint venture between the two companies entitled Aujan Coca-Cola Beverages Company (ACCBC).
The inaugural Adel Aujan Awards saw five companies honoured by ACCBC.
The Innovation AAA was won by Constantia, a manufacturer of packing and labels.
Louis Dreyfus Company, a leading merchant and processor of agricultural goods, picked up the Quality AAA, while industrial products supplier MASTFOODS won the Service AAA.
Beverage can manufacturer Can-Pack Middle East won the Value Addition AAA, while John Bean Technologies (JBT), a food industry machinery giant, was awarded the Partnership AAA.
The company that would eventually become Aujan Industries was founded in 1905, and was expanded into beverages when it acquired the exclusive rights to distribute Vimto in the region in 1928.
Sheikh Adel joined the company in 1968 after studying in the US, and quickly expanded Aujan Industries’ sales and distribution networks. Over the years, he developed Vimto Cordial as the drink of choice for families in the gulf region during the Holy Month of Ramadan.
The company’s first homegrown brand, Rani, was introduced in 1982. The fruit-juice brand has gone on to become one of the most preferred beverages in the Middle East.
Aujan Industries also sells and distributes Barbican, a non-alcoholic malt-based drink, having bought the brand outright in 2011.
As well as beverages, Aujan Group Holding also has interests in real estate and packaging materials, with investments in hotels and game reserves in the Middle East and Africa.