Purchasing Power: Director of materials, Media Rotana Dubai

Chacko Varghese, Media Rotana Dubai’s director of materials talks about his role, the products he’s on the lookout for and more

Chacko Varghese
Chacko Varghese

How long have you been in this role?
I have been with Rotana since 22 years. I joined the purchasing department as a buyer in 1997 at Al Bustan Rotana where I had different roles until I became the director of materials. In 2010 it was a big move and I faced new challenges when I became the director of materials at Media Rotana.

What specific products are you are on the lookout for?
We are always on the lookout for organic and locally grown products. The market for such items is growing in the UAE so we are seeing more suppliers here. We have also noticed that the current suppliers are expanding their range of organic products. We are looking forward to working with small farmers from Al Ain and young people releasing locally made products and items to encourage them.

What challenges do you face at work?
I would consider the excess of administrative work as one of the biggest challenges to my daily routine followed by the many calls that impede my ability to progress with more pressing matters. Time is changing fast and a lot of competitors are entering the market so we have to be on top of everything to find the right product at the right price. A range of products offered at similar prices makes it a challenge to choose one. Therefore, we continuously have to explore new avenues and partners in order to make better purchase decisions, and at the same time, make sure we deliver what our guests need.

Tell us about one of your most successful deals?
We opened an F&B outlet, ‘Rare Bar’, and it was an extensive process to select all the appropriate materials and products to match the concept and theme of the outlet. Due to effective contract management and established relationships that we have with our suppliers, we managed to procure all the items without exceeding the budget, and were still able to offer quality and durability.

What does a supplier have to do to impress you?
I look for many aspects when it comes to selecting a vendor, including product quality, location and the reputation of the supplier. For the supplier to impress me, it is important that they follow the HACCP standards, only then will I shortlist them. They then have to respect our deadlines and have to always deliver on time, they need to be flexible in case of any emergency for immediate delivery and the most important thing is that they have to give us the best price in the market.

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