Retaj is growing and helping Syrian refugees in the process
Entrepreneur Abdallah Nofal began his business in 2006 as a wholesale supply business trading in food items, particularly vegetable oil and other food oils. His 30-years’ experience in the wholesale industry enabled him to quickly build the enterprise to the point where he purchased land and began bottling his own vegetable oil in a manufacturing facility alongside the trading entity.
Currently, his company Retaj for Food Stuffs Supplies, Distribution and Trade Company (Retaj) offers three types of vegetable oils; Corn, Sunflower and Soybean. And each type of oil comes in several sizes to cover all income brackets. Starting from 600 ml for small families and individual consumption, to a range of 1.3 litre – 18.0 litre large tin containers that are required by restaurants.
Over the years, enhancing and upgrading the company’s production ability exhausted the cashflows for the business. So after struggling for many years with low margins related to the purchase of crude oils from local traders, Abdallah approached GroFin in 2016 to finance a new trading strategy to import his raw materials directly. Over and above providing the required funding of US$ 718,000, GroFin also provided Retaj with business support by helping to implement an effective management accounts reporting system. Together, GroFin and Abdallah reviewed their product pricing based on market conditions and optimised their profitability.
A point to note, one of the great needs to mitigate the effects of the current Syrian humanitarian crisis is the provision of dignified employment and opportunities for refugees to integrate more fully into society. The number of refugees that are making their way over the treacherous journey to Jordan, of whom only 20% live in the designated UN camps. The rest have integrated themselves into the towns and villages seeking shelter, employment and a better quality of life. The massive influx of refugees have placed enormous pressure on the Jordanian infrastructure, economy and social conditions. One of the great needs to mitigate the effects of this humanitarian crisis is the provision of dignified employment and opportunities for refugees to integrate more fully into society. Entrepreneurs like Abdallah Nofal is one of the catalysts for this process.
Retaj and GroFin’s investments are helping to support 53 full time employees (80% of whom are semi/unskilled workers), and of whom 4 are female employees. In addition, Abdallah has provided meaningful employment for 7 Syrian refugees who are rebuilding their lives and securing a future for their families. The business currently has three owned brands (Retaj, Haneen and Al Amer), all of which are distributed at all major supermarkets in all Jordanian governorates.