Some time ago we interviewed Mr Biuck Rasoulavi. He was the President of the Dorna Group of Companies and recently established Narbon Group of Companies. Both groups are situated in Iran where convenient cake products are very popular and sold on every corner of the street. We first met Mr Rasoulavi back in 2003 during the IBA exhibitions. Like us Mr Rasoulavi was looking for cake innovations and new opportunities in Iran. We recognize Mr Rasoulavi as a pioneer who saw the opportunity to change the market with our range of innovative solutions. Although the harsh times and sanctions, he succeeded well. Today the group of companies are selling about 333000 units per day in Tehran, only using our technology.
Interview with Mr. Biuck Rasoulaavi, President and owner of Dorna Group and Narbon Group in Iran
Q – How would you describe the Iranian cake market in general?
With 70 million inhabitants, Iran is a big cake market in itself, the biggest in the Middle East as a matter of fact. There are many cake producers offering main stream type of cake products like Layer Cakes, Swiss Rolls and Pound Cakes etc. As a result of that the Iranian cake market has become highly competitive and customers always welcome new ideas.
Although we do have supermarkets in Iran, most of the cake products are sold in the so called ‘mum and dad’ stores. These are small shops that can be found in each and every street. A city like Tehran i.e. has more than 10.000 of these types of stores. Supplying all these shops is a big challenge in a city with the famous heavy traffic of Tehran.
Q – What is the position of Dorna Group and Narbon Group?
There are about 200 industrial cake factories in Iran of which 40 are well established in the market with continuous production. The Dorna brand would be in the top three. And it is only recently that I started to build the Narbon brand.
Q – Some time ago you decided to invest in Sandwich Pancake/Dorayaki and Funcake production technology. Can you explain about the background of your decision?
As I explained before our market is hungry for new and better quality type of cake products. Back in 2003 I saw the Sandwich Pancake/Dorayaki machine for the first time. I immediately liked that product concept and decided to buy a complete Dorayaki line. A little later I also bought my first Funcake line of which there are three in operation by now. Both product concepts are well received by the market. Since these concepts are new to the market, they are able to obtain premium prices in the market. Prices are substantially higher than prices for main stream cake products available in the market, which simply means more profit for the company.
Q – To what extent did it change the Iranian cake market?
By introducing the Dorayaki (Dorna Burger) and the Funcake we started to change the mindset of the Iranian consumers. We have also seen that children do appreciate these products a lot.
About Dorna and Narbon Group
Today in Dorna Group (consisting of two companies: Biscolarge for cake production and Arikeh Dorna for distributions) there are 500 people working. Narbon Group is consisting of 9 companies (biscuit production, cake and chocolate production, eggs pasteurization, packaging plant, green houses and commercial companies) employing 600 people. Further information can be found at www.dorna-co.com and www.narbongroup.com.