As emerging markets make up as much as 28 per cent of Dallata Consulting Group's (DCG) overall business, the company sees the importance of getting right in the middle of the action. Capitalising on the growing Asian and South American markets, DCG established a fully staffed office in Pakistan and is working on establishing a Brazil office to prime these locations as important trading hubs.
DCG's expertise in entering new and emerging markets and creating business opportunities is critical for companies wanting to become globally competitive. Penetrating these markets can be risky without an effective business strategy that takes into account different market dynamics. DCG has fostered an intimate knowledge of international markets to help its clients make informed decisions and facilitate their global expansion plans.
"We work with companies to help them identify their goals," says president and CEO Akram Hamid. "For many companies, it is difficult to give equal attention between figuring out the best ways to make money and identifying the company's direction. This is where DCG comes in. We guide companies in the right direction and identify the best strategies so they can focus on earning revenues."
DCG is the product of a merger between seven companies from four countries. Hamid established DCG's head office in Toronto to capitalise on Canada's sound economic and political climate after spearheading the firm's consolidation in 2004.
DCG initially specialised in business and financial consulting for companies targeting Middle Eastern and African markets. Anticipating customer needs, DCG expanded into information technology (IT) consulting and research and development (R&D).
Exhibiting its creative prowess, particularly in the IT arena, DCG is developing a software called Land Management. Slated for release by the end of the year, this platform links buyers, farmers, processing facilities and government offices. Land Management is designed to predict crop yields for a more streamlined process of pricing and scheduling.
DCG also established a trading house to provide clients more comprehensive services. "A lot of our clients used to ask us to source different products for them and we used to work with different commodity houses or sourcing companies to do that. We figured that we can add value to our business by establishing our own trading house," Hamid says.
Contributing to DCG's cosmopolitan outlook is its extensive work with international companies. For one of its clients, agricultural company Wadi Alreef, DCG identified new product base suppliers and helped the company venture to new markets. DCG was instrumental in facilitating Wadi Alreef's global trade relations in North America and Europe.
Sourcing raw materials from Turkey and Egypt, DCG supplies chickpeas, lentils, alfalfa cubes, tuna, peas, beans and flour under the brand name Zarina. DCG also sources certain commodities from the mainland. Working closely with clients, DCG customises the packaging, logo and price points of the products for distribution in different markets.
DCG represents clients from more than 27 countries and is constantly adding companies to its client list.
One of DCG's biggest projects is its collaboration with the Guyanese government. By resolving legal issues on wheat importation, DCG saved the Guyanese government about HK$1.1 billion a year in wheat and flour subsidies.
DCG's triple-digit growth year-on-year is a testament to its expertise. At the height of the economic crisis in 2008 and 2009, DCG recorded 700 per cent growth in revenue.
The company has been widely recognised for its innovativeness. For three consecutive years, DCG received the Innovation Award at the Ontario Business Achievement Awards and the HSBC Bank Canada Award for Innovation-Exports at the Ontario Global Traders Awards.
DCG plans to establish more offices in Asia including the mainland. The company can offer its expertise to Chinese, Japanese and Singaporean companies that want to penetrate the Middle Eastern and African markets. Aside from international companies, DCG also seeks partnerships with universities and research institutions to create value for the Asian market.
"We are the wrong consultants for companies that want to grow by only 3, 5 or even 7 per cent. We take pride in the fact that we can help companies that want to grow by 20, 30 or even 100 per cent. We take their businesses and we grow them substantially," Hamid says.