Soula Baroudi, marketing and supplier relations manager Soula Baroudi, marketing and supplier relations manager

Hotelier catches up with Soula Baroudi, marketing and supplier relations manager for Horeca Trade, exclusive distributor of Acqua Panna and San Pellegrino products in the UAE, and an official sponsor for the Hotelier Middle East Great GM Debate, which will take place 8 September.

Why is it important that you support the Hotelier Middle East: Great GM Debate?

Hotels are an integral sector for the viability and sustainability of our Company. We should give all support that we can to strengthen the business relationship with the hoteliers and reinforce our partnership with the hotels in UAE.



What do you think are the main challenges facing UAE hotel GMs in 2015?

Keeping occupancy high in a tough economic situation and staying different are the main challenges the UAE hotels are currently facing. The increase number of rooms with the major developments in the region also might be considered as a threat to some hotel chains while we believe the rest are maintaining their positions.

What most excites you about the UAE hotel industry in 2015?

New innovations, brands, new trends, new concepts and new initiatives - basically everything.

What are the main topics you expect to come up at the Hotelier Middle East: Great GM Debate?
How to deal with all the challenges from geopolitical to aggressive competition, especially if they still aim to maintain their high standards.



What are the latest product launches from your company?
In order to cater to the demand in the Middle East for new innovative products with the best quality and consistency, within past 6 months we have launched several worldwide known brands: Tilda – UK’S leading premium 100% branded Basmati and specialty rice products; Bridor - originally from France offering customers the excellent range of Viennoseries, breads with uncompromising quality; Sohat – natural mineral water from Lebanon light and crisp with low mineral content and almost no sodium at all; Bridel - great quality and excellent taste dairy products and Stanbroke - Australian beef brand dedicated to complete quality assurance and traceability.

What other news can we expect from your company in 2015/2016?

Recently we have launched our Ordering Online system – Smart Store It will be our main focus point for the next year and we aim to shift 50% of our customer data base to Online ordering. We believe that our customers would be happier online if they could be convinced to change. Once used to it it`s easier, faster and more efficient.

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