Sun Mark was started by Ahuja’s father-in-law, Dr Rami Ranger CBE, who is now the chairman. The company has won the Queen’s Award for Enterprise in International Trade for five consecutive years.
Ahuja has helped grow the business from £8m annual turnover when he joined in 2002 to nearer £200m today.
He explained that the company’s strategy has been to sell a range of products from leading brands that include Nestlé, Unilever and Mondelēz, in unstructured emerging markets where there is often “organised chaos”.
“We are good in any market that is difficult. It’s not easy and not for the faint-hearted,” he said.
A prominent factor behind Sun Mark’s success is its people. “It’s about bringing your people together so they understand your plan and see it the same way you do. Otherwise, you are guaranteed to fail,” he said.
Sun Mark exports to over 130 countries and currently has its sites in the UK, Dubai and Nigeria.
“We are bullish about growth in the Middle East and Africa,” said Ahuja.
The judges said: This CEO has helped grow the company from an FMCG distribution business to one that now has businesses in over 130 countries. A multi-award winning export company with many Queen’s Awards to boast about. Our choice for CEO of the Year is an outstanding, inspiring and one of the most sought-after leaders in the country today.
“I wasn’t expecting this and am delighted to win the award. As CEO I make sure that everybody absolutely understands what we are doing. I also learn from our people – if you aren’t doing something right they will feedback to you. You have to trust your people. We have spokespeople at every level and listen to them through committees where we rotate people, so over time everyone can have a say in the business. I see my role not so much as inspiring others but more about collaborating with them, sharing our plan and delivering on it, so there is mutual inspiration in the company.” – Harmeet ‘Sunny’ Ahuja, Sun Mark
For more information, click on the following link: https://www.businessmag.co.uk/tv250/thames-valley-250-2019-listing-revealed/