Dubai-based Flemingo International is to expand its African duty free operations after signing a contract to operate four duty free shops in Lilongwe Airport in Blantyre in Malawi. The contract for the 10-year concession was
signed in November 2005 for two arrival and two departure shops which are set to open in June 2006.
The four shops will be new outlets as Lilongwe Airport is served by a small, single shop at present. A full range of products is expected to be offered as the license does not restrict the products being sold.
Meanwhile, Flemingo?s joint Managing Director Mahendra Thakar says the company is working on developing a number of new duty free opportunities in Africa and elsewhere, as well as India. While linking up with an international partner is expected to speed up Flemingo?s business development programme, he says the company is prepared to go it alone if that is judged to be the best option.
‘There are plenty of other projects in the pipeline. We are going global. We are changing. We are a small company, but cash rich. We operate professionally. Our focus is duty free, but the new concessions could be at an airport, a sea port or another location,’ Thakar said.
‘Africa is the main focus this year. Africa has potential. When you go to a host country you have got to respect the country, people and system. You have got to know how to work with them.
‘We work hard. We are dedicated and focused to develop duty free business. We have funds to invest. A partnership with a global partner is a short cut, but we can go global alone. We are ready for that. In nine years we have grown from nothing to $50m sales.
‘By January 2007 it will be a different story ? something exciting will happen. Our asset is hard work and being focused.’