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Hot 100 2012 – 79: RAGM

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The basics

Company name: RAGM
What they do: Distributor and wholesaler of groceries
Headquarters: London
The boss: Ajay Chopra

The financials

Latest turnover (£,000): 41,713
Four-year compound sales growth (%): 32
Latest Ebitda (£,000): 1,032

The details

RAGM is the umbrella company for two separate businesses. The first, RAGM Trading was set up by Ajay Chopra and buys and sells branded food products for high street retailers – effectively acting as the broker between the brands and the stores. 

The second, Aruna Homeware, was set up in 2006 by Ajay’s wife, and designs and manufactures homeware products, again for the larger high street retailers. “We have our own design function inhouse, which is very beneficial when you are working from a base specification from clients. It sets us apart,” says COO Gerry Fox.

While the food side has the greater turnover – over three times as high – competition and tighter margins mean that, “it’s a bit of a blood bath out there,” comments Fox. 

The homeware side is pulling in the greater profit in relative terms, helped by a new office in Hong Kong. Alongside responsibility for auditing factories in China, the office is opening up new markets in New Zealand, North America and Australia. 

The last two years have seen major reinvestment back in the business, including almost £200k on bespoke systems, and appointment of key staff like Fox to bring structure to the company. 

Turnover last year was £41.7m and is expected to rise to £47.5m this year. It’s a tough time to be in retail, “but providing we maintain current margins, we are cautiously optimistic about the future,” says Fox.

The Hot 100 2012 is brought to you by Investec, Jordans, Cass Business School and Your Business Your Future.

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