Retaj continues operating through strict COVID-19 lockdowns in Jordan

Retaj is a wholesale supplier of food items in Amman, Jordan. It bottles its own brands of vegetable oil, as well as vegetable oil brands for third parties. In 2016, the Nomou Jordan Fund (NJF) provided Retaj with over USD 717k in financing to purchase oil from international suppliers and increase its market share. The following year, the Fund invested another USD 700k in the business, allowing it to become the exclusive wholesaler for Amazon, a UAE food brand, in Jordan. It now distributes more than 30 different Amazon products like coffee, juices, canned food, and noodles.

Retaj received widespread business support throughout its relationship with GroFin Jordan. This has included guidance on using financial management accounts, helping the business to review its pricing based on an analysis of the market for oil products, and reviewing its debt and credit terms. GroFin is also helping Retaj to improve its ESG standards in collaboration with an external advisor.

“GroFin has been a valuable partner to my business over several years and both the financing and guidance I have received from them has played a big role in Retaj’s growth. I am thankful that I can focus on growing my business even further at a time when many others are struggling and that I can do this with GroFin supporting me.” – Abdullah Nofal, owner of Retaj

As Retaj trades in essential food products, it could continue operating during Jordan’s strict COVID-19 lockdowns and the business achieved higher sales despite the devasting impact of the pandemic on Jordan’s economy. The NJF has extended an additional USD 705k in financing to Retaj to purchase additional stock of vegetable oil to ensure the business can withstand any possible supply disruptions, for example due to the continued impact of the pandemic on imports, to meet anticipated increases in local demand for its products.

When NJF first invested in Retaj, the business employed 53 people. Today it employs 103 people, including 3 women, and 90% of its employees are unskilled.

Learn more about the Nomou Jordan Fund and how GroFin and the The Nomou Programme are supporting entrepreneurs and SMEs in the Middle East.