South African Cold Storage Legend – Iqbal Faki Dawood

Our Johannesburg Branch Manager, Corné Stapelberg met up with one of South Africa’s cold storage veterans, Mr Iqbal Faki Dawood, owner of F Dawood & Son, to discuss his experience in the cold storage industry. Iqbal has a number of cold stores and distribution centres around the country. His Johannesburg facility stores approximately 3900 pallets on Storax mobile racking and has to be one of the best cared for ammonia plants in the region.

How long have you been working in cold storage?

I’ve been in the industry for 40 years.

What type of challenges did you have to face?

The cold storage industry was an evolution. I started way back with retail. Initially the chicken industry had no frozen product, only fresh. Basically two items, whole chickens and what they then called a curry pack, which was the downgraded birds with broken wings etc.

How do you overcome challenges?

Challenges have now changed dramatically. Chicken is the most popular protein at the moment. We need to keep up with the demand. We have found a niche market with the “smaller” businesses and we are able to keep them happy.

How did your family and personal life fit into your career?

We keep the balance and make sure we make time for family. People get so involved in their business that they forget to interact socially with family.

What do you do in your spare time to unwind?

To get rid of the stress I use to visit friends and travel a lot. Nowadays not that much.

In our view business is not always first and foremost. We make time for our families and it gives us time to unwind a bit.

What are your views on the future of the cold store industry?

There will always be a need, especially in terms of the evolution of the food industry. There will always be a need for frozen foods, irrespective of the fast food industry. It all depends on how many people would want to enter the distribution market and for what kind of margins they are willing to work with.

You have an impeccable storage facility. What is the best advice you could give to any cold store owner, whether it’s new or old?

Our store is owner driven which makes a big difference and good housekeeping is key.


For more information contact F. Dawood on 011 918 4769