India is one of the fastest growing markets globally for the food and beverage sector. With a young population that is increasingly well travelled and familiar with international cuisine, there has been a growing awareness and demand in the country for quality produce and food ingredients from around the world.
In 2015, Catch of Norway Seafood, a family business based out of Bengaluru and Oslo, realised the immense potential for bringing fresh seafood from the cold waters of Norway to fine-dining restaurants and homes of customers in India. Mark Alzawahra, co-founder of the company moved to India and set up a small office in Bengaluru to import and distribute salmon and other seafood to end customers in the country.
Over a period of five years, Catch of Norway has met with success, rapidly expanded its client base by supplying to restaurants in 5-star hotels, premium and organic supermarkets as well as leading catering businesses across more than 10 cities in India. Following on from its success in the b2b sector, Catch of Norway has now also established its own direct to customer channels, allowing for individual customers across many cities in India to source seafood from Norway.
From its early days of setting up business in India, Catch of Norway has had a reliable partner in Emirates SkyCargo, the freight division of Emirates. Through its cargo operations across a global network, Emirates SkyCargo helps facilitate the rapid movement of fresh seafood from Oslo to Bengaluru via Dubai.
“Our first shipment of fresh salmon was transported in 2015 with Emirates from Oslo to Bengaluru via Dubai. Emirates SkyCargo has literally been part of our success from the first time we imported salmon in to India to this day. Emirates came highly recommended and we were already aware of the reputation of the passenger and cargo services. There is a lot of trust in the name Emirates and the organization does not disappoint,” said Mark Alzawahra, Co-Founder & Managing Director, Catch of Norway Seafood.
“Emirates SkyCargo has the best and widest route network with multiple flight frequencies from key cities. For perishables such as premium salmon, cod, halibut, and shellfish, minimizing transport time, transit times, and turnaround times on the ground is crucial. Having multiple flights from Oslo to Dubai and onwards to Bangalore has been very important. If there are delays, there are backup flights within a short timeframe if the initial connection was missed.
“Emirates SkyCargo’s teams in Oslo and Bangalore have been very responsive and supportive over the years. We imported 50 kg of fresh whole salmon and fresh salmon fillets and portions for our first shipment in to India. In 2020, we were importing almost one tonne of fresh seafood from Norway every shipment, mostly with Emirates SkyCargo. Even during the COVID-19 pandemic, Emirates SkyCargo has been operating regular cargo connections to Bengaluru, helping maintain the continuity of the supply chain” added Alzawahra.