The East India Company opens office in Qatar

Written by Press Trust of India | Dubai | Updated: Jun 12 2014, 21:19pm hrs
If you think the East India Company died a natural death following India's independence, then think again.

The company is not only alive and kicking but has also launched a new office in the Qatari capital of Doha in collaboration with local partner Nasser Al Ansari of Octagon International.

A grand launch event attended by Her Majesty's Deputy Head of Mission Cecille El Beleidi was held on Monday to mark the occasion.

The company's entry into Qatar is part of its strategic regional and global expansion plans. It already runs a store in Kuwait since 2013 and is close to completion for franchises in the UAE and Saudi Arabia.

This is the Company's second store in the Middle East and carries a selection of fine teas and coffees; artisan sweet and biscuits; a chocolate range; and jams and marmalades.

The extensive range also includes the Company's hand-crafted bone china and porcelain for tea and coffee. Each piece is painted by a master craftsmen using mineral paints and 18 carat gold.

The Company offers products that have been crafted by artisans and specialists from around the world using ingredients that have been sourced for their quality.

"I was delighted to attend the ribbon cutting ceremony of the first East India Company store in Qatar. It is fantastic to see the revival of such a great British name and a store that houses a delectable array of fine teas, chocolates, biscuits and gifts," Cecille El Beleidi said.

Since its creation in 1600 by The Royal Charter granted by Queen Elizabeth I, the influence of The East India Company has been great.

It transformed Britain's dining tables through the introduction of exotic ingredients and flavors, but more fundamentally, it changed the world's tastes, its thinking, and its people.

Yet it remains a quintessentially British brand with influences from diverse cultures. In August 2010, the re-born and revived East India Company launched its flagship Fine Foods store in the heart of London's Mayfair. Within 3 years it opened two more doors in the UK.

India-born Sanjiv Mehta acquired the over 400-year-old company in 2005.

"We look forward to sharing our rich stories with customers who we know will appreciate our gourmet foods and unparallelled heritage," said Mehta, Chairman of The East India Company.