>>david mellor, CEO of RH Amar

David Mellor, chief executive officer for fine food importer and distributor RH Amar, is a busy man.
As part of his role as CEO, which he has held since 1998, Mellor is responsible for RH Amar’s many customers and more than 50 employees.
“It is a reactive business so you have to find the right balance between reactive and proactive,” he says. “I would guess that approximately 40% of my daily duties were not on the horizon the day before.”
Mellor’s Monday usually starts at 7.30am when he takes advantage of arriving in the office early to enjoy the short period of quiet and calm before the phones start to ring furiously with ongoing and new business.
Having joined the company 18 years ago as its sales director, he continues to work closely with the sales force in category management and is responsible for the
company’s account with Waitrose.
But the biggest part of his role is new product development and, according to Mellor, hardly a day goes by without an approach from a company wanting RH Amar to import its products to the UK.
This, says Mellor, means that his job has become more office-based. “I used to travel all over the world in search of new products but now people are coming to us,” he explains.
This year the company celebrates its 60th anniversary and Mellor believes that its success has been its ability to take on an underdeveloped product and watch it grow.
For example, he says, RH Amar first started importing Crespo olives into the UK in 1955. Although there was little demand for olives at the time, the company now imports 50% of all olives into the UK.
“Our main focus is on our suppliers and we limit supplier numbers to focus on existing work,” says Mellor. “However, life keeps throwing up new opportunities and we don’t want to miss an opportunity,” he adds.
Opportunity knocks constantly for a sharp importer