Press Release

April 10, 2017

Nexus People Group through its SBU – OCB Oilfield Services DMCC - is proud to announce that we are now ISO 9001:2015 and OHSAS 180001:2007 Certified.

To become ISO 9001:2015 and OHSAS 18001:2007 certified, OCB OILFIELD SERVICES DMCC (OCB) engaged ABS QUALITY EVALUATIONS and underwent an evaluation process that included: quality management system and health & safety management system development, a management system documentation review, pre-audit, initial assessment, and clearance of non-conformances, all of which work to identify corrective actions that eliminate non-conformance to the quality and health & safety management standard.

NEXUS PEOPLE GROUP’S decision to become ISO 9001:2015 and OHSAS 18001:2007 certified is the vision of the Group’s CEO, Mr. George Gourlay. His vision anticipates the demand of our customers, and also demonstrates a commitment to providing quality services to all current and future customers.

April 2017


We are pleased to announce the merger of AOS International DMCC (AOS) with OCB Oilfield Services (OCB). The merger continues the growth of Nexus People Group as it powers performance across the Middle East, Asia & Australia.

A joint venture between OCB and AOS International has been in place for over 18 months, but the two brands will now merge to form a streamlined operation based in OCB’s Dubai office. Australian Offshore Solutions – the parent company of AOS International – will continue to operate as a separate entity in Australasia and will continue to collaborate with Kuiper, OCB’s sister company, on construction projects.

AOS has operated in the Middle East under the leadership of Steve Taylor, who will remain with the business in a new role as Managing Director of OCB. Steve brings over 30 years Oil & Gas experience with him to OCB, building on the team’s existing strength and expertise.

AOS International provide senior drilling and project personnel to its clients along with contractor management, permanent placement services and HR consultancy services.  OCB has been providing Contract crewing solutions to its clients for almost 20 years and is one of the largest providers of junior drilling crews in the Middle East and Far East.  Combining the strengths of both companies under one brand will enable OCB to offer our clients a broader range of services and create a one stop shop for all their manpower requirements.

As a result of the merger, Samantha Shiach-Demetriou also joins OCB as an executive recruitment and permanent placement specialist, extending OCB’s service offering even further.

George Gourlay, CEO of Nexus People Group said:

“Through the incorporation of AOS into the OCB Business Unit of the Nexus Group we achieve another step forward with our growth strategy; having experienced and well recognised HR experts such as Steve and Samantha integrated into the Nexus Group will not only add value to our service offering but will add internationally experienced strength to the operations team. We look forward to continuing our joint venture with AOS in Australia and welcome Steve and Samantha into the team here in Dubai.”

Steve Taylor, now Managing Director of OCB said:

“Few, if any, of our competitors have the depth of knowledge or experience to match OCB’s so I am really looking forward to my new role as Managing Director, in particular being able to work closely with the fantastic team we already have in place but I’m also looking forward to the challenges and opportunities which lie ahead.  Although there is more optimism regarding levels of activity this year and beyond there are still some tough times ahead so we will need to continue to work with our Clients to come up with flexible, cost effective solutions to meet challenging market conditions.”

In what has been a turbulent 18 months for the industry, the recent merger is further validation of Nexus People Group’s growth strategy and positions the group of companies as a market leader in the provision of integrated, managed man-power services.

Chef Middle East

September 2017

Chef Middle East launches Taste of Autumn in October 2017

Chef Middle East is launching Taste of Autumn event, a unique platform for suppliers and customers to meet and interact; discuss the latest food trends, share industry insights, taste products sourced from all over the world and find out more about Chef Middle East, the one-stop solution for all your quality food and beverage requirements.

The one-day, invitation-only event, which follows three successful annual Vendor Shows, is exclusive to culinary and F&B professionals in the Middle East and will take place at La Ville Hotel & Suites on 17 October 2017.

Chef Middle East CEO, Steve Pyle, commented: “We are delighted to be hosting our Taste of Autumn event in La Ville Hotel & Suites on 17 October.

“The line-up of culinary talents for this event is very exciting and they are here to help us showcase some terrific ingredients in innovative dishes.

“We look forward to greeting customers old and new to share the new Taste of Autumn.”

At Taste of Autumn, guests will have the opportunity to meet Pastry World Champion Julien Alvarez and discover his latest dessert recipes. Celebrity chef Vicky Ratnani will also be cooking up flavourful rice dishes with a twist and two-Michelin starred chef Philippe Garret will showcase his innovative foie gras recipes for the festive season.

The event is also the perfect opportunity for Chef Middle East to introduce its new syrup brand from France, 1705 by Cherry Rocher, and a new beverage portfolio following the company’s recent acquisition of local firm Limeline Premium Beverages.

Chef Middle East continues to look for acquisition opportunities to augment its business and is focusing on opportunities presented in each of the markets in which it operates.

The supplier services more than 1,000 customers from its headquarters in the UAE and its branches in Qatar and Oman.

September 2017

Chef Middle East merges with premium beverage company

Chef Middle East, a regional F&B supplier to the hotel, dining and airline industries has acquired Limeline Premium Beverages.

Chef Middle East expects this merger to benefit their customers by providing them with a direct access to some innovative drinks brands and to create additional value for the company as it strengthens its position as the one stop shop solution provider for the food service industry in the GCC.

Chef Middle East chief executive officer Steve Pyle said: “The Limeline business is relatively small presently but we believe the beverages category has fantastic potential and will enable us to grow in a space in which we currently have a limited presence. We believe the blend of our regional reach and service capability in tandem with our new premium soft drinks brands will yield positive benefits for our customers across all the markets we operate in. We expect to treble the size of the existing business within the next twelve months and double the number of buying customers within this category.”

The beverage sector in the Middle East has experienced significant growth year on year and has created opportunities for products and services which appeal to the region’s sophisticated, health conscious and multicultural consumer base.

Limeline Premium Beverages co-founder John Power said: “The demand for more healthy and natural beverages is a key trend. Consumers have a greater awareness of what goes into food and drinks and are now actively seeking out healthier and more sustainable products. This trend particularly influences soft drinks and functional health drinks. In the latter, consumers are searching for natural ways to boost their health, and a beverage is a highly convenient way to do so. CME has added a range of “Soft Drinks for Grown Ups” to cater to this market, offering a unique portfolio of premium beverages, and becoming their customers “one stop solution” for all their quality food and beverage requirements.”

September 2017

Chef Middle East launches hi-tech food hub

Chef Middle East launched its new distribution centre in Dubai Investments Park in late May, part of a logistics surge for the area driven by a need for more modern and purpose-built warehousing. For Chef Middle East it was no different.

“Our business for the last 20 years has been growing quite significantly and over the year’s we’ve bolted on bits of infrastructure as we needed them,” explains Steve Pyle, CEO, Chef Middle East. “We reached a stage in our development where the level of complexity had become such that we needed to consolidate and build something that would allow us to better leverage our expertise.”

To that end the supplier of foods to the hotel, dining and airline industries developed its new AED 75-million DC, complete with the latest tracking, picking and storage technologies available on the market. “We wanted to introduce more technology into our operation, because we’d grown to such an extent that our existing infrastructure was bursting at the seams and we weren’t getting the flexibility and efficiency that we wanted,” says Pyle. “So this development was an opportunity to optimise efficiency and build ourselves a platform that is future-engineered and suited to growth.”

The 10,000 square meter facility is a fully integrated, technology enabled logistics hub, allowing Chef Middle East to offer an efficient and reliable end-to-end cold chain solution. It’s triple the size of its predecessor and includes over 7,000 square meters of temperature-controlled storage areas that can accommodate up to 8,000 pallets of chilled, frozen, and ambient food and food related products.

Within it, Chef Middle East stores 4,000 global food products with a combination of premium quality ingredients for its rapidly growing regional client base within the region’s hotel and restaurant community. “We work across several categories supplying anything from a cut of tenderloin to chocolate powder for a pastry chef to dry Japanese items, seafood and rare herbs and spices,” says Pyle. “We deal with all the big hotel groups in the region. Jumeirah Group, Emaar, Marriot etc, we also work with the Rotana Group, Hyatt Group, Hilton, Atlantis.”

But Pyle adds that this client base is changing, which is one of the reasons that new distribution centre was necessary. “Those guys have been long-term clients of ours and one of the things that we’ve seen over the years and especially in the last 18 months is the explosion of standalone, independent restaurant businesses,” he says. “Our client base was traditionally the hotels and the premium restaurants, but now we’re seeing a lot more casual dining operations coming to the market and becoming a larger share of our activities. We’ve had to adapt the way we approach the market and our portfolio of products to ensure that we get a share of that market while retaining the clients we have traditionally served.”

This change to its client base has necessitated a change in the way it distributes as well. The company operates a fleet of 50 multi-temperature distribution vehicles and has invested in new fleet tracking technology and route planning software to optimise operations. “The software also helps us load our vehicles in such a way that the last item in is the first out on the delivery route. This saves time and it reduces emissions because the doors are open for shorter periods of time, which also protects the produce being delivered.”

They’ve also started doing more night-time deliveries to cope with customer demand. “What we’re seeing is a definite trend of clients dedicating less space to on-site storage,” says Pyle. “It’s a tough economy, so when investors open new restaurants they want to maximise the front-of-house space and the back space, the storage areas in particular, have become squeezed.” To deal with this Chef Middle East is having to do a much higher frequency of deliveries. “We’re doing a lot of deliveries through the night now, which we never did before, we’re also doing consignment stock for some of our bigger clients.”

What would typically happen in this kind of operation is that trucks leave the warehouse early in the morning at around 7am and everything is delivered before 2 or 3 in the afternoon, Pyle tells Logistics Middle East. “But some clients don’t want deliveries after 10am in the morning, malls don’t allow deliveries after 1pm, so we have to use the route planning technology to ensure that we meet these windows,” he explains. “But we’ve also spoken to come clients to find out if they’d be interested in having us do deliveries later in the evening or in the very early hours of the morning, which could present a cost benefit.”

Strategically situated between Abu Dhabi, Dubai and the Northern Emirates, DIP was chosen as the right location because of it road networks that enable connectivity to regional and international transport linkages, including Jebel Ali Port, Al Maktoum Airport, Expo 2020 site, and other strategic developments. “The substantial investment by Chef Middle East in this outstanding, state-of-the-art facility is a good example of one of the region’s respected companies investing in Dubai Investments Park and reaffirms the status of DIP as one of the leading and most sought after business parks in the Middle East,” said Omar Al Mesmar, general manager of DIP.

“This new distribution centre is a perfect example of the world-class facilities and services that Dubai has to offer and raises the bar for food sector logistics in the region. It will help redefine the regional food distribution services, with a world-class platform and a dedicated team within DIP,” he adds.

Chef Middle East is also among the first in the region to change, not just its delivery schedules, but also its picking operations to support efficiency. “One of the new technologies we’ve deployed here is voice-to-pick, which works alongside the RFID in the WMS,” says Pyle. “. It’s a technology that will enable us to minimise error at a pick level across the 4,000 SKUs that we’re storing. It also reduces the orientation time for new employees coming into the warehouse because it speeds up the rate of efficiency at which they learn the ropes.”

Pyle’s admission that this is a touch market in which to be operating a logistics company is refreshing, but Logistics Middle East wondered why they decided to go live now, given the current regional political and economic environment. “In terms of timing there’s never a great time to invest because if you invest when the market is high, you risk opening during a trough and if you invest during a downturn, you risk opening when the market is still flat,” he says. “We wanted to introduce new elements to our product offering, so that was what mattered most for us. There’s no crystal ball here, but we knew that we had to do this or we would hit this impenetrable ceiling in terms of critical mass.”

“With this event, we invite our own database of customers, and this is the third time we have done it now. At every one of those events we have more people coming in; the last event we did in September saw more than 400 customers come through the door, which is great for us.”

Pyle said the event allows for interaction from a supply partner perspective, giving them the opportunity to show what they can do with product development.

He said: “We can let people taste what it is they are talking about. I think it is a much more customer-centric way of talking to our customers and prospects about what we do and what our suppliers do.

“Our commitment to the market is to reach into kitchens and build relationships with people, understanding what they need and meet that need. That’s been the DNA of the business since its inception.”

August 2017

Chef Middle East and Valrhona to host chef workshop in Dubai

Chef Middle East will host a workshop this week in partnership with Valrhona to encourage pastry chefs to exchange ideas on new techniques and discover new products and recipes.

Taking place on 21 and 22 August at Inked Alserkal Avenue in Al Quoz, Dubai, the workshop will be led by the well-known Italian chocolatier and pastry consultant, Gianluca Fusto.

A spokesperson from Chef Middle East commented: “In partnership with Valrhona, we regularly organise workshops throughout the year, each time with a different theme, to extend our continuous support to our customers.

“These workshops are held for pastry chefs loyal to the Valrhona brand, and are a great opportunity for them to exchange on new techniques, discover new products and recipes and be inspired by other chefs’ sense and perception of taste, shapes and colours.

“The aim of Valrhona pastry chefs and instructors isn’t to ‘teach’ but rather to share their passion and experience.”

Attendance is by invitation only and this week’s workshop is exclusive to members of Cercle V, Valrhona’s loyalty programme for culinary professionals.

Chef Middle East is the sole distributor of Valrhona for the UAE, Qatar and Oman.

July 2017

The key ingredients of Chef Middle East’s success

Tell your story: Now is the time to shout about your company’s contribution to the GCC’s unprecedented growth. Details on entering MEED’s new awards programme can be found below.

Since its inception in 1995, Chef Middle East has delivered fine foods onto the plates of hoteliers, food service providers and airline caterers across the region. Through its state-of-the-art logistics network, the firm services more than 1,000 customers from its headquarters in the UAE and key branches in Qatar, Oman and beyond, providing the same service and products to customers in Africa, the subcontinent, and Indian Ocean and CIS countries.

The vital ingredient, the company asserts, is its team of about 300 people working together in an entrepreneurial environment. Here, CEO Steve Pyle tells MEED how the firm has grown its network and adapted to the latest technological innovations in warehouse and supply chain management.

How has the company maintained a clear strategy?

Chef Middle East is striving to be the leading ‘speciality broadliner’ in the Middle East’s highly fragmented food services and hospitality market. Our business has a long history of supplying an extensive portfolio of gourmet products to premium hotel and restaurant customers in the UAE, Qatar and Oman. As the markets in the Middle East develop, mature and change, we have augmented and adapted our range and proposition to ensure our levels of innovation and service remain relevant to the needs of our customers, be they old or new.

In what ways has Chef Middle East nurtured strong client and supply chain relationships?

Many of the hotel businesses we deal with, such as Jumeirah, Emaar, Atlantis and Marriott, have worked with us since the early days of our company and we have built strong links with them as they have grown the number of properties they own across the region. The confidence that many of these major brands have in our service has enabled us to build a reputation that has given us access to many new restaurant businesses in the region, whether they be premium or casual dining establishments.

We have deep-rooted partnerships with many of our key suppliers, some of which have been in place for more than 15 years. We invest heavily in building detailed joint business plans, which enable both suppliers and ourselves to grow our mutual business while supporting our customers’ needs.

The MEED Awards: How to enter

Whether you are a contractor, consultant, supplier, service provider or client, whether you are a leader, a driver or an inspirer, if you or your business is forging ahead and making a difference, we want to hear about it – and tell your story. Click here to find out more about the MEED Awards.

The judges of the MEED Awards will look at how each firm has contributed to the GCC’s success through its business achievements, environmental sustainability programmes, workforce culture, innovative practices and client service. In parallel, we will be recognising individual achievements among the leadership of these companies and stakeholders.

Register here to create your account and choose which award category or categories you would like to enter (discounts apply to multiple submissions).

The deadline for entries is 5 August 2017, with an awards ceremony to follow on 29 November.

How is your company innovative?

Much of our customer interaction is focused on empowering them to innovate in their own workplace. We regularly invite chefs and restaurateurs to our Culinary Innovation Centre, where we provide the technical support and expertise needed to enable them to build and refine their menus in a professional state-of-the-art kitchen space.

We have invested heavily in warehouse management technology, which will not only drive greater operational efficiency and therefore customer benefit, but will also ensure we are much more efficient at what we do, leading to higher levels of performance for the business.

How would you describe your workforce culture?

We use various tools internally to promote better communication and enhance collaboration and efficiency at work. We are committed to creating a constructive workplace that encourages growth and enables our employees to develop and do their jobs better.

We regularly organise training for our salesforce to ensure they are our best brand ambassadors in the market and the most knowledgeable about the wide range of products we offer. We are also currently investing in sending our employees to intensive product training directly with our suppliers throughout Europe and the US.

Our objective is to satisfy our customers’ needs in all aspects related to the quality, safety, specification and delivery of our products. Accordingly, we are HACCP and ISO 9001:2008 certified, and recently received an A+ rating (100 per cent success) from Dubai Municipality on its latest premises audit.

How has Chef Middle East shown the ‘wow’ factor?

By acquiring talented people, training and investing in them, supporting their development and giving them opportunities to demonstrate their abilities, which eventually leads to better business results for the company. Investing in the right people is one of the key factors behind our success.