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text Virginia Mammoli

December 13, 2021

The universe of Kelmer Group

With the founder Roberto Granello to the discovery of this International Business Consulting company

Kelmer Group is a well-known international business consulting company founded in London in 1997 by two experienced Italian entrepreneurs, now with offices all over the world, including, Dubai since 2005. Since then it has helped dynamic companies - in particular Italian, but not only - in the most disparate sectors to enter the rich market of the United Arab Emirates. From listed companies to freelancers, Kelmer assists them in approaching the market, structuring and development, solving bureaucratic, administrative and tax issues, and supporting them in acquisitions. Thanks to their expertise, many of these companies have quickly conquered a large slice of the local market, then also expanded abroad. A business made up of experience and vision, as Roberto Granello, company founder and general manager of Kelmer Middle East LLC explains.

Roberto Granello

How did your story as an entrepreneur begin, and how did Kelmer then originate?

I grew up in Veneto, in Treviso, in a family of entrepreneurs. We ran businesses in various industries. Once I’d graduated in Business and Economics, I went to London to gain my first work experience in the field of finance. Right there in 1997, together with my friend and later partner, Stefano De Giorgis, we opened the first Kelmer office and started assisting the first Italian companies. From London, the step to Dublin and Lugano was quite short. A few years later, clients asked us to assist them beyond the borders of Europe, and the Shanghai, Hong Kong and Dubai offices were the result of this need. In addition, our further expansion towards the ASEAN countries (Singapore, Vietnam, Philippines and Australia) and the United States is quite recent.

Why Dubai and how long have you been in the country?

We’ve been in Dubai since 2005, both with Kelmer and me, personally, with my family. I realized the city’s potential, and at the same time, many companies were already showing interest in this market. It was clear that it would become a hub of great strategic importance for the entire GCC and a springboard for Asia. 

What was your first personal impression of the city?

Love at first sight. I love Arab culture and all cultures in general, and to be able to see them coexist in harmony in such a welcoming city is always truly inspiring. 

What are Italian companies looking for in Dubai? 

Opportunities for expansion and safe, integrated professional solutions. Whether it is to penetrate the domestic market, or to use Dubai as a base for the surrounding markets, clients are looking for, first of all, professionalism and reliability in a scenario that is always in motion, evolution and change. 

What does accessing the United Arab Emirates’ market mean today? 

In most cases, it means being competitive, structured, advanced and with a cross-cultural attitude. Thoroughly understanding local dynamics and the various facets of the operators is essential to move in a targeted and reasoned way in this market. 

Which commercial sectors do you specialize in?

If I consider our global portfolio, I’d say the large-scale manufacturing industry. That said, our method and our services are scalable and customizable. 

Kelmer, ph Omar Yehia

What requests do you receive and what is the added value you offer?

Requests are varied: from traditional company incorporation or search for commercial partners, to assistance in logistics and distribution team organization, legal opinions on the subject of contracts (among other things, we have our own law firm in a JV with Emirati lawyers, which allows us to provide on-site legal services), assistance with real estate transactions, etc. All of this obviously not only in Dubai, but often extending - from Dubai - to our entire international network of offices. The added value is our experience and long-time presence on the ground. Our senior professionals are Italian and European, and therefore know both local regulations and those of the client’s country of origin very well.

What are your favourite places in Dubai where you like to spend a day off?

Wherever my family decides. From a quad bike ride in the desert to a day at the beach or by the pool.

Which Italian restaurant is your sure-fire choice?

In recent years, the quality of Italian catering in Dubai has become very high, so there are so many restaurants where you can enjoy really authentic dishes, with excellent raw ingredients. However, my Lounge Cafe Italiano is where I feel really at home.

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