American entrepreneur Peter Schatzberg, general partner of Shatranj Capital Partners and founder and former CEO of Sweetheart Kitchen, considers the Middle East his home. Having recently launched SCP, which focused exclusively on the F&B sector in the region, we took the opportunity to learn more about his project.
What motivated you to create SCP and what opportunities do you see in the F&B space in the Middle East?
Our MENA expertise in franchise F&B, entrepreneurship, corporate finance and private equity motivated SCP to focus on the F&B sector. Sector-focused private equity has been used successfully in the U.S. for the commercialization of franchise F&B, so we decided that structure would be ideal to apply in the Middle East. Our global franchisor network combined with our regional operations expertise grants us unique insights into potential buyout opportunities and gives franchisors confidence in our ability to commercialize brands. The above variables applied to a region that is modernizing and diversifying with state support will create tremendous value for the brand portfolio.
What role do you see SCP playing in the broader development of the F&B sector in the Middle East?
With our global expertise in operational excellence, regulatory compliance, corporate governance, supply chain, digitization and e-commerce, we expect the broader F&B community to benefit by leveraging its proximity to our innovation and best practices. SCP also plans to invest part of our fund to incubate local brands that demonstrate profitable growth and that we believe could benefit from our experience and capital. Finally, our fund will create exciting leadership opportunities that will require the unique characteristics found in entrepreneurs.
What are SCP’s long-term goals for the fund and how do you plan to achieve them?
SCP plans to contribute to the diversification and sustainable growth of the region by building infrastructure and jobs, while also attracting foreign direct investment. The global talent of our private equity fund and rich F&B brand portfolio will lead to the broad dissemination of “know-how”, and will help develop human capital and skills in the Middle East. SCP also aspires to introduce iconic F&B brands to the consumer, giving them greater variety and more unique experiences for decades to come.