Importer marks milestone in quality service

The Import and Wholesale sector represents a certain resonance that not only characterises its businesses but also its varied players. A wide range of organisations, including commercial banks and financial institutions, shipping and forwarding companies, transportation and logistics firms and marketing experts combine their resources to make this important segment of the economy vibrant and successful.

“The success of any commercial operation would depend not just on the financial investment but on a number of other factors such as human capital, knowledge of the market and the ability to provide quality service,” says Dylan Datt, Director of the South Seas Distributors NZ Ltd, based in the South Auckland suburb of Otahuhu.

A lofty objective

When he established the Company in 1996 with his wife Reshmi, he knew that he had to set the aims and objectives and prepare a plan that would ensure growth, expand customer base and foster productivity and profitability.

“Our primary aim was to become the one of the largest Wholesalers and Distributors of food Products of well known brands in New Zealand and the Pacific Islands,” Mr Datt said.

As they celebrate the 15th Anniversary of the Company this year, the Datts are gratified to observe and acknowledge the impressive progress registered, with a growing range of products and services, and more important the rising level of customer satisfaction in New Zealand and overseas.

Ms Datt said South Sea Distributors had grown to become a major supplier of wet spices in bulk and retail packets.

“While our specialty in crushed garlic, ginger, chillies and garlic pickles has earned us the recognition of a number of businesses including, retail outlets and other organisations, the quality and reliability of our products has gained us the status of being an approved vendor for all major supermarket chains throughout New Zealand. We are also approved suppliers for the hospitality industry, including hotels and restaurants,” she said.

Worldwide sources

South Sea Distributors imports a wide range of products from Australia, China, Dubai, Fiji, India, Papua New Guinea, Singapore and Thailand and makes them available at major Indian outlets, Fruits & Vegetables shops and supermarkets.

“If you cannot find any product of your choice, contact us, and we will try to source it if possible,” Mr Datt said, indicating the Company’s willingness to travel an extra mile to two to meet customer requirements.

The Company’s impressive growth and increasing stock entailed a larger storage facility, to cater to which Mr Datt acquired a new and larger warehouse.

Located at 15 Moa Street in Otahuhu, it will meet the current and future needs of the market.

Mr and Ms Datt look back with pride the formative years and the struggle for survival in a tough market.

“We began with just five products and have grown since then, thanks to our customers, staff and associates. Although market potential is strong, competition has become extremely fierce. We will however continue to work towards our goal. We believe in the adage, ‘Those willing to work will always find employment’ and learn to cope with the market needs and conditions,” they said.

Mr Datt is upbeat about the New Year, which will mark the 15th milestone for South Sea Distributors.

New Products

“We plan to launch a few new products, which we hope will meet with customer satisfaction. We will also work to strengthen our relationship with sports bodies such as the NZ Fiji Rugby League and the NZ AFC,” he said.

One of the most significant developments occurred recently when South Sea Distributors acquired ‘Chef’s Choice from Celestial Foods Ltd.

The English adage that those who worship the customer as King would be crowned by glory and success is true of this Company, which is respected by a growing number of associates and customers for its professionalism.

And it is a matter of gratification that customer satisfaction marked its growth path, which today boasts of expanded network and products.

Quality goods at low prices are only the half the story at South Seas Distributors. Here customer care, friendship and goodwill are epitomised, with in-house brands such as ‘Chef’s Choice,’ ‘Sugga’s,’ ‘Mum’s Choice’ and ‘Master of Spices’ promoting its aims and objectives.

South Seas Distributors Limited

Brands and Products


CHEF’S CHOICE Wet Spices (Bulk)

GROWERS CHOICE Spices (Retail)


KARA (Coconut Cream)


MUM’S CHOICE Wet Spices (Retail)

NORIDA Tomato Paste

SHAHNEEN Hala Cooking Paste

SUGGA’S Vinegar & Pickles

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