United Wholesale Grocers Ltd is a family owned and run business. UWG, the brand that exists today in Glasgow, is the result of over thirty five years of hard work by my father, Mr Mohammad Ramzan, who started out with a fiver in his pocket, and is today the owner of a multi-million pound empire that we operate today.
My father arrived in Glasgow from Pakistan in 1974 and was always destined to work in Retail and Wholesale. His first venture was selling clothes door-to-door which included travelling to places such as Dunoon in which he had to take a bus, train then ferry to reach his destination. He would carry a suitcase and cover more than six miles of land by foot.
My father had a lot of friends in the Grocery Sector and took major interest in this market. In 1975, after saving up enough money, he opened his first convenience store, an empty property that needed a complete renovation whilst continuing the door-to-door business. His efforts paid off and in the first year his turn over was £4,500 a week.
A year later he purchased a second shop nearby, and it was here that the opportunity came along to enter the wholesale industry.
A regular dairy products supplier went out of business so my father saw the opportunity to fill this gap and supply all the local stores in the area. In 1977 he opened a small 2,000 sq ft premises and soon added more ranges like confectionery, snacks and tobacco. The business thrived to achieve a £16 million turnover.