There are few more competitive industries than wholesale grocery. Working to tight margins, firms must compete with each other, while their customers battle the supermarkets and their expanding estates of smaller shops and immense buying power.

So looking at how United Wholesale (Scotland) has grown in the last decade, much credit is due to its young managing director Asim Sarwar – who was just 25 when he took over from his brother Athif in 2007.

While the business has been making headlines for the dividends paid out to shareholder, and Scottish Labour leadership hopeful, Anas Sarwar, his brother has grown revenue from £117m when he took over to £234m last year.

Loading article content

It is not all organic. The acquisition in 2014 of the M9 Cash & Carry in Grangemouth, opened up the east coast market for the Glasgow group – though a long-planned opening in Newbridge has been beset by delays.

Building that platform for further growth in both its cash and carry business, and more importantly for the Day Today and U-Save chains it runs in Scotland has come at the right time.

With Tesco’s (likely) acquisition of Booker and the Co-op moving for Nisa, the market is about to get even tighter, while creeping inflation and a wage squeeze makes every pound harder to fight for.