The Business Year

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Successful companies plan to focus on the key attributes that have made them successful over recent decades.

Emile Mabro

CEO, Kettaneh

Kettaneh Group was established in 1922 by four entrepreneurial brothers who then grew the business through trade with Syria, Iran, Iraq, Egypt, and Jordan. Lebanon was the core from which Kettaneh then serviced the region by bringing in products from countries such as France, Germany, and the US. Lebanon is our most significant market for historical reasons but also because most of our businesses are present here, automotive with Audi, Volkswagen, and Å koda, energy and automation with Siemens, pharmaceuticals, medical, and aesthetic products. We have other revenue streams, namely energy, automation, and construction projects, and this business line is project-driven. In 2017, we had an USD18 million project with Electricité du Liban (EDL), which was a major project. We also have various projects in Saudi Arabia for close to USD80 million. To maintain profitability and efficiency, we ensure every line of business is independent. As CEO, I act as the financier for the businesses. Each business “borrows“ money from the top and must have a business case for the return on those investments. We measure performance quarterly and decide whether to shift financing from one business line to another or growth based on performance and where there is potential for better returns.

Hubert Fattal

Chairman & General Manager, Fattal Group

We are a Lebanese company, and it is our duty as an important player in the economy to continue persevering until we see the light at the end of the tunnel, economy wise. We are certain that once the regional conflicts subside, Lebanon will return to its previous growth levels, and so will our business. Lebanon remains the showcase for the region and is the showcase in our own business in the region. Our healthcare business is thus far the best performing. We represent the top leading firms in this sector that continue introducing new innovative drugs that spur growth. Over and above that, healthcare is less sensitive to economic downturns as compared to other industries. For 2018, we will continue to focus on aggressive growth, both organically and through acquisitions. We will continue improving our efficiency in doing business, which becomes critical in economic downturns. On top of that, we will continue previewing risks and mitigating them in advance. In a nutshell, our plans do not vary much from the plans that led this group to persevere successfully for more than 120 years. Our method to success can be explained in one phrase: resilience, optimism, and business as usual despite all risks.

Tahseen Khayat

Owner, Tahseen Khayat

The main part of Tahseen Khayat Group’s business is publishing, which is a diverse field. We are particularly involved in educational publishing and have publishing houses in Lebanon, the GCC, and the UK. It is not only about textbooks; a great deal of our work is publishing government syllabus and training and developing materials and keeping these up to date. The government, schools, and universities are large clients for Tahseen Khayat Group in all the Arab countries we work in. In some markets, we cater to the needs of private schools and universities, while in others we work with government education institutions. Tahseen Khayat Group has been doing this work for 50 years, and it is not really a matter of expansion; it is more a continued focus on opportunities and upcoming business. We also involved in the engineering and contracting sector. Typically, there are periods of increased activity in the construction business and other times when the industry stagnates. However, it is always a sector in progress. The prospects for the construction sector in Lebanon are extremely positive, despite the various wars and now the Syrian crisis. Despite all this, the construction sector has never gone down.



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