The Business Year

A well-educated population that is open to the latest technologies and a constant flow of talented human resources continue to attract leading tech companies to Lebanon.

Claude J. Bahsali

Chairman & CEO, Information Technology Group (ITG)

ITG is a subsidiary of the Holcom group of companies, which employs roughly 5,700 professionals, out of which around 1,500 are based in Lebanon and the rest spread across the Middle East, Eastern Europe, and Africa. The vast majority of our group’s business is in the ICT sector. ITG is an 800-strong group, whereby 65% of our business is in Lebanon and 35% in other Middle Eastern countries. Our developments revolve around four main pillars. First is IT distribution, a high-volume and low-margin business. We distribute a large portfolio of brands, such as HP, Cisco, Dell/EMC, Canon, Epson, Apple, and other products to resellers. Second, we do systems integration, selling IT infrastructure and related solutions directly to end users. Our third pillar relates to the provision of power protection and data center solutions, including uninterrupted power supplies (UPS), precision air conditioning, and related solutions. Huge deficiencies in Lebanon’s electricity network represented an opportunity for us, and we are market leaders in this segment. This third pillar also comprises the supply of renewable energy solutions. The fourth pillar concerns application software. In brief, we focus on five main verticals: banking and finance, telecom, hospitality, healthcare, and higher education solutions. The whole IT market is shifting from a traditional “buying and selling“ operations to building more added values and developing service-based businesses. As a group, we started driving on that path a few years ago.

Saad al Jamal

CEO, Ja Square Lebanon

Ja Square originates from a French company. My brother and I obtained the first license in the region to operate in Lebanon. We started by selling what the French company was designing, though we later began developing in-house products and signing partnerships with international companies. Most of our products are related to home automation and site monitoring for telecoms companies. We have a similar product line for residential users and companies that includes cameras and sensors for humidity, smoke, and so on. Lebanon is Ja Square’s headquarters for the Middle East and Africa. The company has strong investments in Egypt and plans to expand into Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and Algeria. There are numerous opportunities across Lebanon, and we are also preparing ourselves for Syria’s reconstruction. We are active on several fronts that, combined, will enable Lebanon to start working on smart cities. In Egypt, we have started working on a smart city program, and we look forward to approaching the municipality of Beirut to implement IoT. We already have our own platform implemented with two operators, Touch and Alfa, reaching a combined 4.4 million subscribers, and we will soon start testing with Ogero. Moreover, the company is about to launch smart metering for electricity and water; we are also developing a similar system for fuel and gas. Once electricity, water, waste, and power are connected and integrated through IoT technology, it will be possible to start building a smart city.

Doumit J. Raidy

Managing Director, Doumit J. Raidy

The company was established in 1973 as a normal printing company and subsequently evolved into a one-stop shop that covers the complete spectrum of printing services. We later added security documents and 3D printing. 3D printing represents the future for us. Coming from a printing background did not facilitate our access to this nascent market populated by IT companies. However, we leveraged our reputation and size to acquire the best brands and eventually developed as regional market leaders. Today, we represent the leading brands from Europe and the US, with offices in Beirut and Dubai and a rich reseller network across the region. Since Lebanon and the Middle East are not big on manufacturing, we decided to focus on professional 3D printers. We provide small desktop 3D printer solutions with industrial-grade quality. We are the sole distributors in the region of the top three brands in the world. We represent Dutch brand Ultimaker and Italian brand WASP, which provide the best model for fused deposition modeling, and US brand Formlabs, which offers stereolithography printers. The main industries that benefit from our printers are engineering, education, architecture, jewelry, dental, prototyping, and fabrication labs. We are the sole distributor for the top 10 universities in Beirut. Since 2012, Raidy 3D has grown 100% YoY, accounting for around 15% of our turnover. We intend to focus more on Raidy 3D and make the business robust enough so that it can become a standalone company.

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