Michael Sayegh

CHAIRMAN OF SAYEGH GROUP

Jordan 2016  I  Economy  I  Interview

BIOGRAPHY A prominent Jordanian businessman, he was born in Jaffa in 1946, received his high school diploma from Al Hussein College in 1966 and has joined the family business in the early 1970s after completing his Bachelor’s Degree in Political Sciences and Business Management at the University of Jordan.

OUR GROUP COMPRISES 35 COMPANIES, EMPLOYING MORE THAN 5,000 PEOPLE WITH A PRESENCE ACROSS THE MIDDLE EAST AND BEYOND.

NEARLY 80 YEARS LATER, SAYEGH GROUP IS ONE OF THE MIDDLE EAST’S MOST SUCCESSFUL COMPANIES. CAN YOU GIVE US AN OVERVIEW OF THE GROUP’S ACTIVITIES?

Sayegh Group was established in Palestine in 1932 and in Jordan in 1948 and it’s involved in a host of sectors, including industry, chemicals, real estate, mining, banking, media, and broadcasting. Our group consists of 35 companies, employing more than 5,000 people with a presence across the Middle East and beyond.

 

My father Faeq Ibrahim founded our group over 80 years ago and his legacy remains important within the family and the business. The main driving force behind Sayegh Group’s long-standing success is building a family business on the foundation of family solidarity and kindness, something our father ingrained in us during our childhood. His guidance to his children has forged an unshakeable bond among us.

WHAT IS THE GROUP’S STRATEGY FOR THE NEXT FIVE YEARS?

Our core business is paints manufacturing which forms the heart of Al Sayegh Group, and our family name was associated with National Paints Brand. Our strategy is based on expanding our business to international markets, especially Europe and East Asia. Currently, we are focused on Romania, India, Iran, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, and Saudi Arabia. We are looking forward to increasing our production capacity and continuing to provide all types of paints that accommodate the needs of our strategic markets. Nevertheless, we are also looking forward to delve into the mining industry.

 

The Sayegh Group board of directors is currently proceeding in carrying out a profound restructure of the investments. This would eventually intermingle diverse group business activities undergoing the same policy; culminating in proper development of offered service. Wisdom has led us to allow the loyal, young generation to manage since they are conscious of the great legacy that has been built in Palestine, Jordan, and throughout the years.

SAYEGH GROUP IS AN EXAMPLE OF AN ENDURING FAMILY BUSINESS. IN YOUR OPINION, WHAT ARE THE MAIN REASONS FOR SUCCESS?

Most importantly, the main reason behind the success of the group is the devotion and family solidarity that extend towards all our companies and employees. Nevertheless, we also enforce extensive efforts into human resources and assigning efficient workforce. Moreover, the first generation has led us, trained us, and given us the confidence that rendered us to become pioneers in our business, and sustain prosperity over the coming years. The third generation is being granted all what is needed to proceed in the prosperity of the group.

HOW IMPORTANT IS IT TO INVEST IN LOCAL COMMUNITIES AND WHAT IS YOUR CSR STRATEGY?

Investment in the local community is often a duty and not an investment. Our responsibility is to create jobs and help the local communities to raise the standard of living and bear the burdens of life without considering the profit.

 

We are also keen to support initiatives and programs aiming at improving the standards of living, as well as education, supporting cultural and sport activities and other programs that form the basis of social responsibility. We believe that goodness cannot be provided but shared, that’s why we live the joy of success and progress through direct support and participation in associations and institutions that serve the community.

WHAT DO YOU BELIEVE IS NEEDED FOR JORDAN TO ACHIEVE ITS FULL ECONOMIC POTENTIAL?

Obviously, Jordan is a small state with very limited and poor resources; however, we believe that the resources are not measured by their abundance or scarcity, rather by the ability to create, innovate, and confront the challenges. This can be achieved by focusing on school and university incentives in developing intellectual skills and creativity, which has motivated many developing countries to succeed.

 

I think that the vital element that affects various economic attainments is the state economy policy of the decision makers. This leads to accelerate the pace of growth by developing strategies and policies that stimulate and incubate investors, especially for the microeconomics.

 

One exemplary proof of this is the media industry and information technology, which is considered as one of the largest sources of revenue in many countries and is believed to be vulnerable in Jordan. Among the most important elements is the absence of individual motivation or the so-called dedication to change; it is a culture and way of upbringing that should be taught to the youngsters at schools and universities to learn that ‘No accomplishments with No dreams’.