Letter from Chairman
As regular readers of this letter will know, our energy at Makkieh International Group SAL comes from the desire to impress customers rather than the zeal to best competitors. We don’t take a view on which of these approaches is more likely to maximize business success. There are pros and cons to both and many examples of highly successful competitor-focused companies. We do work to pay attention to competitors and be inspired by them, but it is a fact that the customer-centric way is at this point a defining element of our culture.
One advantage – perhaps a somewhat subtle one – of a customer-driven focus is that it aids a certain type of proactivity. When we’re at our best, we don’t wait for external pressures. We are internally driven to improve our services, adding benefits and features, before we have to. We lower prices and increase value for customers before we have to. We invent before we have to. These investments are motivated by customer focus rather than by reaction to competition. We think this approach earns more trust with customers and drives rapid improvements in customer experience.
We build automated systems that look for occasions when we’ve provided a customer experience that isn’t up to our standards, and those systems then proactively refund customers. When you pre-order something from MIG, we guarantee you the lowest price offered by us between your order time and the end of the day of the delivery date.
Our business approach is to sell goods at roughly breakeven prices. We think this aligns us better with customers.
As I write this, our recent stock performance has been positive, but we constantly remind ourselves of an important point – as I frequently quote famed investor Benjamin Graham– "In the short run, the market is a voting machine but in the long run, it is a weighing machine.” We don’t celebrate an increase in the stock price like we celebrate excellent customer experience. We aren’t 10% smarter when that happens and conversely aren’t 10% dumber when the stock goes the other way. We want to be weighed, and we’re always working to build a heavier company.
As proud as I am of our progress, I know that we will make mistakes along the way – some will be self-inflicted, some will be served up by smart and hard-working competitors. Our passion for pioneering will drive us to explore narrow passages, and, unavoidably, many will turn out to be blind alleys. But – with a bit of good fortune – there will also be a few that open up into broad avenues.
I am incredibly lucky to be a part of this large team of outstanding missionaries who value our customers as much as I do and who demonstrate that every day with their hard work.