In 1956, Mr. Adnan Makkieh started out a small business in Baalbek.
Despite the events in Lebanon and the geographical fragmentation at the time, he strived and struggled and worked hard for 33 years and never hesitated to endanger himself in order to maintain the continuity of the business.
In 1989, his son Mohamad joined the business, and started developing work and by 1994 the name of Makkieh was shining in the Beqaa governorate. At that point, Mr. Adnan and Mr. Mohamad, ambitious and craving for more success, and with their wide experience by then, found that the Beqaa became smaller to grow and decided to move the business to Beirut, the capital of Lebanon.
Late 1997, after finishing all the legal and logistics issues, they moved to continue their journey in the capital Beirut.
As any new company when it opens in a new and strange market, it faces many obstacles and big competitors at the level of the capital, but with determination, ambition, very good reputation in companies, transparency, legal and straight work, business background and experience, we did not give up!
With the support of Mr. Adnan and personal effort of Mr. Mohamad, who has been tired, diligent and worked very hard most of the time for consecutive days, also with the help of his brother Mr. Mostafa who joined them since then and still, a gradual growth was made even through hard times in the country. We have managed in a few years to be a difficult figure in Beirut.
After several years of hard working and struggling and family bonding through it all, such as they were raised by Mr. Adnan on commitment and love of work and belonging, the company was able to be one the best leading companies all over Lebanon.
Today, Makkieh is one of the leading players in the FMCG market in Lebanon, with a diversified product portfolio.
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.