TBY talks to Mehrdad Fakher, CEO of Tipax Holding, on the company's illustrious history, its strategies for expanding overseas, and staying ahead of the competition.
BIOGRAPHYMehrdad Fakher has been the CEO of Tipax since 2011. During his career in the company, he was Vice President from 2005 to 2011, CEO Executive Deputy from 2004 to 2005, CEO Branches Deputy from 2002 to 2004, and the CEO Representative from 2001 to 2002. Fakher holds a bachelor's in business administration from Adamson University in the UK. He also has an MBA, a DBA, and a PhD in management from the University of Industries and Mines.
How has Tipax evolved over its 55-year history to its current leading position in the Iranian courier market?
My father established Tipax 55 years ago as a courier service covering a wide range of activities. As a result of the war with Iraq, some of the services we were offering could not be done privately and passed over to the government's hands. Moreover, our activities abroad were interrupted; 35 years ago we had international branches in London, Frankfurt, and Dubai; however, we had to close them down as we were unable to operate internationally. However, with the lifting of sanctions the doors for Iran and for Tipax are opening. Currently, we are the biggest private courier company in Iran, with 200 branches across the country and 3,000 staff. In order to grow as a holding we are diversifying our activities. First, we started two years ago in the retail business managing three brands in Iran: Lion of Porches, Pepe Jeans, and Pablosky. We are also active in the decoration and furniture industry, mainly office equipment, and are now entering the e-commerce market.
How important is it for Tipax to have an extensive global network of branches abroad and connect with foreign counterparts?
It is part of our strategy to expand to other countries by opening branches. We were able to choose our partners and become international 35 years ago, and now we have the opportunity to move abroad again. We have been signing contracts and partnering with foreign counterparts and are also in talks with European courier services to bring them to Iran and to be our partner in Europe. However, we are not just looking at Europe; at the end of this year, we are going to open a new office in Dubai. The Middle East is definitely another region that we are focusing right now.
How do you assess the competition in the courier market in Iran?
Although there is a lot of competition in the market, Tipax has maintained its leading position for 55 years because we have the trust of Iranian society. People rely on our services, which is our main advantage in comparison to other local or foreign competitors. We provide the fastest courier services in Iran; our price, speed, and accuracy are our three main strengths. Looking at our portfolio, half of our clients are from the general public, while the other half belongs to the business community. In this sense, we do not target any specific sector. Tipax is currently one of the few logistic hubs in Iran, and we are concentrating on modernization more than before. We are conscious of the strategic position this country has in the Middle East to connect Europe and Asia and are going to benefit from it after the lifting of sanctions.
What are your expectations for the year ahead?
We expect much more after the signing of the JCPOA with regard to the ambitious plans the country has for the future. However, I am sure that next year will be much better to do business and Tipax is drafting a plan for this. We will expand outside of Iran by opening an office in Dubai and other branches in Europe and the Middle East. The plan is to have more than 500 branches and to increase our staff to 5,000 people in the courier service. The final objective is to become an international courier service that can compete among the top five in the world with well-known companies like DHL, FedEx, or TNT.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Year In Review
What A Year
Iran awoke to a world of opportunity in early 2016, the lifting of sanctions allowing banks to reconnect to SWIFT, the country's industrial matrix to switch back into top gear, and oil to once again leave Iranian shores. The challenge now is making a success of the brightened prospects.read article
The Fruits of Diplomacy
Since the JCPOA went into effect, trade between Iran and the EU is up by 43%, European banks are working with Iranian counterparts for the first time in years, and sales of Iranian oil have nearly reached their pre-sanctions rate of 4 million bpd; but challenges remain before Iran can take its place in the sun.read article
Dr. Mohsen Jalalpour,, former President, Iran Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines & Agriculture (ICCIMA)
TBY talks to Dr. Mohsen Jalalpour, former President of Iran Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines & Agriculture (ICCIMA), on the private sector's role in driving economic development, attracting FDI, and improving the country's international standing.read article
Focus: Vision 2025
Linking with the Future
According to its strategic plan, Iran seeks to become the Middle East's top power by the next decade. Vision 2025, also called Twenty-Year National Vision, embraces a set of goals to create a knowledge-based society with economic growth. In the context of a year based on a resistant economy, President Rouhani acknowledged that Iran's development depends on its interaction with the world.read article
Dr. Farhad Zargari, Managing Director & Chairman , Foreign Investments Company (IFIC)
TBY talks to Dr. Farhad Zargari, Managing Director & Chairman of Iran Foreign Investments Company (IFIC), on the role of the organization in establishing confidence within the global market.read article
Roadmap to reconnection: Iran-Europe Cooperation after the JCPOA
TBY partnered with the German-Iranian Chamber of Commerce in August to host a post-sanctions roundtable in which banking and industry leaders discussed the opportunities and potentials between Iran and Europe in life after sanctions.read article
Focus: International Banking
Back in the Game
After the sanctions that have restricted Iran's international banking activities over the last four years were lifted, the country suddenly regained access to USD113 billion worth of assets that had been frozen in countries around the world. Since the beginning of 2016, Iran has been making a gradual return to the global banking business, again able to use the SWIFT worldwide transaction network.read article
Dr. Abdolnaser Hemmati, President & Head of High Council, Insurance of Bimeh Markazi Iran (Central Insurance of IR Iran)
TBY talks to Dr. Abdolnaser Hemmati, President & Head of High Council of Insurance of Bimeh Markazi Iran (Central Insurance of IR Iran), on the competitiveness of post-sanction Iran's insurance market and the room for growth.read article
Dr. Ali Hatami, Founder & Managing Partner, Hatami & Associates International Law Firm
TBY talks to Dr. Ali Hatami, Founder & Managing Partner of Hatami & Associates International Law Firm, on the firm's experience in providing legal expertise, the deficiencies of the legal system, and attracting foreign investment to the country.read article
HE Mohammad Reza Nematzadeh, Minister, Industry, Mine and Trade
TBY talks to HE Mohammad Reza Nematzadeh, Minister of Industry, Mine and Trade, on his plans to develop local industrial production, efforts to promote better ties with the EU, and his predictions for the mining sector.read article
Dr. Mansour Moazami, Deputy Minister, Industry, Mine and Trade
TBY talks to Dr. Mansour Moazami, Deputy Minister of Industry, Mine and Trade & Chairman of the Industrial Development & Renovation Organization of Iran (IDRO), on negotiating with foreign companies and his positive outlook for the future.read article
Catalin Sfrija, General Manager, Henkel Pakvash
TBY talks to Catalin Sfrija, General Manager of Henkel Pakvash & President of Henkel Iran, on the unique profile of Iranian consumers, his advice to foreign companies entering the market, and his predictions for the coming period.read article
Dr. Bahram Sobhani, CEO & Managing Director, Mobarakeh Steel Company
TBY talks to Dr. Bahram Sobhani, CEO & Managing Director of Mobarakeh Steel Company, on the appeal of Iranian steel overseas, doing business in the international market, and Iran's plan to be a global steel hub.read article
On the Road
After oil and gas, the automotive industry is the biggest contributor to Iran's GDP, accounting for 10% and employing more than 700,000. Prior to the sanctions in 2013, Iran was producing 1.5 million cars annually. Following a period of setback, the country aims to regain its position as an automotive hub in the Middle East.read article
Naser Taghizadeh,, Managing Director & Member of the Board, Golgohar Mining & Industrial Co.
TBY talks to Naser Taghizadeh, Managing Director & Member of the Board of Golgohar Mining & Industrial Co., on the company's upcoming projects, its global strategy, and cooperating with foreign companies.read article
Focus: Steel, copper, and aluminum exports
At the end of the tunnel
After a decade of sanctions that kept the country out of the Western mineral market, Iran is beginning to regain its position by processing raw materials and exporting finished products, which can help mitigate the circumstances of low prices.read article
Focus: The emergence of e-commerce
Thirsty for e-commerce
The online market has expanded significantly over the last couple of years in Iran. The introduction of high-speed internet and an efficient debit card system has boosted public trust in e-payments. Therefore, the development of e-commerce in one of the world's biggest untapped markets looks promising.read article
Dr. Mohsen Pourseyed Aghaei, Vice Minister, Roads and Urban Development
TBY talks to Dr. Mohsen Pourseyed Aghaei, Vice Minister of Roads and Urban Development & Chairman of the Board and President of the Railways of the Islamic Republic of Iran (RAI), on developing a regional rail network and attracting FDI for its projects.read article
Focus: The aviation industry
An air battle for the Gulf
Since the upsurge of supercarriers based in the Gulf, the Middle East has become a transit point between the east and west. By ordering dozens of long-distance aircraft following the lifting of sanctions, Iran is positioning Tehran as a potential long-term aviation hub to rival Dubai and Doha.read article
Morteza Lotfi, Managing Director & Board Member, Fars & Khuzestan Cement Company (FKCC)
TBY talks to Morteza Lotfi, Managing Director & Board Member of Fars & Khuzestan Cement Company (FKCC), on the company's position in the global market, its plans to expand overseas, and his outlook for the future.read article
Dr. Gholamreza Ansar, Chairman, Iran Housing Investment Company (Khanehsazi)
TBY talks to Dr. Gholamreza Ansari, Chairman of the Iran Housing Investment Company (Khanehsazi), on the company's upcoming construction projects in Iran, its plans to seek more FDI, and the state of urban development in Tehran.read article
Dr. Seyed Amir Mohsen Ziaee, President, Iranian Red Crescent Society (IRCS
TBY talks to Dr. Seyed Amir Mohsen Ziaee, President of Iranian Red Crescent Society (IRCS), on the IRCS' standing in the international community, making Iran a medical tourism hub, and going where the most need is.read article
HE Dr. Masoud Soltanifar, President, Iranian Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts & Tourism Organization (ICHHTO)
TBY talks to HE Dr. Masoud Soltanifar, President of the Iranian Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts & Tourism Organization (ICHHTO) and Vice President of the Islamic Republic of Iran, on increasing tourist arrivals, promoting niche tourism, and expectations for the future.read article
Dr. Ebrahim Salami, Managing Director, Tourism Holding of Social Security Organization (HEGTA)
TBY talks to Dr. Ebrahim Salami, Managing Director of Tourism Holding of Social Security Organization (HEGTA), on health tourism in Iran, building accommodation, and working with international firms.read article