KEYS TO SUCCESS

Kuwait 2016 | TOURISM & RETAIL | INTERVIEW

TBY talks to Abdul Mohsen Behbehani, Director of the Behbehani Group, on staying competitive in the luxury brand industry and the latest trends in Kuwait.

Abdul Mohsen Behbehani
BIOGRAPHY
For Abdul Mohsen Behbehani, the watch industry is part of his DNA. His personal collection of watches is a collectors dream and he can name every model and component. His most treasured memento is his first, which his grandfather gave him. Watchmaking and automotive was always his passion and he would spend his evenings in the family showrooms, helping the sales assistants. In 2004, Abdul Mohsen joined the company to assist with the new strategy—the company had undergone a rapid expansion and the third generation of the Behbehani family had already stepped in. Abdul Mohsen also prides himself on the company’s open door policy, which has fostered an environment of unparalleled loyalty over the generations.

What were the keys to success of Behbehani Group over the past few years?

We have achieved so much in the last few years. We have officially partnered with many luxury brands, expanded boutiques, opened new boutiques to enhance the customer experience, and have maintained our sales by investing and organizing events that strengthen the relationship with our customers. It was my grandfather Morad Yousuf Behbehani's vision to bring the most luxurious brands to Kuwait, and my father followed the same path by expanding the portfolio of the Group. At this stage we are focusing on enhancing customer experience and providing the highest level of service and after service. It is the trust we maintain with our brands and the strong relationship that we maintain that has kept us in this position in the industry. We know our brands. This has worked for us so far and we intend on working with the same goals and hope that it strengthens our position further.

What trends are you seeing in the luxury brand market in Kuwait?

Customers have become more attentive to details, hence, we realized that luxury brands in Kuwait should provide the same service and experience that customers are getting in Europe or USA. Moreover, customers in Kuwait are following international luxury trends and they are up to date with all the events and activities that are taking place internationally. Kuwaitis are always accepting new trends and they are always eager to try new things and see what fits them best, be it bohemian, artsy, chic, classic or other styles; they are constantly changing with the world, but as always, staying connected with their roots—never straying from their authentic culture.

What are your expectations for 2016?

We have high expectations for 2016. We intend to expand our business further, but it is difficult to predict exact growth levels and maintain the same profits, which fluctuate. At the moment, we see a slight set back in the Kuwaiti economy but it is still firm. According to Alpen capital, it is and despite any short-term factors, the retail sector is predicted to remain robust in the long term. I also see long-term potential in the Kuwaiti consumer market, particularly for non-essential items and aspirational purchasing by younger consumers whose incomes are rising. I cannot predict the same for the other GCC countries, but I do wish the same for them.