ANTAKI GROUP

Lebanon 2019 | RETAIL | INTERVIEW

TBY talks to Christopher Antaki, Managing Partner of Antaki Group on the Lebanese retail sector.

Christopher Antaki

Can you provide an overview of the group's history?

The group was established in 1936 by Gabriel Antaki. It was focused on photography at first, with some Japanese and German brands. During the 70s and mid-90s, one of the main pillars of the group was Maxell, a brand we carry an emotional attachment to. In the early 1990s, the company started diversifying into consumer electronics. In 2006, Farid Antaki took a different approach to the business and decided to focus on brands that invest heavily in R&D, differentiation and have a unique connection with the customers such as Bose, Dyson, DJI Fujifilm, Razer, Yamaha, and others.

What are the opportunities presented by the Lebanese market for tech companies?

Currently, opportunities are almost nonexistent, and if made available the risk is too high. The market has been shrinking heavily for the past two years, and the consumer electronics sector took a hit. However, there are opportunities for start-up companies that are based in Lebanon and cater to the region or even Europe and the US. Some start-ups are being approached by regional VCs to invest and expand their reach.