BUILDING ON A SOLID FOUNDATION

Sharjah 2020 | INDUSTRY | INTERVIEW

A third-generation family company, Sedar has garnered a strong reputation over the years by following the golden rule of prioritizing customer satisfaction.

Bashar Selo
BIOGRAPHY
Bashar Selo is the President & CEO of Sedar Global, positions he has held since 1979. Selo has a bachelor’s degree in business administration and management from the American University in Beirut.

What have been some of the milestones and achievements of Sedar Global?

Sedar Global is a family-owned company; it was established by my grandfather in 1892. He started expanding the company by entering the commerce, trade, and industry sectors. We also work in paint, construction, general trade, building materials, and properties. In the early 1970s, with the emergence of aluminum, we introduced vertical blinds, and in 1979, we built a factory that helped us expand in the Gulf region and beyond. We added more products together with window coverings, such as awnings, curtains, roman blinds, and wallpapers. In 2014, we started considering expanding beyond the Gulf and started to sell franchises. It took us about a year after we developed the concept in 2014 to develop the necessary elements for a successful franchise; we are renowned throughout the Mediterranean. In 2016, we opened our first factory and showroom in Egypt. We have participated in several specialty exhibitions, including in Singapore, Turkey, and Germany. We are pleased with the results of our efforts. In less than three years, we have covered a fairly large area. We currently have five factories in the Gulf region and beyond, 26 showrooms, and over 1,000 staff. We have many contracts with high-reputation hotel chains and clients and are the sole supplier for many hotels.

What are some recent developments for your portfolio?

Being the third generation of a successful business, we have our ethics. We do not care about competition. We have our own training academy for sales and technicians, and we never badmouth other companies. Our recent portfolio includes our franchises at the top of the list, and this gives us a strong push for more global activities. This has been fairly successful in a short period of time. We are the sole supplier for many institutions and business. We even export our products to Canada. Before focusing on franchises, we were taking on projects in Russia, CIS, Africa, and Europe. We are also planning to establish franchises in Africa. Egypt and Morocco are two countries we are focusing on.

How will AI change your operations and the industry?

It is important to stay up to date with the latest technologies. This is why we created our own IT unit. Our IT employees are always working on developing innovative products. Our pride is the Spine program, which monitors all activities of the company. Whenever any client enters a showroom in Cairo, for example, we will know what they looked at and what they ordered. This is something that was developed by our own IT team. We have a partnership with Somfy, a French company specializing automation. We are the only company that offers a 10-year warranty for motors. People are becoming increasingly interested in home automation for not just curtains but lights and more. All our showrooms have e-catalogs, and all our salespeople are equipped with tablets that contain a list of our entire product range because it is impossible to display all our products. At present, our priority is to develop an e-commerce solution in line with the clients' needs.

What are your goals and priories for the coming year?

Our slogan is “the client is king." The client is at the center of all our actions. Notably, we were one of the first companies to establish a customer satisfaction department. The department stays in touch with clients to ensure everything is in order. If the client is not satisfied, we follow up with it immediately. Our idea is to not just satisfy people but to impress them. Our goal is to stay up to date with the best and latest selections and options. Moving forward, we have plans to inject new blood into the company. We see 2019 as the end of the crisis, and in line with this, our aim is to launch our e-commerce platform by the end of the year.