This story is one of a five-part series titled Brands of Jordan.
What is it?
No Jordanian home is complete without a Romo gas heater.
How did it Start?
Romo International was established in 1978. Eid Dahdal, the company’s founder and CEO, takes pride in the fact that his company is a Jordanian brand that mainly caters to the needs of the local market, from gas heaters, to solar water heaters, fans and even ACs.
To understand the needs of the local market, the company continuously carries out surveys so they can develop better products. Thanks to these surveys Romo International developed its gas heater’s characteristics, modernizing its aesthetics and functions.
“What has differentiated us throughout the years is that research and development has been the most important aspect of our work,” Dahdal said.
Additionally, to guarantee products that meet international standards training is a continuous process for the company’s 72 employees, who double in number during the winter season due to the growing demand for gas heaters.
The company manufactures up to 80,000 gas heaters annually, 25 percent of which is exported. Although Romo International used to export to Syria, Lebanon, and Iraq, the closure of the borders with Syria and Iraq has left it with one export market, which is the West Bank.
Romo International is currently establishing a plant that will manufacture ovens in Turkey. According to Dahdal, Jordan remains a small market and through Turkey they can export to countries in North Africa like Libya and Algeria. He voiced hope the Iraqi and Syrian borders will reopen so shipping prices and time would go down again. Furthermore, the company is eyeing to branch out into renewable energy, which he believes is the natural expansion for a company like Romo International.
What is it?
Royal Jordanian is the Kingdom’s flag carrier.
How did it Start?
The late King Hussein asked Ali Ghandour, who was vice president of Lebanon International Airways, to establish the Kingdom’s national air carrier in 1963.
“I want our national carrier to be our ambassador of good will around the world and a bridge across which we exchange culture, civilization, trade, technology, friendship and better understanding with the rest of the world,” said King Hussein.
The national carrier’s first aircraft was leased from the Lebanese airlines and in a week, it started offering round trips from Amman to Jerusalem and Lebanon. During his time with Royal Jordanian, Ghandour established a training center for technicians, pilots, and administrators. RJ was then listed on the Amman Stock Exchange in 2007, and joined the oneworld airline alliance in 2007 to remain competitive.
The company, which celebrated its golden jubilee in 2013, has been struggling with finances for years now, particularly high running costs and the increased instability in the region which forced it to shut some of its routes, including Damascus, Tripoli, and Sanaa. However, its newly appointed CEO Stefan Pichler, who had previously worked for Lufthansa, Fiji Airways, and Air Berlin has been busy coming up with measures to lower RJ’s costs and increase profits.
The airline put forth a six-pillar business plan for 2015-2019, which included shutting down some routes, reviewing its aircraft ownership structure, efficient use of fuel, boosting revenue and increasing the number of passengers. Following his appointment, Pichler adopted further measures to help the airline, including canceling hot meals on short haul flights and reducing ticket prices for most destinations during the winter season to attract more customers. “We are listening to our customers and in the last weeks, I have heard some complaints about the pricing policy of RJ. Well, we will make up for it with our first ever global network sale,” Pichler said.
What is it?
Siniora Food Industries Company has grown over the decades to become a leading manufacturer of cold cuts in the region.
How did it Start?
Siniora wasn’t launched in Jordan but was established in Jerusalem in 1920. Nonetheless, the company managed to build a formidable brand name for itself in the Kingdom where it built a factory in 1948. It imports raw meat that is then processed in its factory in Sahab.
For a quick glimpse into the transformation process Venture visited the company’s plant where raw meat goes through the preparation area where a magnetic detector checks for metals. It is then chopped, spiced, and soya and starch are added. After being registered as a limited liability company in 1992, Siniora Food Industries became a shareholding company in 2012, listing its shares on the Amman Stock Exchange, to facilitate future investments.
The company, whose majority of shares are owned by the Arab Palestinian Investment Company at 61.18 percent, started off in Jordan with JD400,000 in paid-up capital, and increased its capital over several occasions. The most recent was in 2016 when the company’s general assembly agreed to increase its paid up capital by JD3 million to JD18 million.
In 2011, Siniora acquired Unium Canned Meat, which was the largest investment in the company’s history at the time. With the acquisition, the company increased its capacity utilization from 50 percent to 85 percent. In 2016, the company also acquired 70 percent of Diamond Meat Processing Company, which is located in Dubai. Siniora also operates in Saudi Arabia, which is another important market for them, coming right after Jordan and Palestine. Siniora Food Industries hopes for more investments in the future and to penetrate the US and EU markets.
This story is one of a five-part series titled Brands of Jordan. Brought to you by the Safehouse / Arab Insurance Co in cooperation with the Housing Bank for Trade & Finance. To see the previous story, click here.