EVERY BRAND HAS A STORY! SOME STORIES HAVE A RICH LEGACY THAT STRETCHES BACK DECADES, WHILE OTHERS DON’T HAVE NEARLY AS MUCH HERITAGE.
By Ghalia Mousa & Yousef G. Baarah
Brand heritage is a communication asset for the company, a cultural heritage treasure for the country and an emotional journey for the consumer. In this section, in a timeline style, we will shed light on 50 valuable and authentic local and global trademarks (25 local brands and 25 global brands) that possess a rich history and most importantly are associated with positive connotations for the consumers.
Part 1/Local Brands
Jordan’s 25 Historical Trademarks
BRAND HERITAGE: Since 1860
CEO: “AHMAD RAMZY” ZALATIMO
In 1860, Mohammad Zalatimo opened a small pastry shop in the old city of Jerusalem. There he created a thin, multi-layered craft pastry called “Mutabak”. Overtime, Zalatimo Sweets became a name synonymous with great taste, quality and authenticity. Zalatimo Sweets established itself in Amman, Jordan in 1986 and has since been expanding both locally and regionally. Currently, there are twelve retail outlets in Jordan and one in Kuwait. Offering Arabic Sweets and fine pastries, Zalatimo Sweet’s story continues with their local favorite patisserie venue “La Mirabelle”. It is one of a kind pastry shop and café that has two branches in Amman, offering exquisite pastries, cakes and gourmet dishes, they also cater to various events. The company further delved into another gourmet sweets service, “Lausanne Chocolate”, bringing to Jordan the true taste of fine Belgian chocolate. From a one-pastry shop to dominating the catering and sweets field in Jordan, the brand’s longevity undoubtedly stems from its attention to quality and the spirit of familial heritage.
OFFTEC HOLDING GROUP
BRAND HERITAGE: Since 1910
CEO: BASIM SAID
OFFTEC Holding Group is a leading business technology solutions company. Originally founded in 1910, as the ‘Palestine Educational Company’, it served its clients with stationary items, furniture and general office supplies, with branches in Jerusalem and Jaffa. Today, the company’s multi-sector clients’ portfolios range from educational institutions to banking and governmental agencies. It is headquartered in Jordan, with operations out of Palestine, Sudan and Iraq. Founded in Jerusalem, OFFTEC offers over a century worth of business and technology solutions in the areas of cyber security, software solutions, banking and office technologies, physical security solutions and IT infrastructure, among others. Alwasleh, founded in 2011, specializes in financial solutions and leasing for small and medium businesses across the kingdom, while ePoints is a customer reward platform that spans retail and hospitality among other sectors. With over 100 years of experience and expertise, OFFTEC has fostered longstanding mutual partnerships with more than 50 top-brand suppliers from around the globe.
SINIORA FOOD INDUSTRIES COMPANY
Brand Heritage: Since 1920
CEO: TAREQ AQQAD
Today, Siniora Food Industries supplies canned meats and cold cuts across Jordan and much of the Middle East region. The beloved meat products brand, Siniora, was founded in 1920 in Jerusalem and expanded to Sahab, Jordan in 1992 when Siniora Food Industries factory was established to cater to the high demand of processed meat products. The Arab Palestinian Investment Company acquired both branches in 1996, further aiding its advancement to the regional market. Its products have expanded to include more than 160 products, including frozen foods, a large assortment of cold cuts, luncheon, canned and roasted meats. Siniora became a public shareholding company in 2010, boasting factories in Jordan, Palestine, Saudi Arabia and the UAE. In 2011, Siniora bought Unium, a move that complimented its brand and consolidated its lead in the canned meats sector.
KASIH FOOD PRODUCTION
Brand Heritage: Since 1926
CEO: KHALID KASIH
Kasih Food Production Company manufactures canned Mediterranean delicacies, including humus, foul, and Jameed. It was established in Amman in 1926 by Haj Raslan Kasih. In the beginning, the company specialized in producing halva and tahini sesame seed paste. In 1994, building on the mother company’s reputation as a leading food manufacturer, an affiliate company was set up to produce canned food, including their now famous humus and Jameed, which became fully independent under the name of Kasih Food Production Company in 2002. The company specializes in Mediterranean products, including tomato paste and different types of soups and beans. Today Kasih Food Production Company exports 50 percent of its total production to Iraq, the United States, the GCC, Pakistan, Poland, Italy, and Russia.
T. GARGOUR & FILS CO.
Brand Heritage: Since 1928
CHAIRMAN: RAJA GARGOUR
The late Tawfiq Gargour established TGF in 1928 in Jaffa, Palestine. It traded first in oranges, offering the fruit in return for a few shipments of cars, which consolidated a fruitful relationship with Mercedes-Benz in Germany. Today, Gargour Shipping Company has come a long way from being the agent for the first vessel to enter Aqaba Port in 1953. The company is specialized in reefer cargo under Associated Levant Lines that ran regularly from Europe to the Levant from the 1960’s until the late 1990’s. TGF shipping and logistical services extend to offices in Amman, Aqaba, Beirut, Bethlehem, Tartous, Latakia, Baghdad, Basra and Umm Qasr. Moreover, TGF is the agent for luxury automobiles such as Mercedes-Benz, Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge and Maserati, In Jordan, Lebanon and Palestine, in addition to other car brands such as Fiat and Alfa Romeo. The company also extended its automotive dealings to lubricants and Michelin tires.
Brand Heritage: Since 1930
CHAIRMAN: SABIH AL-MASRI
Arab Bank’s international presence and lead truly encapsulates it as one of the main pillars of Jordan’s economic foundation. Abdulhamid Shoman began the Arab Bank with seven investors in 1930 and a startup capital of 15,000 Palestinian Pounds. The bank moved its headquarters from Jerusalem to Amman in 1948 due to regional conflicts. The bank rapidly expanded during the 40’s and 50’s across the Arab region, becoming a catalyst for Arab economies. It also became the first Arab financial institution in Switzerland in 1961 when it opened its first international location. Today, Arab Bank boasts over 600 branches across five continents. In 2006, Europe Arab Bank was established in London as a subsidiary among numerous other subsidiaries and sister companies of the Arab Bank. The AH Shoman Foundation was established in 1978 for the development of cultural and social innovation, among other CSR initiatives of the Arab Bank.
Brand Heritage: Since 1935
CEO: YOUSEF JABRI
In 1935, Subhi Jabri established what was to become the renowned catering establishment and an FMCG manufacturer. The legend began in Al Hashmi Street, located in downtown Amman, Jordan, where he established his first business. Subsequently, due to his dedicated hard work and success, he relocated to King Hussein Street in 1962, where he established the landmark “Jabri Restaurant”. He began catering to customers at their homes for lunches and events, and also catered on many private and public occasions to His Majesty, the late King Hussein. Subhi Jabri’s devotion, commitment to excellence and dynamic personality ensured his success, and the restaurant was, and still is, acclaimed as one of the best in Amman.
Brand Heritage: Since 1947
CEO: MUNTHER HABIBAH
A family-owned sweets business that became famed for its unbeatable Kunafa began in Jerusalem, established by Al-Haj Mahmoud Habibah, who opened shop at Bab Al-Khalil in 1947. The following year, he moved his shop to operate in Jordan, together with his brother Ahmad they established Al-Haj Hamoud Habibah Sweets in downtown Amman. Slowly but surely, the demand for Habibah’s products and their customer base expanded, and in 1966 the brothers separated to work independently. Al-Haj founded in 1985 “Al-Haj Mahmoud Habibah & Sons Co.” assisted by his two sons Hani and Hisham, opening new branches across Amman. A staple at Jordanian festivities, the company further developed Arabic delights to complement its celebrated Kunafa. Their branches have expanded across the capital, including the original downtown branch that ignited the love of Kunafa.
JORDAN AHLI BANK
Brand Heritage: Since 1955
CHAIRMAN: SAAD MOUASHER
Ahli Bank, the first national bank located in East Jordan, has been in operation for more than 60 years. Gaining a powerful position in the local banking sector, it is committed to sustainable and comprehensive economic development. These commitments are implemented towards their customers as well as their employees as the bank has also utilized environmental considerations in its work environment. Ahli Bank boasts an unrivalled collection of coins through its Numismatic Museum; the oldest coin in the collection dates back to 600 B.C. The museum also exists as part of the bank’s cultural contribution efforts towards their clients. Ahli Bank also offers sponsoring of many programs that extend to supporting innovation and scientific research, the arts, culture and education. They currently have 63 branches and offices across Jordan and Palestine and with a presence in Cyprus.
JORDAN PETROLEUM REFINERY
Brand Heritage: Since 1956
CEO: ENG. KARIM ALAWIN
The Jordan Petroleum Refinery is the only refinery in Jordan. The late King Hussein Bin Talal inaugurated the refinery in 1961, and since then it has been an engine for the growth of Jordan in the oil and gas industry. Offering various petroleum products and oil-derivatives, the company supplies sectors such as electricity and transport. Its services across the country include distribution, refining, transportation, loading, an LPG cylinders factory and gas stations. Their main products include fuel, asphalt and lubrication oil. The company also prioritizes the health of its workers and environmental impact through a series of programs and inspections. They consider these initiatives critical in reducing the negative environmental impacts resulting from the activities of the refinery. They are also keen on supporting local educational institutes, clubs and governmental institutions.
Brand Heritage: Since 1956
CEO: DR. MAEN NSOOR
The sole producer of potash in the region and eighth largest producer worldwide, the Arab Potash Company was established as a pan-Arab endeavor. Today, it employs more than 2,000 workers across Jordan. The company was granted exclusive rights to extract and manufacture minerals from the Dead Sea until 2058. In 2004, it opened its first overseas sale office in Malaysia, and in 2014 APC opened a second sales office in India. Since then, APC has continued to grow and expand. As of 2019, they have reported a 48% revenue growth in the first half of the year, including over 2 million hours without lost time injury and boasting $121 million in revenue during 2019’s third quarter. While potash is mostly used as a plant fertilizer, APC also seeks to protect the very nature it reaps by implementing a strict environment management system through resource and energy conservation, waste reduction and recycling, as well as use of Natural Gas in production to reduce emissions.
Brand Heritage: Since 1957
CEO: OSAMA IMSEEH
Karam Imseeh began crafting gold in his home using his hands. Slowly he began selling his creations to small shops around Amman. In the early 60’s he employed 12 employees to assist him. He then opened his first shop in downtown Amman and exported to Egypt and Palestine. In 1982 Imseeh had three branches across town, four years later they were all merged into one at Amman’s Gold Souk. In 1990, Imseeh established the biggest gold factory in Jordan and shortly afterwards opened a flagship store in Um Uthaina. Imseeh would go on to assemble five companies, run by his sons; and, in 2005, an initiative targeting local talent development was launched as “Karam Imseeh Award for Jewelry Design”. In 2008, Osama Imseeh was elected as the President of the Jordanian Jewelers Association, and in 2016 a new gold factory was set up and began operations.
FINE HYGIENIC HOLDING
Brand Heritage: Since 1958
Founder Elia Nuqul established Nuqul Brothers Company in 1952 as a trade and import business for food and consumer goods. He noticed the unavailability of hygienic paper in the Middle East region and sought to close the market gap by establishing Fine Hygienic Holding, that produced toilet paper and facial tissues, making it the first Jordanian company to enter the industry. Fine quickly became a household name and expanded its product line with new hygienic solutions. Today, Fine caters to baby and adult care and offers business solutions. Their products reach 75 countries worldwide. The company operates in Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the UAE and Morocco. They also own four paper mills and a printing press. Fine recently added Nai Arabia 100% natural beverages to its company in their effort to incorporate wellness beyond products.
CONSOLIDATED CONSULTANTS GROUP
Brand Heritage: Since 1960
CHAIRMAN: SAID FAHED ABUJABER
CC Group’s birth began in the field of engineering, but in 1993 it was reformed to combine several Jordanian engineering firms by Said Abu Jaber. They were the first to manage and supervise dams, tunnels, and other engineering projects in the company. In 1998 CC Group received the Al Hussein Medal by his Majesty King Hussein for the design and management of the Karameh Dam construction. They designed the Jordan Museum, the Royal Automobile Museum and other urban projects for which they have won many prestigious awards. Expanding into the MENA region, CC Group has another office in Saudi Arabia and are also present in Iraq, the UAE and Lebanon. They partnered with renowned architect Jafar Tukan in 2003 and established the Jafar Tukan Library, unique for its collection of architecture books and resources.
Brand Heritage: Since 1963
CEO: STEFAN PICHLER
Royal Jordanian airlines was established by Royal Decree by His Majesty King Hussein as the national air carrier of Jordan. It has risen with quality and efficiency to compete with international airlines through using state of the art technologies and facilities. RJ joined OneWorld alliance in 2007, enabling RJ customers to travel to more than 1,000 cities with one stop through Amman. The company has also revamped its fleet, most notably adding five Boeing 787s in 2015, and with further additions in the years that followed. RJ’s subsidiary is Royal Wings, which caters to charter business. RJ contributes to 3% of the country’s GDP, and as of 2017, employs more than 4,000 staff members. In 2018, RJ was awarded Four Stars in the Global APEX Awards for the second year, a prestigious award that relies solely on passenger’s feedback, which demonstrates RJ’s tangible commitment to its clients.
Brand Heritage: Since 1963
CEO: NABIL HAMMOUDEH
Hammoudeh Group was founded as a single group in the early 60’s for the production of animal feed. Abdul Hadi Hammoudeh combined the success he enjoyed in the chemical trading business and built a giant in agribusiness with its expansion into poultry in the 70’s. In the decades to come, the group would grow into dairy production and the establishment of a livestock farm. The 90’s witnessed the construction of a paint factory and investment in storage silos and warehouses for critical cereals. Today the company employees more than 1,500 employs with 13 companies including its expansion into chemicals and paints. The companies include Modern Paints & Chemicals, Hammoudeh Bros for Trading and Investment Jordan Chemicals Co. Ltd, and many more. Hammoudeh Group today is still run by Hammoudeh family members who are the successors of the late Abdul Hadi.
Brand Heritage: Since 1964
CEO: MICHAEL SAYEGH
National Paints was founded under Sayegh Group, a family run business of 35 companies in Jordan. In 1977, National Paints Factories Co. Ltd. began operations in Sharjah, UAE, and has established 14 paint and three resin plants with operations in the UAE, Palestine, Kazakhstan, Oman, Kyrgyzstan, Romania, India, KSA and Egypt, exporting worldwide. In 2015, Trust Coatings were launched by the company along other products such as automotive paints, wood finishes, floor coatings and industrial coatings to diversify their line, keeping their quality and standards to the utmost superiority. In 2017, they launched a Global Vision Endowment, devoted to people with disabilities, which was adopted by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoom. Today, they produce nearly 200,000 tons of paint annually and around 40% of their production is exported.
TALAL ABU GHAZALEH (TAG)
Brand Heritage: Since 1972
CEO: TALAL ABU GHAZALEH
Talal Abu-Ghazaleh Company and Abu Ghazaleh Intellectual Property were set up by Talal Abu Ghazaleh in 1972. Today, TAG Global is the largest global group of professional services firms in a plethora of fields such as accounting, external/internal audit, IT, consulting, taxation, legal services and more. Operating mainly in the Arab region, if offers experienced and skilled specialists that evaluate and anticipate trends to advise different sectors and fields. Their clients outnumber 1 million in all services and activities, their annual global online outreach is more than 30 million, with their very own internet line (TAG-ISP) and computing cloud. Talal Abu- Ghazaleh fostered close partnerships with the UN and WTO and in 2007 was appointed as deputy chairman of the UN Global Compact. AGIP has more than 400,000 trademarks registered worldwide. It has conducted over half a million training sessions and Dr. Talal Abu Ghazaleh has received over 40 official awards.
Brand Heritage: Since 1973
CEO: AMEED Al DAHER
Al-Ameed Coffee is a regional coffee giant that began as a family business and remains so to this day. The company’s success is due to their commitment to coffee excellence and product development. Al-Ameed Coffee’s growth spurred from investment into new facilities combined with an emphasis on modernization. Today, Al-Ameed Coffee has expanded into exporting to the U.S., Canada, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Australia and New Zealand, among other locations. They deploy eco-friendly technology in all stages of manufacturing. They have developed a product range that includes Turkish and French coffees, Espresso, Arabic and American coffees, exporting to over 25 countries around the world. Their process, at the core of Al-Ameed Coffee, begins with careful selection of the finest Arabica beans, control the heat and air circulation during the roasting process and instantly packaging the coffee to preserve its rich aroma and ensure its freshness. The company uses the latest eco-friendly technology in all stages of its manufacturing process, currently operating with the requirements of ISO 22000 for Food Safety Management standards, while maintaining the quality of impeccable coffee taste the brand is loved for.
Brand Heritage: Since 1973
CEO: AMMAR AL-SAFADI
The Housing Bank was established initially to provide housing finance, and in 1997 began providing commercial banking services. Starting with a capital of half a million Jordanian dinars, today the bank boasts hundreds of millions in capital, with total equity amounting to 1,080 million Jordanian dinars in 2018. The bank introduced Savings Account Prize system in 1977. Embracing its familial roots, they also established a children’s branch in 1993, and was the first in the Arab world to introduce Mobile Banking Services in 2014. Since its inception, the bank has won many awards. It is also credited with the largest branch network in Jordan, reaching up to 129 branches, in addition to the largest ATM network in Jordan with 228 ATMs. Moreover, the bank has the largest balance of savings accounts in the local currency, with a market share of 36.5%.
Brand Heritage: Since 1977
EXECUTIVE CHAIRMAN: SAID DARWAZAH
A multinational pharmaceutical company founded in Jordan by Samih Darwazeh, Hikma became the first FDA-inspected manufacturing plant in the region, as well as the first Arab company to export pharmaceutical products to the USA. Among other Hikma achievements is that in 40 years their manufacturing plants now span 11 countries, including the United States, Italy, Saudi Arabia, Germany, Jordan and Portugal. Their most recent addition to their growing operations is Roxane Laboratories in Columbus, USA, that strengthened their position in the non-injectables market in the US. Their latest venture is the launch of pre-filled syringes in the US which assist speed and accuracy of patient care. Hikma Pharmaceuticals sells branded injectables and generics across different regions and has over 650 products on the market across more than 50 countries. Hikma is currently headquartered in London. It also set up “Hikma Ventures” as its venture capital arm for business investments in 2015.
Brand Heritage: Since 1980
CEO: KAMIL NADER
A family owned holding group business that caters to fast moving consumer goods, logistics, retail and food processing, Nader Group is comprised of Modern Arab Distributions, Arab Italian Trading Company, Aqaba Processing, Bidfood Jordan and Velocity Storage & Logistics. With several industries that feed into each other under their belt, Modern Arab Distributions delivers prominent FMCG brands in Jordan such as Unilever, SC Johnson and Unium, among others. Bidfood is the second largest food services company in the world, and their partnership with Nader Group began in 2018. As for Velocity and Storage it is a 3PL warehousing and distribution operation. Italian Trading Company brings in some of the leading wine and spirits brands through a partnership with Lebanese company G. Vincenti & Sons. Aqaba Processing Co. is a joint venture between the company and SunRice for rice processing and grain storage in Aqaba, while Premier concentrates on co-packing retail.
Brand Heritage: Since 1982
FOUNDER: FADI GHANDOUR
The company name that became synonymous with shipment and delivery, Aramex was founded by Fadi Ghandour and Bill Kingson in the early 80’s, as Arab American Express. The first of its kind, it became the first courier company in the Middle East. It moved its headquarters to Dubai, UAE when it partnered with Airborne Express to handle its business in the Middle East region. Aramex would continue to expand and acquire freight companies through the years, and in 2003 it co-founded the Global Distribution Alliance that encompassed 40 express companies with a combined revenue of $7.5 billion. In 2014, Aramex Bio, a medical courier service, was launched in the Middle East and North Africa. In 2006, Aramex supported Ruwwad Al Tanmeya initiative which aimed to provide community development through the private sector, through youth empowerment and civic engagement. Today, Aramex has over 13,800 employees in 54 countries.
GHADEER & NESTLE PURE LIFE
Brand Heritage: Since 1982
CEO: MAZEN AL KAYYALI
Ghadeer Mineral Water Company began producing water bottles in Jordan in 1982. Their continued success and development lead them to launch a new line for a 5-gallon bottle in 1998. In 1993 Nestle (at the time Perrier Vittel Group) acquired shares in Ghadeer Mineral Water and later in 2002 bought the entire company for their commitment to exemplary water standards. Today, it is known as Ghadeer & Nestle Pure. Currently, their products include 0.33 liter to 5-gallon bottles, with a delivery service across the Kingdom.
Brand Heritage: Since 1987
CEO: OSAMA ALI
Founded in 1987, Petra Engineering produced a variety of HVAC equipment to meet diverse application requirements. By 1994, Petra’s equipment and products rapidly gained international recognition while expanding to more advanced machinery and raw material, selling their air conditioning equipment across the region and competing with established brands. Entering the US market became a success milestone in the early 2000s for the company, when it won a contract with Los Angeles International Airport to install AC units. From there, Petra Engineering was able to expand throughout the US market and today has expanded to over 50 countries worldwide with more than 2,000 employees. Petra engineering has also established an expansion program with a production facility in Mafraq, Jordan and another in King Abdullah Economic City, in KSA. Its long list of clients includes NASA, Tesla, the Empire State Building, as well as Samsung, Hyundai and Aramco in Saudi Arabia.
Stay Tuned for Brands of Heritage – Part 2: Global Historical Trademarks.